Hello friends and welcome to this edition of the Smoking Meat Newsletter. It's been an extremely mild winter so far here in central Oklahoma and smoking meat outdoors has been so much more pleasant than usual during this time of year.
I have always smoked meat year round but as I get older, I find myself liking the cold less and less and I tend to hug the smoker a little closer nowadays when the weather is on the cooler side. I would like to encourage all of you to brave the outdoors, even if it is cold and experience the satisfaction of smoking meat in less than ideal conditions.
This week we are cooking up some country style ribs a little different. I have opted to cut them up into cubes, double marinate them, then skewer them with various vegetables before smoking them. I have to say that this was a very good idea and the almost 6 pounds of CSR's that I prepared, didn't last long at my house!
It's All About the WOW!!
My rub recipe as well as the sauce recipe was initially designed and developed to give pork ribs that certain wow factor that is so often missing.. I spent years putting this recipe together but when I got done tweaking it to perfection.. I knew that I had created a legacy of flavor that would live forever.
Order today and you'll see exactly what I mean.. nothing short of amazing and what's more, both recipes are good on almost everything.
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The cream cheese stuffed jalapenos are good all on their own and when you embed them in the mini meatloafs.. well.. meatloaf nirvana perhaps? We'll let you decide!!
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Smoked Country Style Pork Ribs on Skewers
These are not ribs at all but are usually just pieces cut from the pork butt. They have plenty of fat marbling which keeps them moist while they cook and if you cook them long enough they will get very tender. I do recommend marinating them and adding a good seasoning such as my rub a day or so before smoking them.
What to Purchase
Look for Country Style Ribs in the pork section of your local grocery store or meat market. They come as regular (bone-in) and boneless. I prefer the boneless but that's just me.. buy the bone-in if you prefer them. The boneless do work better for skewering since it makes it easier to cut them up into uniform pieces.
Look for CSR's that have plenty of fat marbling in the meat without a lot of large fat pockets. The marbling is good, but if there are huge pockets of fat, you will most likely want to trim that out before cooking to make them more pleasant to eat.
Purchase about a pound per person if they are boneless, with the bone-in, you will want to purchase extra to make up for the bone. Obviously, adjust according to who will be eating.
How to Prepare
I like to marinate these in Worcestershire and dry rub (order the recipe here) but when putting them on skewers, cut them up before marinating them as this allows the marinade to get to more of the meat at one time.
Lay the pieces on a cutting board and cut them into 1.5 inch by 1.5 inch pieces as uniformly as possible making sure to trim any excess fat on the outside as you go. I take a little extra time removing outside fat and my family really appreciates it at meal time.
With the pieces cut up, trimmed of fat and ready to go, place them in a suitably sized container and pour Worcestershire over them until covered. Marinate for 6 hours covered in the fridge.
When 6 hours is up, pour off the Worcestershire sauce then place the meat into a large gallon sized ziploc bag with ½ cup of my rub (order the recipe here) or about ¼ cup per pound. Zip the bag and shake or roll on the cabinet to coat the meat well.
Once satisfied that the meat is well coated, place the entire bag in the fridge for 8-12 hours to let the flavors meld together. You can also pour them back into the original marinating bowl that you used previously.
This process of marinating with Worcestershire then my rub is a process that I like to use to get the maximum flavor out of the meat. I feel the Worcestershire does a pretty good job of giving the outside edge of the meat a good flavor but the rub then takes it to a whole new level. Try a batch without the rub then with the rub and you'll see exactly what I mean.
Order the Rub Recipe HERE
Skewering the Meat
After marinating, the meat is ready to be put on skewers. This can consist of bamboo skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes or the long stainless steel versions or even the new, handy dandy FIREWIRE.
Note: The FireWire is cool but is only handy if you are planning on taking the food off before serving. If you are wanting to make individual skewers for each person, then I recommend the stainless steel variety like the ones shown HERE. These are flat instead of round and the food does not spin on the skewer as easily as they do on the bamboo or other round skewers.
I purchased the small cherub yellow and red tomatoes, some green bell pepper, small yellow potatoes, and pearl onions to go on the skewers with the meat. All of these veggies are wonderful in the smoker and make for a perfect meat when it's all done.
I have a tendency to be real symmetrical and systematic when putting the meat and the vegetables on the skewers but I was careful this time and left it all to chance.
Place all of the meat on the skewers or FireWire with vegetables in between until all of the meat is gone.
Tip: I noticed that most of my pieces where very uniform but I still ended up with 6 or 8 pieces pieces that were fairly small.. save these till the end then put all of them on a skewer together with a few tomatoes or pearl onions. This particular skewer of small pieces will be done in about an hour or so and makes a great snack while you wait for the other stuff to get done.
Smoking the Meat
Once everything is on skewers, lay them aside and go get your smoker ready to go. I recommend about 225-240° on these and smoke flowing the entire time if you are using a charcoal, gas or electric smoker. Once the smoker is clean, fired up, ticking along at your goal temperature and light smoke is starting to show, you are ready to place the meat on the smoker.
Place the skewers directly on the grate with about an inch between each one to let the smoke have plenty of access.
The country style ribs can be expected to take about 3-4 hours at 225-240°. They will most likely go up pretty fast at first then hit a stall at about 150°. At this point, meats like pork butt and brisket will stop raising in temperature for a bit while the fat and muscle is being broken down. This is normal and should not be rushed. Just let it happen and the meat will be more tender and tasty because of it.
