Thursday, July 10, 2008


Billie Bob 1976
Billie Bob - SWMBO’s Poppa - showing off his Mad Brisket Smoking Skillz, circa 1976.

Ever since we got our smoker, I’ve been working on satisfying my serious jones for Smoked Meat. Last night’s beef ribs might’ve been the best effort so far.

I had seasoned a rack of beef ribs Monday evening, using Billie Bob’s signature spice blend...with one minor modification. I added a little sugar, looking to get some additional caramelization as the ribs cooked. This turned out to be a good idea.

I usually try to season ribs and briskets a day in advance of smoking. This time, I did it two days ahead. The extra day allowed the rub to really work its way into the meat.

After about ninety minutes over hickory smoke at 300°F, I decided to wrap the rack up tightly in foil and finish it in the oven at 275°F...mainly because it was pouring down rain and I was getting tired of getting drenched every time I needed to check the meat. An hour later, I turned the temp down to 225° just to keep the meat warm until suppertime.

As the house filled with the aroma of Texas barbecue, SWMBO started going quietly insane in anticipation. There’s something about barbecue that affects her at the cellular level, I’m convinced. Must be that Texas DNA.

I am pleased to report that the ribs were a success. The meat had a dark crust and a deep red smoke ring extending fully 1/4 inch below the surface - this despite my not having put a pan of water under the rack as it smoked. [Sorry, no photographs: My camera is in the shop.]

The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender, and the flavor, I am honored to state, met SWMBO’s extremely high standards. She grew up eating nothing but the best, thanks to her Daddy, and as I gnawed on those ribs I felt as though I was standing on his shoulders, a million miles high.

Update: This is published post #3000. Hoo-hah!

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