Last weekend, I helped out the South 277 BBQ Team at a cook-off. They entered chicken, ribs, brisket and chili. They didn’t place in chili, ribs got 9th, briskets got 6th place, and chicken was 4th. But, this event was also open to the public, who got to sample the food, and vote for who they liked best. So while the judges weren’t kind, they won the Peoples Choice award. This is actually the 2nd year in a row they won the Peoples Choice award, at this event!
The main reason I like to help out with the team is because, we usually get to eat some of the left over BBQ, that doesn’t go to the judges! And, because I have fun hanging out with the team, drinking some beers and telling stories 😜! But with this event being open to the public to sample, none of us really got a chance to eat much of it. I think I had a little pinch of brisket, a small nibble of chicken, and one little piece of a rib. All of it was delicious, by the way!
And, since I didn’t get but one little rib to try, I had to make up for it and cook some at home this Sunday.
I also decided to do a little experiment with some seasonings, to see what I liked better. It was a contest between a rub seasoning called Killer Hogs BBQ Rub, and what I like to use as my go to, all around meat seasoning, Bolners Fiesta Brand Fajita Seasoning. But, I only had one slab of ribs, so I had to cut them in half, to do my experiment.
Seasoning the Ribs
1st I trim the excess fat and remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. Then I sprinkle some kosher salt all over, cover them with plastic wrap, and set them in the fridge for a couple of hrs.
Once it’s been a couple hrs, I pull the ribs out, season them, and then leave them out on the counter, to bring to room temp before cooking.
I like to use olive oil as a seasoning binder and I pour about a table spoon amount on a spot, and spread it all over the meat with my hands. Then I sprinkle on some of the seasoning, rubbing it in good, and mixing it well with the olive oil. Then I will go over it again with more seasoning.
Smoking on a Gas Grill
I don’t have a big BBQ pit like they use for the cook-offs, where you can cook low and slow with wood, in an offset firebox. I just have a 4 burner Char-Broil gas grill. But, it can be set it up to give it that cooked low and slow smoked flavor, and it works decently.
What I do is, set my grill up for indirect heat cooking. I use only one burner lit on one side, and set the ribs on the other side. I try to adjust my heat to get it to cook around 250 to 275°F. I also make a few little foil packets of wood chips, open on each end to allow smoke to escape, to add a little smoke flavor. I use just one packet at a time, placed over the lit burner on top of the grill grate.
Time To Cook
When the grill has reached the desired heat and the foil packet is smoking good, I just place the ribs on the side with no burners on, and close the lid.
I probably change the wood chip foil packet out, once every 30 minutes or so, or as it starts to smell burnt.
After about 2 1/2 hrs, I pull the ribs off and wrap them in foil and stick them back out on the grill for about 30-45 minutes, depending on how done they look. This will make them a little more tender.
Then I take the ribs off again, unwrap them, and place them back on the grill, meat side down. Then turn on all the burners to medium and cook the ribs, just long enough give it a little char but not burnt, and make them a little crispy on the outside. Once done, I take them off the heat and wrap them in foil or place them in a pan covered with foil to retain the heat, and let them rest for about 30 minutes. Then I cut them up just before they are ready to serve!
Both half of ribs, turned out pretty good. The half seasoned with the fajita seasoning, tasted better to me! It had a nice salty taste, with a hint of smoke. The flavor kind of reminded me of ribs I have had at one of my favorite BBQ places.
The half seasoned with the Killer Hogs rub, had a nice brown color and a nice smoky sweet flavor. I thought they tasted good, but not as good as the other half.
Anyway, I don’t think I would do that well at a cook-off with these, but I really liked the results! They hit the spot in my BBQ deprived stomach, from the cook-off last weekend! 😁
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