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Sunday, April 8, 2012

St. Loius-style Ribs in the UDS

It has been a while and I had some cooking to get done today, so I decided to throw on a rack of ribs, spareribs to be more precise. I have been wanting to try a few things with spares and this was a good time. I hate firing up the UDS to do a small cook, but, I needed to cook some chicken breasts, the ribs and a piece of lunch meat would round out enough to make the charcoal burn worth it.

The ribs, St Loius style

The ribs were trimmed in what is called the St. Louis-style, which means the flap meat and the ends, or tips, have been removed. This makes them a little easier to cook, as all of the meat is of a similar thickness and fat content. These were not quite as meaty between the bones as I would normally like, but, I was not able to pick them out this time.

Rubbed and Resting

I applied a coating of a mixture of rubs, equal parts of my mother rub and Simply Marvelous Cherry rub and about 1/2 as much of the Rub Company Santa Maria rub. This was allowed to sit in plastic wrap for an hour. I then applied a second coat of the Simply Marvelous, then another coat of the Mother Rub. I find the two commoercial rubs I used offer great complexity used in this manner, but, the added black pepper punch of my rub suits my taste. Another 15 minutes and onto the UDS, at 225F, apple wood smoke, cast iron diverter on lower rack. Top vent was wide open, as always. I was using Royal Oak lump today.

Off the UDS

These ribs are not sauced, but, they were hit three times with my Pig Honey glaze, which offers a bit of honey, vinegar and fish sauce (Red Boat Fish Sauce, of course). This serves two purposes, one is it adds umami and additional complexity to the finished product, the second is that it improved the texture in my opinion. The ribs were cooked straight through for 6 hours.

Mess of Ribs

The flavor of these ribs is very complex, yet, if offers an initial sensation of being a familiar taste, then rolls into the more spicy, earthy and finally lingering umami flavors. It is not as sweet as one might think. There is even a nice little smoke ring showing.


Hopefully the shot above shows the texture of the meat, the little smoke ring and the fact that thanks to Michael (Northwest BBQ), I finally got the white balance thingy worked out and the texture actually shows. The ribs had perhaps just a tad more pull that would have been perfect for competition, but, they tasted great and the texture was by no means bad. These ate well.


  1. Fish sauce on St Louis ribs????

    better have been a catfish.

  2. Don't use catfish on your BBQ. You'll never get a good bark.