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Friday, January 27, 2012

Game Day Ribs!

 Most people I know head straight to the produce section when entering a grocery store, not me. I always head straight toward the catsup, sauce and pickle aisle. Drives my wife nuts.

 Last Friday while strolling Caputos on Bloomingdale Road, I couldn't help but notice that they stock Head's Red BBQ Sauce. Spotting this delight on the shelf served as the inspiration for this cook.

Now, I usually don't stray too far from Mike's Meat Market in Villa Park, but thought I'd give Wheaton Meat Market a try. Wheaton Meat Market stocks pork loin backs. Some say there is no difference between baby backs and pork loin backs, but I differentiate the two by the amount of loin left on the rib. These were meaty. The quality was good.

Some folks cook ribs with the membrane on - they say they like the snap... not me, so off it went.

 I started using EVOO as my base before applying rub. Typically I use yellow mustard kicked up with a liittle soy and/or worchestire, but thought EVOO might not only keep them better moist but possibly help create a better crust. I can never taste either after they've been smoked anyways.

Knowing I was going to be using Head's Red BBQ Sauce for this cook, I thought I'd create a new rub to compliment the sauce. I used brown and white sugars, onion powder, sweet paprika, Lawry's, garlic salt, cinnamon, cumin and few other ingredients. I was happy with the end result. I accomplished what I thought was a sweet, salty and smoky flavor profile. 

(I've also learned to put my rub in shaker. For one, it keeps it from becoming contimated by dirty fingers and two, it sprinkles on nice and even.)

Today was about 30* and the old Smoky Mountain Smoker held steady at 250*. Woo Hoo!

I used apple (rear) and hickory (front) for the smoke.

Ahhh...there she is puffing away. This smoker cost me about $150 bucks 6 years ago and has been worth every dime. I may have to invest in a few welding blankets to better insulate the cabinet though.

After about 3 hours, these ribs are looking mighty good...still got a few hours to go...

 After 5 1/2 hours I applied the sauce. Head's Red BBQ Sauce is a delicious sweet and tangy sauce with a very small hint of worchestire - which I like very much. It's flavor is deep and savory, not overly sweet and comes with a touch of heat. The sauce stuck to the meat and glazed up nicely.  Hadn't I been lazy I would have fired up my Weber OTG and charred these babies. Maybe next time.

I pulled and cut them up. Within minutes "POOF!" they were gone. Don't think Doug Henning could've made them disappear any quicker. I really enjoyed the sauce as did the fellas. It's one of the few sauces that is litearlly finger lickn' good. I'll be making beans with the second bottle I bought next weekend.

Happy Friday and thanks for lookn'!


  1. I may be a bit biased with your choice of sauce but those ribs look great. Actually Wheaton Market carries Head's Red as well..

  2. I may be a bit biased with your choice of sauce but those ribs look great. Actually Wheaton Market carries Head's Red as well..

  3. I saw that after I had purchased the sauce at Caputos.

    The ribs posted above were delicious.

    I also used SM Sweet Seduction and Spicy Apple on some spares last week. No foil, no sauce, no nothing, just heat and smoke. After I had cut them up, I applied a little of your sauce, which I had warmed in the smoker to each rib as kind of a condiment and man, that was something special.

    See you Sunday at the Brethren Bash. Looking very much forward to it!

  4. Ive got some SM rubs..maybe it me but for some reason the ribs ive cooked with them seem to come out bland..not sure why as that rub tastes really good right out of the bottle

  5. What do you use with your sauce? I thought I saw Cimaron Docs on your website.

  6. i use all kinds of different really liking oakridge rubs now

  7. Yeah, I think it's best to experiment. For the last few years, I've bee trying variations of my own rub but somehow always end up with the same kind of flavor. So, I thought I'd expand out and see what others have to offer. Aside from Cimaron Docs and Smokn' Guns, SM is one of the first I've actually purchased. I haven't tried Oakridge yet. Haven't tried Plowboy's either. Those might be next.


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