Barbecue in the Chicago Burbs

Discussion in 'Rusty's Grill' started by horninchicago, Oct 16, 2020 at 2:50 PM.

  1. horninchicago

    horninchicago 5,000+ Posts

    Doing up brisket and St. Louis cut ribs tomorrow. Smoking the brisket today and will warm up tomorrow in the oven so I have room for the ribs tomorrow in the pit. And, of course they don't take nearly as long as brisket, and I'm serving it all up around 3 pm.

    Bought a whole brisket and trimmed it myself. I have normally bought the Costco brisket flats and had 3 or 4 to deal with. This is a big hunk of meat, but much easier dealing with one slab vs several.

    IMG_7879.JPG IMG_7882.JPG
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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2020 at 5:25 PM
  2. nashhorn

    nashhorn 2,500+ Posts

    Whew, that’s a lot of meat!
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  3. horninchicago

    horninchicago 5,000+ Posts

    Turned out great. If I can figure out how to load a video here, I will.
  4. horninchicago

    horninchicago 5,000+ Posts

    16 hours total cook time. Pardon the loud people in the background. Had about 30 people over.

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  5. Chop

    Chop 2,500+ Posts

    Please explain St Louis style ribs (as opposed to other ribs) to me. Thx.
  6. Duck Dodgers

    Duck Dodgers 250+ Posts

    Going from memory here:

    Baby back ribs are close to the spine, so the bones are smaller, and the meat more tender, and less fat.

    Spare ribs are the other part of the ribs - closer to the belly, so bigger, not as tender, more fat.

    St. Louis ribs are generally considered a spare rib set that's been squared up, to get rid of the lesser quality ribs at the ever bottom.
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  7. horninchicago

    horninchicago 5,000+ Posts

    Correct. And, they should have removed the silver skin membrane on the back side as well.

    When I started learning about barbecue, the pit master at Angelo's in Fort Worth told me they use St. Louis cut pork ribs, spare ribs.
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    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020 at 11:26 AM
  8. Chop

    Chop 2,500+ Posts

    Interesting. St. Louis style ribs are a cut, not a style of cooking, wet-or-dry, or sauce, etc.

    Good DFW rib joint = North Main BBQ in Euless. They've won a number of national championships in rib cooking--they put their bragging rights up all over the store. Their brisket is ok, but their ribs are very good.
  9. horninchicago

    horninchicago 5,000+ Posts

    Yes, the cut. I like the spare ribs better as well since they are bigger, as DD pointed out.

    The ribs turned out okay, too.

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  10. Duck Dodgers

    Duck Dodgers 250+ Posts

    Looking good. I don't get too much of a bark on my ribs - since they're thin compared to a roast or steak, and no real way to put a meat thermemoter in them, I'd afraid I'd dry them out if I was really aiming for a bark.

    So I do 2 hours uncovered, to get some and some bark, 2 hourse wrapped with some real butter, and a bit of hot sauce, then 1-2 hours open, then put on a thin coating of sauce mixed in with the butter / grease / spice drippings from the foil the last 10 minutes or so.
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  11. horninchicago

    horninchicago 5,000+ Posts


    I'm always learning. Frankly, I don't think, actually I know, I am keeping the fire hot enough, and I am shopping for a better and thicker smoker that will hold a more consistent temperature. I don't want quite so much bark.
  12. Duck Dodgers

    Duck Dodgers 250+ Posts

    Main trick to cooking is proper and consistent heat. It's why it's harder to cook on a grill than an oven, with a set temperature.

    Biggest improvement you can do is get a good thermometer for your grill. The ones on the sides of those offset ones are terrible, and they're way too high - it gives a false reading for the heat the meat is getting.

    There are lots of ones now that have probes, both for the meat (in my opinion a requirement to cook with), and also for the temperature right at griddle level. Some have a display on the unit, some send the signal to you phone, so you can monitor it, and even shows time vs. temperature, for a graph of the trend of it.
  13. horninchicago

    horninchicago 5,000+ Posts

    I agree. I am looking at the Old Country Brazos smoker from Academy. I am driving down to Texas and may bring one back. Only $99 to ship it though.

    The smoker I have had for years is a Char Broil. Probably paid a couple hundred bucks for it. Not very good. Thin steel, smoke stack is on top vs on the side at grate level. No baffle to deflect the heat down. Difficult to keep a good consistent temp.

    Definitely need a good probe at grate level for temperature consistency.
  14. Duck Dodgers

    Duck Dodgers 250+ Posts

    Ceramic grills are the way to go. They'll last your kid's lifetime, can cook at high temperatures too, cook pizzas, sear steaks, anything you want.

    Only knock on them is that they actually don't make as good of a bark as the side smokers, as the internal atmosphere is too humid to really make a top quality bark, easily, I'm sure if you're super good you can.

    Only really applies to brisket - everything else such as pulled pork it does fine for the bark.

    I have the Kamodo Joe - bought it 5 years ago, must have used it 2-300 times, looks brand new. No rust or age issues on it. Very high quality construction - far better than the Big Green Egg, which has much cheaper stands, handles, and vents.

    About a grand for an 18" grill one - you can leave it in your will to which ever son/daughter treats you best right before you croak, and let them be on their best behavior for it.
  15. horninchicago

    horninchicago 5,000+ Posts

    I know those work well, but I love the offset smoker type. Labor of love for me.

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