Dry Pork Ribs Help

Discussion in 'Pork' started by mike323, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. mike323

    mike323 Newbie

    Hi All,

    I attempted my first rib smoke this weekend. I used the 3-2-1 method following all of the steps including adding apple juice in step two. The meatier half of the ribs tasted great however the other half of the rack (thinner half) was very dry.  Any suggesting on what I could do to improve this.  Was thinking of spraying apple juice on during the first 3 hours may help moisten them. Maybe too much smoke? Only use cherry wood for the first 3 hours. Water pan was full also. Any help would be great.  

    Thank you for all of your support.

    Mike 323
  2. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Did you have a water pan in during the smoke?   That'll keep temps stable and keep humidity up during the smoke = less drying out, IMHO & experience.  BTW, were those spares or baby backs?  Spares are 3-2-1, BBR's are 2-2-1.
  3. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    3-2-1 usually produces wetter and more fall off the bone ribs than I like.  My other half likes them that way.

    If you got dry ribs with 3-2-1?  I would first check and verify pit temps?  Then technique?

    Good luck and good smoking.
  4. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

  5. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I want to know how hot was your smoker???? Then may I ask did you have a thermo meter in the smoker or are you going by the temp meter that came with your smoke???? Never depend on the store supplied thermo meter unit. They are right so rarely they we say mot to go by them at all. That could be the reason behind your dry ribs. maybe.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What kind of smoker do you have? Most smokers have a hot spot in them & if you had the thin end toward the hot spot that would explain it.
  7. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Also, did you peel the membrane from the back of the ribs?  By leaving it on, it is very dry and like a cellophane on one side of the ribs, making them harder to chew and taste drier than what they actually are and doesn't allow the moisture of the meat to contact your tongue or tastebuds.

    Now, dang it all, you'll just have to keep cooking more and more of them.... lol!  Be sure to record any changes you make in your smoking log!
  8. mike323

    mike323 Newbie

    The unit is a MES 30in from bass pro shop. The set temp was 225 and maintains though out the process, however the only reading I had was from the included control unit. It could have been running hotter not sure. The ribs were trimmed and the membrane was removed. I placed both half racks of ribs side-by-side on the mid tray. I also has the water pan full the whole time.

    I think its time for a thermo unit. I been reading up about the Maverick 732. Is that any good?

    Thank you guys for all the good information.

    Mike 323    
  9. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yeah -- sounds like a thermo issue.... Everything else sounds like you did it right.  I'll ask again because it will make a difference: spares or babybacks?
  10. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    MES probes are notorius for being off 10 -15 degrees .some high some low and some are very close to dead on. The et73 or et732 are both great thermos.
  11. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Wow never had dry ribs using 3-2-1, sorry no help. I think others may have hit the problem with the thermometer idea.
  12. hambcastle

    hambcastle Newbie

    I am having similar problems with my ribs. Specifically I have noticed that the "white meat"parts of the ribs are a little on the dry side, although still edible.  The darker meat areas are perfect.  I'm already thinking I'm oversmoking everything, and the only reason I'm not burning the rub on these is due to the 2-2-1 method.  I'm also wondering if the Kirkland Signature baby back loin ribs have anything to do with it.  They already remove the silver skin for you which is nice.  But I am wondering if other ribs may have less "white meat" sections.
  13. +1

    to some degree, this is inevitable...that degree, of course, is highly dependent on experience...

    most of the big reasons are covered above...once you iron those out, you'll probably be happy--at my table some like the 'jucier' sections, some like the 'crustier' sections and it works out...

    If however, they have to be more consistent, you can experiment with trimming prior to (heck, even after!) cooking...
  14. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

     I think the problem is due to the "thinness" of some sections of the meat. It obviously gets done sooner. White meat also gets done quicker than dark meat. When I am doing ribs, I have to cut the sections in two, due to the GOSM not being able to handle a full rack. The thinner section will not get a full 3-2-1.  Adjust the time for you taste and doneness.

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