1st smoke and disappointed

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by psychii, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. psychii

    psychii Newbie

    I smoked some babyback ribs on my Brinkmann vertical dual door today and I'm not happy with the results.

    Smoked them at 250 the first hour, settled to 225 the rest of the time. They were on the rack for 3 hrs, foiled for 3.5 (guests were running late), and finished on the rack for 45 mins.

    Now, all that time and the meat did not pull back from the bone. Also, they were tough. Flavor was good, but I still have pieces stuck between my teeth.

    I'm new at this, so if there are any ideas as to what I did wrong I would appreciate them. I was really looking for fall-off-the-bone tender.

  2. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Reading through your post and looking at your times and temps, I would say that you may have just got some bad racks of ribs. If your temps were accurate, with that amount of time, they should have been okay. But sometimes you get some tough ribs. It happens sometimes.

    But beyond that . . . did you remove the membrane? What were you using to measure the smoker temp? Were you using a digital thermo at grate level or the stock smoker therm? The stock ones are usually wrong but on the high side. It is possible that your's was wrong on the low side and you were cooking at below 225°.

    I usually smoke mine at around 235° to 245° the entire time. I like a little "tug" to the meat but if I want fall of the bone tender, I follow the 2-2-1 method to the tee but at at least 235°.

    Ribs can be a little tricky to get them just the way you want them. I have done several "test racks" along the way. I would say, get another rack and try it again. The best thing about this hobby is you get to eat your test runs.[​IMG]

  3. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    what dave said is all true, ribs are a challenge at the beginning but once you start getting them right you will have mastered something you will be proud of!!! one thing not mentioned is where are you getting your temps from. is it from a known tested thermometer or is this from the thermo on the smoker... they are notariously inaccurate and if your 225 is really only 195( i using this figure cause my first thermo on my gosm was 30 degrees off ) just a thought, if that is not the issue got to go with dave on the meat itself then cause 3-3-3/4 should be falling off the bone hands down. give it another shot, ck your thermos and if all ok get ribs somewhere else and retry.
  4. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Chris, the only thing I can add is reinforcement of what Dave and Erain have already told you. When I was using my ECB, I tried three different thermometers on the lid (none of which were anywhere near accurate).
  5. psychii

    psychii Newbie

    sorry, this is a double post.

    The consensus seems to be the temps are messed up. I am planning on getting a wireless so temps should no longer be an issue. It's just odd that the temp on my multimeter (which is very accurate) matched that on the door and both were off??

    Anyway, thanks for all the help. I'll report back on my next attemp.
  6. bones

    bones Newbie

    Just finished a load of ribs today (first run with the this smoker) and used the 3-2-1 method which I read about in another posting. I used one of those Redi-Chek remote digital thermometers and it worked like a charm. My ribs were on the second rack (closest to the charcoal), a brisket was on the top rack. Was able to keep the temp between 225 & 250 and according to my wife they were great (she's the official family tester). I did put insulation on three sides and the top of the unit. This insulation is silver about 1/4 inch thick but it helps keep the heat steady. I agree with the other posters, just keep at it. My first ribs you could have used them for shoe leather.
  7. bbq engineer

    bbq engineer Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey Chris,

    Foiled for 3.5 hours should make shoe leather edible! Did you do a heavy spray / mop or add any liquid with the ribs when you foiled them?
  8. danbury

    danbury Smoking Fanatic

    The other folks covered about everything. You will keep getting better as you cook more and more.... It's the natural evolution of BBQing.
  9. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm not gonna re-tell you what everyone said cause they are all right. Just get you a real good thermometer and smoke your ribs for the 2-2-1 method and you'll be fine. Thats how we learned is eating you mistakes. So those racks are gone now go try another rack and remember what everyone here has told you and you'l do alot better this time.
  10. uncle_lar

    uncle_lar Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    sounds like everything was covered pretty well.
    Just one question, when you said they where foiled for
    3.5 hours , were they in the smoker cooking that whole time
    or just foiled and sitting somewhere.
    if the bones didnt pull back it sounds to me like they were not cooked
    long enough.
    dont give up, no one on here has a perfect smoke every time!
  11. eaglewing

    eaglewing Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    psychII the first time I did babybacks the same thing happened to me... I can do regular ribs that will knock your socks off. Babybacks are harder to do for me for some unknown reason.

    BUT, I have to agree with the 'pack', it didn't sound like you did anything wrong and should have gotten good ribs.

    Don't get wigged out... I would switch to trying regular spare ribs next time, use the 3-2-1 method (even tho I skip the last step myself) and see if you can get them to work out.

    Again, make sure you have ENOUGH thermometers telling you the truth about whats going on in your smoker..
  12. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What all the above said. First time I did bb I over cooked them and they were just falling apart when trying to remove them from the foil. I have sense got the timing down right but do stick to regular spares most times. For what ya get for the price spares are imo a much better deal.
  13. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Exactly. If I don't have time to trim I will run BB's but spares have more meat and are easier to cook IMO.

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