Ring Stinger Ribs & Tom Cococha review
So here it is! The post I’ve been talking about for a while! The Ring Stinger Ribs! I bet you saw this one coming, but I guess you don’t know how easy and delicious these ribs were! Once you’ve pickled the peppers and made your own hot sauce you can opt for the soft or hot version of the ring stinger ribs. The secret for these ribs is in the meat! Find out what’s special about the ribs I use for this ring stinger ribs recipe further in this post! And there’s more. Tom Cococha send me some of their briquettes to test. So read on and find out all about these coconut briquettes.
Disclosure: "Tom Cococha offered their briquettes as test product. This post contains affiliate links. All opionions shared are my own. "
RING STINGER RIBS – About the meat
A while ago I got a couple of pork ribs from a friend to try. He knows I’m a big fan of delicious food and especially pork. To be honest I like all pork recipes. But you got pork and PORK! When talking about PORK I’m referring to meat from Iberico, Duroc, … The difference is in the details. Both contain fat but the good pieces of pork have it marbled in the meat. This causing a beautiful soft texture and adding tons of flavor to the end result. So when you got a piece like that there’s no need to add a lot of spices and sauces. The pork itself is more than delicious. I bet you will love it. That’s why I decided to rub the ribs with no more than salt and pepper and baste three of them with a thin layer of homemade pickle juice. The last one I gave a thin layer of “Ring stinger hot sauce (Recipe)” for a hotter version.
Preparing the ring stinger ribs
When preparing baby back ribs I like the smoke-roasting technique Steven Raichlen promotes. Not because the legend itself is promoting it, but because I think it’s just the better way! I would eat fall of the bone ribs (3-2-1 technique) with pleasure but I appreciate some bite in my ribs! If you’d like to read more about the different techniques and why I opt for the first one you can find some info at the end of this post. Since we’re using the delicious Iberico ribs I skipped the rub and only used salt and pepper. Slowly roast the ribs on an indirect heat source at 150°C/300°F for about 1h15 minutes. Add a couple of wood chunks at the beginning of your session for a smokey touch (I like fruit tree wood). The last half hour you baste some of the pickle juice or hot sauce on the ribs every 15 minutes (about 2 times).
TOM COCOCHA BRIQUETTES – REVIEW:
When I fire up my BBQ I tend to use my favorite Flamy charcoal and coco briquettes. Simply because they had some good reviews by pitmasters I look up to and when testing them I found out they do a great job! Yet I was curious about some other products. After launching a poll in a Belgian BBQ group I contacted the top 3 producers to ask if it was possible to test their product. The German producer Tom Cococha was the only one responding positive to my question. I found out it’s a relatively unknown brand besides Belgium and Germany. Yet they hit the second spot! So read on and I tell you why! I compared the briquettes to the flamy products I’m used to.
The Coco Briquettes by Tom Cococha and Flamy are rather unique compared to most other coals and briquettes. The coco shells have been pressed into cubes making them both very easy to pile up. The difference between both is in the size. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Being half as big the Tom Cococha Briquettes are easier to dosage but they need a bit more precision while stacking them (for instance for a snake). But when using them for a dutch oven session they can be spread more evenly. Moreover when using a waterpan smoker you don’t need to stack them.
Renewable energy source
Coco briquettes like Flamy and Tom Cococha are made out of coconut shells. Therefore no trees need to be cut to form the coals. Thus making them a perfect source of renewable energy. While I’m not the greenest person alive I still think it’s important to do whatever we can to save the planet. So using the shells of the coconut is a clever idea. The fruits keep on growing while we can keep on doing what we love. Besides being ecological they briquettes are very pure compared to other briquettes. They burn up clean producing no smell and only a small amount of dust. And that’s a good thing making us able to add the smoke with whatever wood you want to.
Starting the coals
To compare the time the briquettes need to get hot I lit the Flamy and Tom Cococha briquettes at the same time. Just to compare I also lit some Flamy charcoal. The difference in time to enlight a fire (+- 15 minutes lit with an electric fork) was negligible. With only 3 minutes difference in time before they hit 150°C between the first (regular Flamy charcoal) and the last (Flamy Briquettes). As expected the coals where a lot hotter by the time the last coals hit the right temperature. About 5 minutes later the coals hit 280°C/536°F, but surprisingly the Tom Cococha briquettes were at 250°C/482°F. A bit higher than I expected. The Flamy Briquettes didn’t get higher than 200°C/392°F. With the temperature being a lot higher than I expected I needed to cool them down before I could start to smoke my Ribs. Luckily they were relatively easy to cool down. It took me about 15-20 minutes before they hit the 150°C/300°F range (ongeveer 15 min. later).
