Need some advice on how my First St. Louis Ribs turned out

Discussion in 'Pork' started by red beard, May 11, 2016.

  1. I used the 3-2-1 method that I have read about.

    1. Rinsed the ribs in cold water.

    2. Rubbed on some mustard

    3. Rubbed on some Prime Rib Rub (got it from Cabelas)

    4. Fired up the smoker to 225, used Hickory pellets

    5. After smoker reached temp I put the 3 full racks on.

    6. After 3 hours took ribs off, put some brown sugar, honey and butter on both sides and wrapped in heavy duty foil.

    7. After 2 hours removed ribs from foil and placed back on smoker grill for 45mins-1hr. 

    8.  Pulled off the smoker and cut into individual ribs, served

    They had a good taste, though I think it could be better.  But the biggest issue was they were not as "tender" as I wanted them.

    Where did I go wrong, or what can I do to make them better?

    Thanks in advance


    Green Mountain Grill - Daniel Boone
  2. If you are like me, I can't judge my cooking until the next day.  If I smoke a pork loin or ribs or whatever and taste it when it's ready to serve it the thing won't taste right to me.  Everyone else likes it but not me.  The next day after I get the smoke out of my sinuses, lungs, etc. it will taste great.

    Let family members you trust judge your cooking and then go from there.
  3. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Longer in the foil with liquid if you want them to be more tender. Try putting a little apple juice or water in the foil.
    cats49er likes this.
  4. Are you using an accurate thermometer?

    Do a quick test...

    Once in a glass of ice and water...near 32*?

    Then again in boiling water...near 212*?  

    Your elevation will give slight differences in the results.

    Did you try the bend test on the ribs? Lifting with a set of tongs, from the end, to see if the ribs split and crack?

    Just some ideas... 
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    If they are tough they are not done.

    It's that simple.

  6. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Tough??? We're the ribs tough or just not as tender as you wanted them? Wide range.

  7. As for the taste that is pretty subjective as everyone has personal preferences. Although I would say it looks like you used prime rib rub which would normally be used with beef, not pork. Might have something to do with it there.

    As far as tenderness goes like hillbilly said a little longer in the foil and try some liquid. Lots of great options and can enhance the flavor as well.
  8. Thanks! Yes I will try some liquid in there (probably apple juice).

    They weren't tough just not as tender as I hoped. I really would like to get them pretty close to the local BBQ joints as possible.
  9. I did nothing but St Louis style last year. Same thing here...they weren't tough, just not as tender as I would have liked. Baby backs come out more tender than st Louis in my opinion.
  10. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Sounds like they just didn't cook long enough. You did everything right!
  11. stickyfingers

    stickyfingers Smoking Fanatic

    In a nut shell, your temp was a littler too low. Try the same method at 250-275....they'll be perfect.
  12. Thanks here is a pic of them. Going to try again tomorrow

  13. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    They sure look good from here!

  14. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Never pulled anything out of a smoker that I couldn't eat...

  15. lancep

    lancep Master of the Pit

    How were the slabs coming out of the foil? I smoke St. Louis almost exclusively and they are usually about to fall apart coming out of the foil. If that's the case, try dialing back the amount of time on the grill after foiling. My wife likes to shake em off the bone so I go about 20-30 minutes at most. I also don't put anything in the foil either and just let them braise in their own juices. I don't know if that matters at all but it's just what I do. Good luck!!
  16. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I am with Al!  If they are not tender, you haven't cooked them long enough.  If you over cook them they will fall off the bone but still be tender.  Prankster also has given you good advice  3-2-1 is just a general guideline, an estimate if you will.  Maybe your ribs were thick, maybe your smoker therm is  a few degrees lower than you think it is.  Sounds cliche but when its done its done is good advice.  Cooking by time just doesnt give you consistent results.  Cooking by feel and internal temperature is the way to go!
  17. If you followed a recipe you have to remember that some people like them cooked with some resistance left when you bite into them.  Some people like them cooked until they're ready to fall off the bone.

    Maybe you like fall off the bone ribs and your recipe was for al dente ribs.

    Cook to the temperature for fall off the bone ribs.
  18. damon555

    damon555 Smoking Fanatic

    It's fairly easy to get fall off the bone tender ribs without wrapping them in foil.....try that next time. 7-8 hours @ 225-240 will get it done. The hard part is judging when they are done......but there are hundreds of threads on here about that so I won't go into it......How do I know?.....I've read them all! You came to the right place for advice.

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