Marquette – 09/14/2011- Today in the radio station, Smokehouse Glenn gave me a lesson on ribs, using his Smoked Baby Back Ribs as the hands-on material for this abbreviated class. This particular cuts are pork ribs which come from a variation of three rib cuts; spare ribs, St. Louie-cut and Baby Back. Working from the back bone, Baby Back ribs originated when butchers wanted to market the ribs that were previously being removed and discarded from the pork loin during processing. When you consider that pork chops are actually cross-cut sections of the loin with what is a smaller portion of the Baby Back bone included, you can now see what Glenn is working with.
These particular ribs are treated with Glenn’s “secret” in-house rub then smoked for 3 hours, so his final product is ready to eat when purchased. In fact, Glenn was relaying a recent story that a friend of his stopped by the store for a package of these ribs with the intention of providing them for a picnic. Unfortunately, his stomach started to talk to him, he opened up the package and that was all it took for those ribs to NOT make it to the picnic as planned.
I really liked the smoked hickory flavor that blended well with Glenn’s rub. So our discussion turned to reheating these tasty delights if desired. Since the smoking process drys the rib meat slightly, the grilling process for re-heating needs to be watched closely so the meat doesn’t get excessively dry out. We agreed that either the microwave or a low broiler setting with the ribs covered in a dish to retain remaining moisture would work the best.
Finally, we talked about using B-B-Q sauce on these ribs somewhere in the re-heating process. I have developed the reflex habit of automatically adding, sometimes drowning, my meat in steak or B-B-Q sauce, which can mask and overrun the flavors developed in the cooking process. Something that we agreed that would be worth trying would be to add a small amount of water drizzled on the rub before reheating in an effort to generate some type of sauce, if you will. Of course, if plunging these ribs into a dipping dish of your favorite variety of Sweet Baby Ray, well, dive right in!!!
Thanks for the rib lesson, Glenn – it was quite tasty as always!!!!!