Close but no cigar.

Discussion in 'Pork' started by randycandy, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. randycandy

    randycandy Fire Starter

    Hello again. I just made two racks of back ribs in my electric smoker. I did the 3-2-1 method. I put a rub on them and refrigerated over night. I set them out on the counter for a half an hour before I put them in the smoker. I had a pan of apple and cherry wood for smoke.

    Steady temp of 230* the whole time. top vent wide open. No water, sand in my pan. after 3 hours put in foil and sprayed with apple juice and apple cider vinegar. Last hour took out of foil and put some barbeque sauce on. The meat was cooked and tasted pretty good. I had to separate the individual bones with a knife however. I remember eating ribs out that you could separate by hand and when you did the meat "fell off the bone". What can I do different to try and achieve this? Does it depend on the the type of back ribs I buy? I bought some that Meijers had on sale. What am I missing? Thanks!
  2. bear55

    bear55 Master of the Pit

    When I make ribs, I follow basically the same timing however, I pour about 2 ounces of apple juice into the foil.  I do not wrap the foil tightly around the ribs preferring to have more of a steam effect poking one small hole in my foil boat to allow some steam to escape.  Mine have always been very tender never having to use a knife.  Having said all this, remember every piece of meat has a mind of it's own and you just have to watch.

  3. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Howwww D Randy... let me start out by saying that back ribs usually go the 2-2-1 method... the 3-2-1 method you used is for spares... by doing the 3-2-1 on your baby backs... they should have been like mush.... sooooooo... saying that... what do you use for a thermometer in the smoker and is it accurate (boiling water test) ? sounds like your temps were a little low... especially going the 3-2-1 route...
  4. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounds like you did everything right.
    Try checking the ribs doing the bend test.
    I have overcooked ribs and they have never been mushy ... maybe if they were foiled too long.
    I just done 6 racks yesterday BB and St. Louis Spares.
    Cooked all 6 for 5.5 hours. Filing stage was 90 60 minutes and they came off the bone clean... not my preferred way but was requested that way.
    Oh forgot to mention, I done these at 250°
    Try running your temps a little higher
    Also check to make sure your thermos are accurate
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
  5. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    How about a qualification? Back ribs are Baby back or beef back ribs?

    Ribs that fall off the bone although tender and delicious are over cooked. Its a fine line smokers look for. To be near fall off the bone tender, but a bit of what most will refer to as bite. Bite is that small amount of tension required to get the meat off the bone. you are pretty dang close when you cut your ribs.

    Ribs are meat on a stick, not really meant to be eaten with a fork. But can be delightful that way as well. Kind of like that pecan pie your girlfriend made that you needed a spoon to eat? AND better tell her its your favorite pie ever! LOL

    If you are looking for a more tender rib extend your foil time. Remember though, you also have to take into consideration the actual ribs, the weather when cooked, the vent position, the smoke if using pellet or chips or propane or etc etc etc...  Its why we all enjoy smoking so much, you'll get a perfect smoke one day, you'll realize it, and you'll spend every weekend wondering what you did different to get there and you'll keep trying to repeat it.

    Look at all the great meals and happy friends you'll make while in the process?

    Look at extending the foil time by 5 mins next time, then 5 mins more, etc till you are more happy.
  6. Not trying to hijack this thread but what tends to make ribs come out tough? Is that not cooked long enough or cooked at too high a temp? I have done ribs twice and both times they came out Ok flavor but tough. They were baby back ribs cooked at 225 using the 221 method. I was using a MES 30 with amnps and no water in the tray. Please offer suggestions. One thing I have done is ordered a Maverick 732 to for next time. So anything else anyone can suggest would be great.
  7. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    if they "fall off the bone" they are WAY overcooked. they should have a nice pop and come off clean from bone. i do not like the foil method that everyone uses, it makes the meat too mushy for my taste. i usually smoke BB ribs at 240 for 5-6 hours (bend test for doneness) with water in my WSM and my ribs come out fantastic every time. 
  8. randycandy

    randycandy Fire Starter

    Thanks for all the helpfull suggestions fellows. These were pork ribs. I realize that for baby backs its 2-2-1, however These looked liked some big baby backs so I went to the 3-2-1 method. I'm pretty sure my temps were accurate as I use a Ascon Temperature Controller with a thermocouple on my modified Brinkman with a 1650 watt element. As I said, the meat was done and firm and tasted pretty good. Maybe I'm complaining when I shouldn't be. Having to cut them with a knife to separate the individual bones doesn't seem right to me. Is this normal for properly cooked ribs? This was my sixth attempt at smoking and the best I've done so far. Like you guys say practice, practice.:)
  9. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    if you are serving multiple ribs together like 1/4 or 1/2 rack then you should be able to "pop" the bones off as you eat the meat and they should come off with out any meat on them. but i don't think that you can split the meat down the middle between each bone ever without a knife.
  10. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

     I reread your first post and you should have had tender ribs .

    I'm not sure if you want ribs to fall apart when you pick them up, if so leave them foiled longer

    However something don't sound right, your original post looks like you did everything correct.

    I would still check your temps with another reliable source.

    I had a rib end that I cut off and tried it after about three hours on the pit and it was pretty good, it had a great steak like texture.

    Ditto on the bend test. I have noticed that since I have been doing the bend test, my Spares (trimmed) and BB's are done around 5.5 hours.

    Trimmed spares don't need to run 6 hours IMHO

  11. randycandy

    randycandy Fire Starter

    Yeah, my ribs didn't bend like that when I was done. To answer your question, I guess I want them to "fall off the bone", so maybe I will foil them longer with more juice!
  12. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Or do this and you can have them really fall off the bone.

    Smoked two hours then 1 hour in the DO


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