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Improved Ribs?

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A couple weeks back I prepared some Baby Back ribs that the wife had picked up. She keeps the freezer stocked as we like to grill and share. My preparation was as normal, rub, brown sugar and lightly covered with mustard. 2-1-1 method on the grill with off set fire box and may I add, cooked to perfection - except...

Upon tasting, my tongue recoiled from the overbearing sodium content. What had I done differently? Nothing came to mind. I asked the wife what she thought of the ribs and she exclaimed, I can't believe you made them. I inquired as to where she purchased them. One of the 2 big rivals here in town.

I'm not the King of ribs by any means but I have been grilling ribs for years and have a small following (family & friends) that actually have me make ribs for them on occasion.

This weekend we will again be grilling and I pulled out several packages of the same ribs that I prepared a couple weeks back. This time, scrutinizing the package I saw something that I associated with and learned on here. It reads as follows, Tenderness and Juicyness Improved with up to Twelve percent of a Patented Solution.

Could this mystery solution possibly be the culprit to the overbearing sodium? If so I will forgo the rub and mustard unless anyone else has experienced this unpleasantness and can share as to how they remedy.

P.S, I do not use BBQ sauce unless it is requested.

Thanks for any thoughts...


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that is what is called "enhanced" in general terms. it is injected with water and salt and in some cases different flavorings. look at the labels of boneless chicken breasts, flavored pork tenderloins, and even corned beef----all enhanced and it has been around for years.

that is your culprit if this is the first time you noticed more of a salty taste. when using these products make sure you rinse the ribs well in water and pat dry and then use your favorite rub. if you make your own rub just cut down on the salt or dont use it at all. i've been using enhanced ribs for a long time. mainly because they are on sale and i prepare them accordingly. the enhancement does keep them more moist but regardless i spray apple juice on the ribs the entire cooking time every time i turn them.

if you dont like the enhanced type of ribs then you must look for the all natural ribs. the enhanced products say so in the ingredients. sorry you had that experience. there is nothing wrong with the ribs just that it does have the sodium solution so the best thing to do is to rinse them with water and use less or no salt at all. good luck.

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brining through injection yes. if you marinate any meat with a liquid solution you are in a sense brining the meat. there are chicken breasts that are enhanced, pork tenderloins with different flavors injected as well and then cryovaced and stay in that solution for a long time because the code date is longer. realy dont like those for they tend to be real salty. corned beef as i mentioned before can have a long code date and is in a brine. so check the labels and use accordingly. good luck.

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reinhard1, Thanks for clarifying.

I am aware of sodium enhancement in products but I have never dealt with it when preparing ribs.

I have been soaking the ribs in water for a few hours and will shortly be preparing them for the grill. Adjustments and modifying of my traditional technics will be administered with these improved ribs. They are the Hormel brand and with slight modifications, I do expect better results this time.

McGurk, thanks for the link to the enhanced post.


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Results of my second attempt at improved ribs = Good.

Pre-soaked in icy water. Pat dry. Lightly seasoned with Wee-Willy's and a smattering of brown sugar.

2 and half hours at 225 degrees.

1 and a half hours at 200 degrees in foil tent with water diluted Apple sauce.

40 minutes at 190 degrees.

General consensus from those who consumed was good. They were more interested in what I call State Fair Potato's < Foil wrapped and what ever you feel like seasoning them with.

However, a late comer for the rib cook appeared an hour or so after we were done eating. I put a couple half racks in some foil with water and and returned them to the coals for about 15 minutes as to warm. Upon opening the foil tents, I was surprised by a familiar odor. It smelled like "Hotdogs". Without influence, I asked a few others to sniff and asked what they thought. When one exclaimed "Hotdogs", everyone else agreed.

I can only conclude that the patented solution that is injected into the ribs is something that may possibly be used to also flavor hotdog products.

I've had my go with improved ribs, and although I find them palatable, I'll be going with the unimproved.

P.S, the late comer asked for BBQ sauce...


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