Analyzing today`s spare ribs

Discussion in 'Pork' started by mrmerck, May 26, 2014.

  1. mrmerck

    mrmerck Newbie

    I understand there are growing pains with learning to be good at smoking meats but my last 2 efforts have been a bit frustrating.

    Today I did spare ribs and they came out a tad tough and dry. I`ll give you the cooking process and hope to get some feedback.

    Smoker used- Brinkmann Gourmet Charcoal

    Charcoal- Kingsford

    Rib prep- Wife used a pork rub found online that was popular with others.

    Cooking method- 3-2-1

    Water pan- pure warm water filled 1 " from top

    Apple wood chips added at beginning of smoke

    Preheated Brinkmann for 30 minutes and added ribs

    Ribs removed at 3 hours and foiled. Added some apple juice to foil and placed ribs back on in foil for 2 hours. At the end of the 2 hours unwrapped foiled ribs and added more water to pan.Ribs cooked an additional hour with a light coating of bbq sauce basted on last 20 minutes.

    The Brinkmann has had no mods and temp was reading Ideal the entire time.I do not think it was too hot.

    Why would my ribs be slightly tough and dry?
  2. What temp are you smoking at? Also are you using the temp gauge on the smoker and are you sure that it is accurate? My gauge is off 30 degrees so I use a maverick redichek
  3. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    If your ribs were tough, they were very likely undercooked.  Using the 3-2-1 method should have easily produced tender juicy ribs...So I am with Smoke Jenson in suspecting your thermometer.  If its the factory stock therm, they are rarely accurate.  Get a reliable therm so you can accurately monitor you cooking many others around here, I use a Maverick ET-732 dual probe digital in my smokers.

    Hope that helps...

  4. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Agree with the above suggestions.
  5. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You have received good advice.

    Ditch the stock therm and learn what the correct temps are in your pit.

    Having said that?  The 3-2-1 is just a starting point for many.  Many of us who foil still modify that to our own taste.

    Many do not foil.

    Keep with it.  You will find that rib that is perfect for you and yours!

    Good luck and good smoking.
  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

  7. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    mrmerck-I have a Brinkmann Gourmet smoker like your's and yes, the stock thermometer is way off. (Thanks to my Brinkmann for making me move up the smoker chain).
    There are a number of remedies that you can take-the most common which has been mentioned above in a number of replies-get a Maverick ET-732 thermometer or get you a replacement dial thermometer to replace the stock one. Get one that reads in degrees and that can be calibrated.

    Here is what happened to give you tough, dry ribs-The internal temp of your ribs did not reach a high enough temp to a) convert the moisture in the meat to steam and b) break down the connective tissues into that makes the meat tender and juicy.

    Don't give up-I finally got good results when I ran my ECB in the "Hot" zone. Bear in mind that this was way before the internet and there weren't sites like this for me to find help. You my friend have a vast resource of information here at your finger tips.
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    merck, morning.... On more thought.... In order to get the rib temp. high enough... ditch the water pan after the first couple hours..... It is 'almost' impossible to get the smoker above 220 with water in the pan..... The water sucks up all the BTU's trying to convert the water to steam... it's a physics thing... I would try pulling the water when you foil.... then the foiled ribs can get to temp. without sacrificing smoker temp..
  9. jbills5

    jbills5 Meat Mopper

    As the above said, make sure you find a good way to monitor cooker temp outside of the stock therm.  Those things are unreliable and it sounds like you may have been running a little low.  As mentioned above, it sounds like they were a little undercooked and the fat did not render to get you the tender ribs.
  10. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm the oddman out....

    If they were trimmed spares (St. Louis style) I would say they were over cooked and dried out on ya!

    225° using 3-2-1 for spares (trimmed) should produce satisfactory results.

    That was going to be my post until I read your post again...and temp was reading Ideal the entire time.

    Now seeing this.

    All I can say is this...

    Please toss that thermo and replace it with one that will give you an accurate reading.
    Last edited: May 27, 2014

Share This Page