No more 225˚. I'm a convert.

Discussion in 'Pork' started by mdboatbum, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'd been wanting to try doing ribs at a higher temperature. Finally got around to it this week. 275˚ for a little over 2 hours, then foiled for an hour or so, then another 45 minutes or so without foil. BOOM, nailed it!! No fatty taste, moist and juicy with just the right tug. Plenty of smoke flavor as well. Granted, I was using Hickory chunks, so I'm not sure if a milder wood would be the same, but I think it would probably be ok.

    So it takes less time and renders the fat much better. I'm extremely pleased with the results. Sorry no pics, but we were with friends and I didn't have a chance to take any.
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Your plan sounds interesting. I have not gone above 250*...JJ
  3. kryinggame

    kryinggame Smoking Fanatic

    What type of ribs did you use?

    What equipment did you use? Grill or Smoker.

    Which rib did you use?
  4. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sorry, forgot to mention they were St. Louis Spares. All natural, not enhanced. I applied a basic rub (spog, paprika and cumin plus a couple other things, can't remember exactly) the day before. Smoked on my mini WSM.
  5. kryinggame

    kryinggame Smoking Fanatic

    I'm going to give this a try in my MES. I usually smoke btwn 225 - 230. To be honest, I've never been thrilled with the outcome but friends love it.  I usually use Jeff's rub but the last time, I added to much cumin and it my opinion, it ruined the ribs. It has a thick grainy taste.e

    Thanks for the post!
  6. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The one thing that was bugging me about my ribs was the fat. It seemed no matter what I did, at lower temps I just wasn't getting it to render out. If I went longer, it'd break down the meat too much. I was getting the overall texture I wanted, but there was still just too much fat. I, like many of you on here I suspect, was afraid to deviate too much from the old stand by 225˚ Now I will say one thing. I did 3 racks. 2 were dead on perfect, but the 3rd one, which was maybe 20% less meaty, was a little over done for my taste. Pretty much "fall off the bone". So there is still no substitute for watching VERY carefully during the last cooking phase.
    nickthebeast likes this.
  7. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I know a lot of the competition people cook at the higher temp.  Normally I cook ribs with the butts and brisket I have going on so I use the lower temps but when doing ribs by themselves I'll try the 275 - 280 temps

    thanks for the post
  8. kryinggame

    kryinggame Smoking Fanatic

    Now that I've had my coffee and I'm now fully awake, I read your posting again. The problem that I always have with ribs is fat. I hate biting into ribs and tasting the fat. I think you nailed it. You're not gonna get rid of the fat at low and slow. I just took a rack out of the freezer. Tomorrow, I'm going to put your theory to the test. Since I have an MES smoker and it will only go to 275, I'm going to smoke the rack at 275 to test it.

    I do a lot of ribs but I'm never 100% satisfied and I think this is the reason why. 

    Thanks for the education!
  9. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Haha, not so sure I'd call it education. I hope it works out for you. I have only one example so far, but the ribs did seem as fatty before smoking as the others I've been getting lately. I'm going to try again this weekend if my wife will let me back in the meat dept. at Costco:) She's been a trooper, but we've been having a lot of ribs and chicken lately. Let me know how yours goes!
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  10. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    HI All I had the same problem with ribs being fatty/greasy both with Back Backs and St Louis ribs. Last time I smoked BB's at higher temps above 250,with apple wood chunks, DIDN'T foil.

    Cooked for 6 hrs after 3 hrs I sprized with apple cider vinegar & apple juice every 1/2 hour. Came out much better my previous attempts. I have a Master Forge Electric vertical smoker the cheap kind.

    I have 2 racks of St Louis I'm going to try next using the same method.


    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  11. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    I agree with the fattyness (is that even a word), I love ribs but I hate all the fat. I'm going to try the higher temp next time, Thanks for letting me know about this!
  12. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You guys kill me!

    I've been struggling trying to learn how to manage the temp in my mini-WSM. I haven't been able to keep it under 350* . . . until yesterday, that is! I changed out the pie pan heat sink for a 12" flower pot saucer filled with water. I also started with about 10 lit coals and about 15 unlit around them and 4 or 5 chunks of hickory. I put the ET-73 smoker probe through a piece of poplar and sync'd the XMIT/REC. The Maverick went up to 215* and hung there for quite a bit but the thermometer I put through the side of my tamale pot showed a touch over 300*. The 2 units have never been calibrated and were about 4" apart vertically. After about an hour, I put in about 10 more unlit briquettes and noticed that the water was disappearing. I think the stall was all about converting the heat to steam because as the water converted the temps rose.

    I smoked at 200-225* for about 2.5 hours then foiled with apple juice and capful of apple cider vinegar and left them on for another 1-1.5 hours and let the temp drop back down. I then unwrapped and put them on the grate with the temp about 100* for another 1/2 hour. The couple of bits I tasted were good. We will eat them tonight along with a rack I did last Wednesday at about 300* because I couldn't control the heat with that pie pan.

    I'll report back if I can tell any difference in the 2 racks.
  13. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The flower pot saucer with no water really does make it dig right in at 225˚. Which Smokey Joe do you have, the Gold or Silver?
  14. ecto1

    ecto1 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I never had trouble with fat and I cook mine at 225.  Now I do trim as much fat off as I can before I cook them. There is more than one way to skin this cat so what works for you is what is best for you.  I know I will never cook a chicken under 350 again.
  15. This seems in line with what the local BBQ joint guys are doing...they also seem to have good success without the foiling (I guess when you're doing that many, it becomes impractical) if you wanna experiment... ;)
  16. kryinggame

    kryinggame Smoking Fanatic

    hey all,
    I followed the advice and cooked a rack of st. louis ribs in my MES today but I cooked/smoked it at 275 degrees. What a difference it made--I to am now a convert. I'll confess, I did overcook them a bit but theyre not bad. I put them in a bit after 11:30 this morning and then went to services. At 4 hours, I sprayed with apple juice (I don't know why I didnt do th bend test). Then I checked it at the 5th hour and it broke in half. I know this is a debated issue but at 225 degrees, I never got pull-back and was never impressed with the flavor. Again, I use an electric smoker (perhaps its different on a grill). But at 275, I think the meat comes out nearly perfect--at least what I consider good ribs.

    Next week, I'm going to experiment again but since I'm smoking at a higher temperature, I'm going to start watching it closely after th 3rd hour.

    Thanks all!
  17. danbono

    danbono Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    HI All Smoked 2 racks of St Louis ribs yesterday. Used the higher temps were not as good as my 1st try at higher temps 250/280.

    The ribs were fall off the bone , but on the dry side..Either I cooked them too long about 7 hrs, or tried this time with sand in the water pan. I foiled 1 rack for 2 1/2 hrs still both were on the dry side.

    Next time back to the water pan for moisture, other  wise a good tasting rib. I use cherry wood this time.

  18. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'd say you definitely overcooked them. At 275˚ mine are done in under 4 hours. Water in the pan makes very little difference in the overall moisture of your food. It's there as a heat sink. The sand will work as well or better in that regard.
  19. I was nervous because when I tested my new smoker, I just couldn't get it down anywhere near the 225 that is usually suggested. After reading your thread I just went ahead and did my first pork butt at around the 270-280 range, and it turned out incredible. I am a newbie, but I will definitely go this route again in the future.
  20. jds22

    jds22 Smoke Blower

    Newbie question. I see that you used St. Louis spare ribs. If I was going to use baby backs, should I still shoot for a temp of 275? How long would you suggest I cook them?

    I'm going to attempt ribs for my first time this Saturday so I'm trying to gather as much info as possible.


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