Rib problem- Tough exterior

Discussion in 'Pork' started by kramer, May 21, 2008.

  1. My ribs always seem tender on the inside but tough on the outside any help please. I normally do a 3-2-1. Thanks!!!
  2. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    do you spritz?
    when i do ribs, i do the 2-2-1 method.....maybe you mite give that atry
  3. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    also kramer.......drop by roll call and introduce yourself.......tell us abit about you, your type of smoker.........how long you been smoking, etc.

    also sign up for Jeff's FREE 5-day ecourse

    and DON"T forget q-view

    once again, welcome
  4. I start spraying them after the first or second hour on the smoker with apple juice.
  5. brianj517

    brianj517 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Perhaps you already know this, but since I don't see it mentioned specifically...Did you remove the membrane from the inside curved surface of the ribs? This very important step, if overlooked, will pretty much always result in tough chewy ribs.

  6. Yes I do take the membrane off. Should I start spraying them earlier in the smoke and more often?
  7. brianj517

    brianj517 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Definitely wait until at least an hour into the smoke before spritzing to let the rub (bark) set a bit. Any earlier and you'll risk rinsing off the good stuff.

    OK. so you're removing the membrane...that's good. My next advice is to let the racks come to room temp before placing in the smoker. Placing cold meat straight from the fridge onto smoker just "shocks" the meat and the results are often tough. This applies to direct grilling, as well.

    Next... make sure your smoker is maintaining consistent temps of no more than 225* to 230*. Ribs cooked at higher temps cook to quickly and also become tough. These guys really benefit from the low & slow.

    Lastly, if all else fails, try buying your ribs from a different source. Some retailers have been known to sell meats from older/larger animals for increased volume but often substandard quality.

    Good luck on your next attempt, don't give up, your results will get better, guaranteed!

  8. capt dan

    capt dan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Exactly, I couldn't have said it better
  9. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have experienced the same thing at times. Lately I use the 2-3-1 method. And I never let the temp go beyond 225, watr pan is always full. Hope this helps.
  10. ron50

    ron50 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I agree the meat may be the culprit. We are talking spares not back backs right?

    I cook ribs at 250 and never have had a tough rack. Anywhere between 225 and 250 and you should be fine.

    The 3-2-1 times are guidelines. Although ribs can't really be cooked to temperature like most other meats, you can learn to tell when they are done by their appearance; how the meat pulls back from the bone and how they bend when you lift them from the grate.
  11. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I always use the finger touch, if your finger goes between the bone easily ther'e done. Then lick finger.
  12. Yes I'm talking spares not baby backs. I do buy from different places.
    I have so many bbq/smoking books and I'm getting frustrated.
    How often do you guys spritz once every 30 mins or 60 mins. Are fresh ribs normally better then the ones that come in the cryovac packaging?
    I have a smoke hollow smoker and keep the water pan filled so there should be plenty of moisture in there. I put an extra thermometer in the vent at the level of the ribs to watch the temp. It seems like I'm doing everything right??????
  13. placebo

    placebo Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When you put them in the foil do you give them a good spritzing before sealing up the foil? Also is your smoke thin and blue?
  14. roscoe dog

    roscoe dog Fire Starter

    What I do with ribs is to cook them pretty much all the way then take them off and let cool just a tad. Wrap them tight in plastic wrap and then seal them in a foil pack and put back on the grill (indirect) for about another hour. They will come out fall off the bone tender. The plastic wrap will not melt. A friend that is a chef showed me this trick.
  15. Yes I usually pour apple juice into the foil and have tried putting the ribs face down and face up just to try different things. Like I said the ribs are very tender and moist on the inside just not on the outside. I just don't like the tougher exterior.
    I also struggle with not enough smoke flavor but I know too much is BAD that happened one time!!!
    Boy this experimenting is getting expensive!!!!
  16. placebo

    placebo Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well maybe its time to take a break and do some pulled pork. Its much less expensive and considerably more forgiving. Maybe stepping away from ribs for a cook or two will give your brain a chance to sort through what could be causing the tough exterior. Whenever mine are a little tough on the outside I just smother it with Louisianna hot sauce!
  17. 13spicerub

    13spicerub Meat Mopper

    when you go to foil them, put some apple juice in the foil. this will braise the ribs, they should be nice and tender when you pull them out.
  18. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    maybe too much sugar in your rub?.......i know i have had butts with barq so hard, took a jackhammer to break it

    also........too MUCH smoke flavor?.........i have NEVER had that problem.....i love smoke flavor, but that is me.........some don't like a heavy smoke flavor......but i also use apple wood for my smoke flavoring on ribs........maybe you used a wood that was too bitter, when it got heavy, like mesquite will do

    like i said earlier........maybe back off to a 2-2-1 smoke...........i do that now

    i also cook mine at 250........spray after one hour with aj and spiced rum then spray when i foil, i don't wrap in saran wrap, just str8 foil........2 hours in foil, then one hour to firm up.........jeff's rub..........this is in a ecb gourmet.........i suspect myself, too tuff a barq from the rub......maybe cut back on the sugar abit...........just a thought

  19. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If all else fails, try this method........

    By imn88fan
  20. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I just threw up in my mouth...........a lot.

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