any advice

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by tyfins13, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. tyfins13

    tyfins13 Newbie

    Hello All,

    I finally used my MES 30 to smoke some baby back and St. Louis style ribs.  They were seasoned perfect and the smoker did an excellent job.  My only complaint was that the ribs were dry.  They didn't have any moisture or juiciness to them.  I cooked them straight on the rack w/o tinfoil.  I used apple juice in the liquid holder and sprayed them every hour.  Any ideas on how to get them moist fall off the bone delicious?  Thanks.
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Here you go...

    Smoked Ribs as easy as 3-2-1

    A full rack of Spare Ribs will take about 6 hours at 225*F...The 3-2-1 smoked rib recipe is a good way to smoke ribs and tends to turn out perfect ribs every time whether you are using the meatier Full rack spare rib or the Saint Louis cut. Baby Back ribs use a 2-2-1 method. The ribs are smoked at 225 - 250 degrees for best results...
    The 3 stands for the 3 hours that you initially smoke the ribs with nothing but your favorite rub on them and some smoke with your favorite hardwood such as hickory, apple, pecan, etc. After the 3 hours you remove the ribs and quickly double wrap them in heavy duty foil.. just before you seal them up add some Foiling Juice or Apple Juice and close the foil leaving some room around the ribs for the steam to be able to flow around the meat and the juice to braise the meat which Flavors/Tenderizes it.

    The ribs cook in the smoker wrapped for 2 hours undisturbed. There is no need for Smoke at this point... After 2 hours remove the ribs from the smoker, unwrap, saving any juices in the foil, and place back into the smoker for the final 1 hour, with smoke if you wish.This firms them up, creates a nice Bark and finishes the cooking process. You can add a glaze or sauce at this point if you like. The meat will be pretty close to fall off the bone and be extremely juicy, tender and flavorful...JJ

    Foiling Juice / Sweet Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce

    Foiling Juice

    For each Rack of Ribs Combine:

    1T Pork Rub, yours

    1/2 Stick Butter

    1/2C Cane Syrup... Dark Corn Syrup...or Honey

    1/4C Apple Cider...or Juice

    1T Molasses


    2T Vinegar, 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more of a KC Style Glaze.

    Simmer until a syrupy consistency.

    Allow to cool for 5 minutes, pour over foiled Ribs and

    run your 2 hour phase of 3-2-1. For the last phase return

    the ribs to the smoker BUT reserve any Juice remaining

    in the Foil. Simmer the Juice over med/low heat to reduce to a saucy thickness. Glaze the Ribs for presentation or service.
    grillmonkey likes this.
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The above has always given perfect results for me. As far as what happened with your Ribs. You need to give us more detail. What temp you use? How long? Were they fatty or very lean?...JJ
  4. The Chef has pointed you in the right direction. I will make a bold opinion here and that is because you did not foil you lost all of the sweet pure juice. The foil does 2 very important things it captures the juice and steams the ribs,  that way they get real tender. You will let the ribs sit in its own juice while you glaze or sauce the ribs. Most if not all of the juice as well as the sauce will be absorbed back into the ribs. I let my ribs sit in the open foil while the glaze sits up, gets tacky and soaks into the rib. When I take them off I tighten up the foil and let them sit for 30 min or until I can't stand it ant more.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The discussion of whether or not to Foil comes up frequently. Bottom line if Fall off the Bone is your thing Foiling will give guaranteed results and the meat will always be juicy. Smoking Ribs without foiling is great too but gives different results, more of a Bite Off texture. Without foil, the Juiciness is more dependent on the Fat content and the Age of the Pig. Older pigs develop more Fat and Connective Tissue in the meat between the bones. Both contribute to juiciness. That Collagen will melt into Gelatin, juicy goodness, with Time over 160°F, and Moisture speeds the process. That moisture can be achieved with keeping the Water Pan full, BTW using Juice in the pan adds little to the flavor of the ribs. The water in the juice evaporates but takes very little of the fruits flavor with it. Spritzing or Mopping works and adds more flavor and is a better use of the Juice. The only issue with spritzing or mopping is you have to open the door and each time you open the smoker you quickly lose heat. With Electric Smokers, each opening can extend the cook time by as much as 20 minutes. Now, if you have an MES with an oval water pan, you can fill it with Sand or Stone and cover it with foil. This is a great Heat Sink that will help the temp recover. The Gen 2 MES have a small rectangular pan that holds the water and is the primary drip catcher so you can't add sand. Next, Spare or Side Ribs will almost always be juicier than Baby Back Ribs. The type of muscle in Side Ribs is more active so they contain more connective tissue and will typically be juicier. 

    Since you are so new to smoking. start with 3-2-1 and read what members are doing with ribs and how they are getting them done. There are many Tricks and Techniques to get a huge assortment of flavor profiles, varying degrees of tenderness and the visual signs and tests to show where you are in the process. There is lots to learn and we are still talking about One cut of meat!...[​IMG]  Keep the smoke flowing...JJ
    grillmonkey likes this.
  6. tyfins13

    tyfins13 Newbie

    Thanks for all the insight and advice.  I set the temp at about 230F and cooked them for 6 hours.  Spritzing them every hour after the 2 hour mark.  Don't get me wrong they were delicious just not juicy.  I will for sure try the 3-2-1 method as this is something I've read up on.  Once again thanks to those who reply to my posts.
  7. The chef has told you about the merits of foiling and  spritzing. When I cooked on a stick burner I spritz but I also had a whole side box of coals I did not lose much heat and the pit could recover very fast , Not so with a electric. I don't because of the recovery time. Just think every time you open the door you increase the cook time by 20 min probably 30 you just lost a couple of hours since you also have to open the door to foil. Just say no to spritzing. But that's just my opinion, your mileage may vary.    Jted 
  8. grillmonkey

    grillmonkey Smoking Fanatic

    I'm about to start my offset smoker (wood burner) with red oak and follow this recipe to the letter. With the optional KC style glaze.

Share This Page