Crispy ribs

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by hognut, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. hognut

    hognut Newbie

    I'm new to smoking. My question is about dry ribs. I followed the 2-2-1 in a wood smoker. The ribs were tender, smokey, and overall tasted ok. However, e outside was black & a little crispy. My temperature was almost exact. I wonder if it could have been caused by to much smoke. I use more wood than charcoal. Comments and help is welcomed.
  2. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    How much sugar is in your rub and did you spray or mop the ribs while they were cooking? Too much sugar,especially white and brown sugar, can carmelize and give you a black crust. The sugar in a mop or spray will do the same thing.
  3. davidhef88

    davidhef88 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What are you using to monitor your temps? Have they been tested for accuracy using a boiling water check?
  4. hognut

    hognut Newbie

    I have a temp gauge built in the door
  5. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  6. davidhef88

    davidhef88 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sounds like your temps are higher than you think. Factory therms are notorious for being off. Have you checked it against a therm that has been testes in boiling water?
  7. lu1847

    lu1847 Smoking Fanatic

    You may want to check your temp gauge in the door for accuracy. Lots of smokers and grills come with factory temp gauges that aren't very reliable. I know on my grill it can be off by more than 70 degrees. The one on my smoker is off by 20-30. If you can remove it to test it in boiling water you should. It should read around 212 in boiling water. You may be surprised. Good luck.
  8. hognut

    hognut Newbie

    Should smoking be done with a little wood and more charcoal? How much wood is to much?
  9. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Almost exactly what temp?
    Not every problem is a temp control/thermometer problem, If his ribs were overcooked why did he describe them as tender after a 2-2-1 cook? If they were overcooked the bones should be falling out of the meat, don't you think? I still say too much sugar applied in the rub and during the cook.

    Hognut, can you tell us the procedure you followed including amount and kind of sugar in the rub, whether you mopped or sprayed the ribs and with what and what you used in the foil with the ribs during that phase.

    Too much smoke will not make your ribs black and crispy.

    What kind of wood did you use?
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  10. davidhef88

    davidhef88 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    He also described them as dry. The only reason I was going toward temp was the fact I have never had the sugar turn crunchy at low temps on a relatively short cook, especially with two hours in foil. Temps can not be ruled out until we know what the temps were and what was taking them.
  11. hognut

    hognut Newbie

    Temp was held as close to 225 as possible. I don't think the rub had a lot of sugar. It was 5 Pepper Blend by McCormick.
  12. goinforbroke

    goinforbroke Smoke Blower

    Ribs are, IMO, something you smoke without assuming temps, or relying on them.  And time is relative and bending here.   We know it needs to be at least 225, but after a while it just goes by feel.  I foil after some decent pullback from the bone, and unwrap based on the sort of tenderness that I'm expecting.   And that expectation has a built-in intuitiveness that knows I still want some crust, which also doesn't involve them falling apart when they come off.  Or to be really dry and devoid of moisture.    In an order of importance, I look for tenderness during a foil, and always know that I can get a crust, even at the last few minutes, by getting really close to the fire.. assuming you're working with a fire (or coals).   To some degree, I guess you could say that one-half of my process is moisture/tenderness management, and the second is dryness/crust management.   Smoke penetration is assumed. 
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
    bruno994 likes this.
  13. hognut

    hognut Newbie

    I used apple juice when wrapped in foil
  14. hognut

    hognut Newbie

    The wood I used wasn't a particular kind. I know it wasn't pine or anything like that.
  15. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    :welcome1: to SMF!!! We're happy you found us! You've come to the right place, we have over 45,000 members who just love to share their experience and over 900,000 posts describing it!

    The search bar at the top can be your best friend when you are trying to find answers to your questions but you can still ask too if you want!

    Would you do us a favor and add your location to your profile, it helps others to know where you are when they offer advice, Thanks!

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  16. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Not trying to start a fire, the initial post had little info. I have had black on my ribs using brown sugar and cooking at low temps.

    The 5 pepper blend from McCormicks seems to be mostly salt and chili powder with bits of other ingredients, that and a smokey atmosphere may get them black to a degree, crispiness may be a result of actual temp higher than was indicated by your themometer as stated by the others. 
  17. hognut

    hognut Newbie

    Ok thanks for the input. I'll check my gauge to ensure accuracy.
  18. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    [​IMG]  to SMF!  We are so glad you joined us! Practice makes perfect for your tastes!  You will get there...and your ribs will be wonderful!

    You will soon get addicted to this site!

    If you need any help roaming around the forums....just holler!  Happy to help out!

  19. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    Depending on the type of smoker you are using, the temp at the door (gauge) could be 50 degrees off from the center of the rack.  I have some minor leakes around the bottom of my door on my RF and the door gauges will be showing right around 200, when my Maverick is showing 240-250 in the center of the bottom grate. 

    As far as dry, crusty, but tender ribs, it could be from too high temps, less meaty ribs, could be that last hour back on the smoker to finish the 2-2-1 method, for the most part, maybe only a half hour is needed for that stage.  Might have built up that crust during that stage. 

    Goinforbroke, well done on the post on how to cook ribs (gonna throw you some points for that post!).  I agree with you completely.  Rib cooks have specific time frames and signs that I am looking for during the cook.  Cooking comps I mainly cook spares, so it's a modified 3-2-1.  I look for pull back on the meat from the bones, but for the most part at the 3 hour mark at 250, I have what I'm looking for as far as color and the pull back everytime, so I foil at the 3 hour mark, now when it come to the 2 stage, I do the toothpick test, if I'm at a comp, it's cook 'em until they nearly fall off the bone (you got to cook them tender here in Texas, they only take samples with a plastic fork and knife) if I'm at home, it's usually at the 1 1/2 hour mark, the toothpick should easily slide through the meat with little resistance, when this happens, they are ready for a light glaze or sauce, then back on usually only for a half hour or so.   
  20. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Good smoke on right. Too much on left.

    Being you did a 2-2-1, gotta guess you were doing baby backs ribs? Sometimes I back off to more of a 2 -2- .5 if they are not the bigger meaty ones. 

    As you said, check your gauges, watch too much sugar in the rub.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013

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