For low and slow sessions it’s important the coals last a while and remain stable in temperature during the session. The package shows us the coals keep their temperature for 4 hrs. That’s exactly how long the Flamy briquettes last when I use them for the shorter smoking sessions (no snake or other techniques used). So for these ribs I piled them the same way and measured the time they were hot enough to smoke (above 90°C/ 194°F). Since the briquettes were hotter than I expected at the start, I was in doubt if I would manage to get the time mentioned on the box! Yet it was a surprise to notice 5 hours had been gone when my I grill warned me the temperature was low. To be honest I had forgotten they were still burning. Looking at the statistics learned me there was a stable temperature until the last 45 minutes. The regular charcoal was gone after about 2 hrs. So for a low and slow session the coconut briquettes are a good alternative.
The poll result seems to be legit! The Tom Cococha briquettes got into the top 3 for a reason! They can compete with the best briquettes and coals found in Belgian stores easily! Only the form seems to be different than most other coals making them easy to dose and a bit harder to stack. Yet they manage to hold their temperature stable for about 4-5 hours making them perfect for longer sessions. With a top temperature of 250°C/482°F they work for grilling purpose too! They don’t get the temperature regular charcoals could reach, so when making pizza they are not your best option. Yet they are easy to handle and cool down so when using a kettle grill you might considere using these instead of charcoal! You won’t regret since they last way longer and are easy to control. Making them more than perfect for the ring stinger ribs or some other delicious slow cooking sessions.
Curious to hear your thoughts on this subject and of course the recipe for the ring stinger ribs! Who would you share them with? Are you able to buy these briquettes in a local store? People living in Europe can buy them at the amazon store. When living in Belgium take some time to look for the dutch part of the blog and participate in the contest to win some of these briquettes! If you’re not able to buy them! What coals do you use?
When using the better ribs from pork like Iberico or in this case Duke of Berkshire, you want to keep the taste of the meat as pure as possible. Therefore I tried to make some ribs as pure as possible only adding ingredients that empower the taste of the meat instead of covering it up! No heavy sauces or rubs in this recipe! Only two versions of made with the homemade ring stinger pickling juice and the homemade hot sauce! WARNING! You need to plan this ahead! They need at least one week of pickling but it's worth all of your time waiting to start smoking!
The recipe for these ribs is very easy and fast to make as long as you plan the first step one week (at least) ahead of preparing these ribs! First you need to pickle some peppers following this recipe. The pickling juice form the base for both the ring stinger ribs and the homemade Ring stinger hot sauce (for the hotter version)
Start your smoker for an indirect session at medium temperature 150°C/300°F. For these ribs I used my cheap ass Bullet Smoker looking like this one.
While waiting for the BBQ to hit the right temperature you can rub the ribs with salt and pepper. Don't go easy on the salt and pepper! They need to taste after all but this is just a matter of personal preferences.
Once your smoker hits the right temperature you add 2 chunks of apple wood to the coals (buy at amazon). Try to put them in a lower heat zone to prevent them from burning away quickly. Otherwise they will produce less smoke than desired.
Once the smoke turns blue you can place your ribs on the grid and smoke them for about 30 min. lid closed.
Open the lid and baste a thin layer of pickling juice equally spread over the ribs. Repeat this every 15 minutes until you get a core temperature of 70°C/168°F. In between the basting sessions you close the lid as fast as possible to prevent the briquettes from gaining heat.
ATTENTION: If you want to make the hotter version of the ring stinger ribs you baste some of the delicious homemade ring stinger hot sauce on the ribs about 50 minutes after you started smoking them.
It will take about 1hr to 1hr.15 minutes (depending on the ribs) until you get your internal temperature! So there's lot's of time to sit back and relax while enjoying a delicious appetizer.
With my blog I try to share some passion. Some times I get some test products by passionate people or make use of affiliate links to cope with the costs. By buying through these links I earn a small commision without costs for you! All opinions shared are my own and no false statements will be made! In this post about the Ring stinger ribs: - You can find affiliate links on the following products: Apple wood chunks and waterpan bullet smoker - Tom cococha offered their briquettes as a test product. No money has been earned. All opinions shared are honest.