With these being smaller pieces of pork butt, the stall should not last as long as it would in a large hunk of meat but it will still be enough to be noticeable.
I used all cherry wood to smoke these country style ribs but they are also good with pecan, oak, mesquite, hickory and almost any fruit wood. I must tell you though, if you use a really light wood like apple, it may be enough and it may not. I like to really taste the smoke and therefore, I can't use apple alone. It must be buddied up with some oak or pecan to get a fuller flavor. This is a personal thing and can only be discovered through experimentation.
When is the Meat Done?
I recommend using a thermometer in one of the larger pieces to give you an idea of when the meat is getting done but tenderness is the main indicator. After about 3 hours I would just do a tear test on one of the pieces of meat. I usually let the meat get to about 175-180° and even slightly higher on occasion to make sure it's as tender as it needs to be. The tenderness should be something like a good steak.. not falling apart but easy to bite and chew.
How to Serve the Meat
Really in my opinion, this is an all-in-one meal and with some dinner rolls and maybe some of my barbecue sauce (order the recipe here) on the side for anyone who wants it, you're good to go. If you want to get fancy, you could do some corn on the cob or even some fried okra to round it off real nice.
If you want extra vegetables or you have some left over that would not fit on the skewers, sprinkle on some of my rub (order the recipe here)(be generous with it) and place the pan under the skewers to catch some of the juice that falls down.
- Purchase pork country style ribs @ 1lb per person (approx.)
- Cut meat into 1.5 x 1.5 inch pieces
- Trim any excessive visible fat on outside of meat pieces
- Place meat in bowl covered with Worcestershire; Marinate in fridge for 6 hours
- Discard marinade
- Place meat in ziploc bag with Jeff's Rub recipe
- Shake and roll bag to coat well
- Place meat in fridge again for 8-12 hours
- Place meat on skewers with vegetables
- Smoke for 3-4 hours at 225-240 degrees
- Smoke until tender or meat reaches 175-180 degrees internally
- Serve immediately with a little warm sauce (for those who want it)
- Why marinate twice? To me the Worcestershire does a great job of adding a little special flavor and it helps to tenderize the meat but if you leave it on there too long, the meat just tastes like Worcestershire. This trick of marinating for only 6 hours then with my rub alone, gives you just the right amount of flavor and tenderness without being over the top.
- If you like the potatoes really soft, consider cutting them in half instead of using them whole.
- If you prefer the meat to be "wet", brush my sauce onto the ribs about 30 minutes before they are done cooking. Also serve warm sauce in individual condiment cups at the table for dipping.
- Cut leftover meat into thin strips and save it in the fridge for putting on salads the next day.. excellent cold or warm.
- No skewers? No problem. Place the meat directly on the grate making sure it is not able to fall through. Smoke the vegetables in a shallow pan on a lower rack, if possible, stirring occasionally.
Folks.. I never stop amazing myself at how good my rib rub recipe and sauce recipe is on various kinds of meat.
Whether it is fish, ribs, brisket, pork shoulder, turkey or even ham, chicken or chops, every time I use my rub and sauce I am blown away by the flavor all over AGAIN!
I always think to myself, "I sure hope everyone can try this.. it is too good to go through life never having experienced this!"
I am not being dramatic.. just try it and you will join the ranks of those who know if I'm lying then I'm dying! This stuff is Fan-flavor-tastic and you need it in a bad-bad way;-)
Here is a few recent testimonies from other folks who decided to go for it and are glad that they did. Be sure to send my your testimony once you try it and realize that you have just tasted of HEAVEN.
Jeff, your Rib Rub is to die for, I have used it on all meats including Venison and I have to say you have created a master piece, Thank you for letting us common folk in to your smokin life ~ Kevin
I would like to Thank You for the Rib Rub Recipe, I made this for my family and the results were unanimous, everyone said that the ribs were the BEST they ever tasted, and the meat was very tender and moist. I haven't tried the BBQ sauce recipe yet, but I will in the near future. ~ Jerome
I purchased the rub and sauce and I have to say that I love it and so has everyone that has tried it, just like you and others said they would. ~ Matt
Jeff I have to tell you that your rub and sauce recipes are the best. I had never smoked a rib or anything until last weekend and by fallowing your directions on your site I was the RIB KING for a day. Thanks a bunch pal, ~ Harold
Let me say that I've been using your Rib Rub for a couple years now. I use it on ribs (obviously), but I also use it on steak, ham, chicken, and everything else I smoke. My family and I absolutely LOVE it! It rocks! ~ Trapper
Jeff, I did a smoked pork roast yesterday and used your recipe both for the pork and for your Smoky Barbecue Sauce. Everyone loved it. My wife said the sauce was the best she had ever tasted and I have to agree. Fantastic. ~ Barry
You deserve the very best and is is completely within your grasp! Only $18.95 and worth every penny. Not only do you get the best rub recipe and sauce recipe available, you are supporting this website and helping to make sure the bills get paid so we can keep on doing what we do to teach thousands and thousands of people across the world the art of smoking meat.
What Happens Once You Order?
My system is automated which means you should get a download email within mere MINUTES of ordering.. check your spam/junk folder first then, if you can't find them, contact me to get the recipes sent to you as an attachment. The download email will allow you to log in and save a copy of my recipe file to the hard drive of your computer. This recipe file is a PDF and contains my very own rub recipe and sauce recipe. Please let me know if you have other questions about these recipes.
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Until next time.. keep smoking and God Bless.