Help... Am I about to ruin these ribs?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by mrflufalufagus, Jun 21, 2015.

  1. First time smoker and I broke out my new MES40 ysterday, seasoned it according to the directions and tested out on a couple chicken leg quarters. I just used chips and they came out pretty well. Well enough for me to test out some ribs for the family.

    Here's the deal, I set the smoker to 225 and have 2 racks of ribs on both of the top shelves with the AMNPS down on the drip tray. They have only been on for about 1.5 hrs but the internal temp already shows 145. I read that pork ribs should cook until about 185 IT but that should take 6-7 hours at 230.

    Am I cooking them too fast, should I have put them on the bottom 2 racks instead of up higher where all the heat is?

    If so, should I go out and move them down a couple racks to try and save them?

    I'll add some pictures in a follow on post here shortly.
  2. Trying out Jeff's rub recipe


    Smoker setup


    AMNPS location


    Blurry picture of probe info (I did not test/calibrate any of the probes before use)

    1. 207 (Top grill probe) 2. 144 (Top rib rack) 3. 145 (Bottom rib rack) 4. 189 (Bottom grill probe)

  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Those are the two racks I would use #1 and #2.

    I can't help you with internal temp, I smoke ribs by time & appearance. Hard to find a place to stick ribs for accuracy.

    Somebody else might be able to help you there.

  4. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Howdy Fluff

    You should cook those type ribs at 225. Cook them 3 hours on the grate.  Then wrap them in foil and back into your MES for another 2 hours.  Then unwrap them and back in the MES for one more hour. 3_2_1 method.

    It's difficult to take the IT of ribs. The bones conduct heat faster than the meat.  If you follow the method above, you won't mess up. 

  5. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    One more thing.  Just to make sure that the temp set is not off in your machine you should test it with another thermometer. It's not entirely unusual for the internal temp of the MES to be different than what the power panel says that it is . ( Speaking from experience here) b
  6. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I tryed foiling, I went back to tried and true, just cook the suckers low and slow till you get the proper break back when lifting them.
  7. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That will work too brother Kev!  Dang... Getting kind of hungry for ribs now.... b
  8. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    What Bear said ........

    I do same as he does.
  9. damon555

    damon555 Smoking Fanatic

    As mentioned don't bother trying to take the temp of the ribs....Also you need an accurate external thermometer to verify how accurate your built in therm is......they've been known to be very inaccurate. 
  10. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    I have had the MES for many years  on my third one now, If you set the cooking temp  at 225. You could be cooking anywhere from 200 - 250 degrees.

     You should get a thermometer that you can calibrate w/ boiling water and check the mes readout to this thermometer. . Check it thru a complete cooking cycle as the mes may be 20 degrees off at lower temps and only 5 degrees off at higher temps or it could be reversed.
  11. How were they. It's been over seven hours tell us about your cook.   Jted
  12. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yeah that!  What happened? Howed they turn out? 
  13. Well, I guess my auto notifications for this post didn't work. I never got any notifications so I didn't see any of your replies until now.

    Ribs turned out ok, smoker was set on 230 and they cooked for 4.5 hours and then finished off of the grill. The flavor was great and they were tender enough, just not quite how I wanted them to turn out. They definitely needed some more time on the smoker I made sure they were thoroughly cooked. IT was 180 after pulling off the grill.

    I took pictures and notes along the way but didn't think to snap a picture after cutting them.


    I learned some lessons the hard way, even though you all posted most of the information here [​IMG]  But all in all I would call my first racks of ribs a success and a good start.

    The main thing I figured out is to not be as concerned with the temp on the ribs and the rest is simple. I've got some kinks to work out with my AMNPS setup and found out that my true cooking temp between racks 1 and 3 is a consistent 20-40 lower than the unit readout, I figure it's due to the location of the actual sensor because when I used the built-in probe it was measuring almost spot-on with my Maverick.

    I came across the 3-2-1 method and I will give that a try. I like my ribs tender but with a good amount of bite to them so I will have to see how the foiling turns out.

    I learned about the heat cycle from Bear's post and that was a big help in understanding the temperature fluctuations.

    Thanks everyone for the information, even though it fell on deaf ears at the time.

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