Rib problem

Discussion in 'Masterbuilt Electric Smoker (MES) Owners' started by tyfins13, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. tyfins13

    tyfins13 Newbie

    Hi Everyone,

    So I have done ribs about 4 times now on my MES and have been disappointed every time.  I have tried the 3-2-1 method as well as just smoking them.  I smoke them at about 225 F for approximately 6 hours and they have come out really dry everytime.  I have tried liquid and no liquid in the water pan.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?  I have done pulled pork and brisket and both have turned out excellent.  I just haven't been able to produce fall off the bone moist ribs.  Any feedback is greatly appreciated.  Thanks for your help!
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    During the foiling stage of the 3-2-1 are you adding liquid before sealing the foil tight?
  3. sota d

    sota d Smoking Fanatic

    Good point, I pour on apple juice, beer, or(my fav)apple beer). Tyfins, you might also want to check out "Bears step by steps" to learn how to smoke just about anything on your MES. Good luck, David.
  4. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I just made some babybacks on mine a couple weeks ago using about 1/4 cup of liquid in the foil. Came out fantastically moist and fall off the bone. Also had water in a small bread pan during the cook, but I keep the MES waterpan filled with sand, to keep the temps stable.
  5. jaellman

    jaellman Fire Starter

    Few Questions:

    1) Are you using a rib rack or laying flat for the "out of foil" time?

    2) Where are you buying your Ribs?

    3) Where are you placing the ribs in the smoker?  Top/Middle/Bottom and Right or left?
  6. tyfins13

    tyfins13 Newbie

    Thanks for all the great feedback.  I will definitely go back and revisit the 3-2-1 method and be sure to add enough liquid while they cook in the foil.  I think this may be the part where my past ribs have went wrong.
  7. oldpro1946

    oldpro1946 Fire Starter

    Do you put sand in the water pan to avoid the large temp swings.  When I set the heat at 240, for instance, temp swings about 20 -24 degrees.  Would sand in the water pan help this?
  8. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yes, having sand as a heat sink will help stablize the temp swings. Water does too, but the drawbacks are that it evaporates, and ups the humidity inside your smoker. There are instances where you may not want added humidity; if you're trying to "crisp" chicken skin, or make salmon candy, for instance.
    Last edited: May 10, 2015
  9. oldpro1946

    oldpro1946 Fire Starter

    If you always use a heat sink would there be times when you want a water pan?   What meats would need a water pan?  Do you have large temp swings of 20 - 25 degrees without the heat sink?
  10. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yes, sometimes you want moisture in the smoker for meats that would dry out over long smokes, like ribs or brisket. Without the heat sink, MES temps do tend to swing, but that is not abnormal. This is just a simple modification you can do to avoid that.
  11. ssbaldy

    ssbaldy Fire Starter

    I have found what works for me is to not wrap them in foil (couldn't seem to get them closed tight enough) but put them in a foil pan with some apple juice and cover tightly with foil after smoking 3-4 hours. I can then continue cooking them in the MES or the house oven at 225 degrees. After about 3 hours, I then take them out and finish on the grill with some homemade sauce. The meat is moist and I still get the caramelized sauce that I like. Most people seem to like em. I did 12 racks of full cut ribs for an anniversary party, and there wasn't much left to bring home. 

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