Ribs Smokenator + 3 - 2 - 1 Method : Results = tough meat

Discussion in 'Pork' started by roareats, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. Hi All,

    Brand new here! Been reading lots of posts and finally wanted to post something and ask you seasoned smokers for some tips.

    I recently got a used Performer and also picked up a smokenator along with it.

    Now I have tried to smoke ribs twice on this but both times I have failed and had to resort in putting my semi-finished ribs into a dutch oven @ 280 - 300 and it ended up being super tender and yummy.

    There is enough smokey flavor in the ribs but its still not at the falling off the bone phase yet.

    My grilling session:

    - I started the session @ 1:30PM

    - Replenished the water and made sure I was getting a pretty decent dome temperature 220 ~ 240 throughout the whole session

    - Wrapped the ribs in tin foil and added some beer to it @ 4:30PM 

    - Took it out of the tin foil @ 7PM

    - Removed it from the grill at 8PM ( Ribs were still tough ).

    I have cooked ribs with a gas grill before and I was able to get it falling off the bone in a matter of 4 - 5 hours.

    I monitored the temperature of the dome by placing a wireless thermometer in the upper vents. My temperature is pretty constant throughout the entire smoking session - I am not sure what I am doing wrong....any one have any tips as to why this is happening?
  2. smokey mo

    smokey mo Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Welcome to the forum, don't forget to stop by Roll Call and introduce yourself.

    I am not sure what is happening,  I am sure someone will be around soon to help.  

    I have a Brinkman offset and it usually take right at 5-5 1/2 hours. Most of the time I don't foil til about 4 hours. Then let them finish off.  

    If they are very moist I will put them back on and raise the temp a bit to form them up.

    One other thing, did you remove the membrane from the back of the ribs.  It can make the ribs inedible and horribly tough if you don't get it off.

    I hope you keep at it.  My first few were graciously eaten my the family....now they are asked for by a lot of people.

    good luck.
  3. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would say that you need to check temps at grate level and also test the thermometer to see if its off. Boil water and test. That will tell you for sure.
  4. Thanks for all - I will definitely get the thermometer checked out first.

    Will keep going at it.

  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I'm curious about your definition of tough? The time spent in foil should have sufficiently broken down the connective collagen to be tender enough to have the meat gently come away from the bone with each bite but not necessarily "falling" of the bones. Was it tough end to end or just parts?...JJ
  6. When I take a bit into the meat; it is still clinging on to the bone. I agree that the time spent should have been enough to make the ribs tender.

    I would say the entire rib was tough not just the sides.
  7. smokinal

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

    [​IMG]   Glad to have you with us!

    Sounds like the cooking temp was too low, check your therm. and place it on the grate next to the meat.
  8. Depending on your taste a lot of people are looking for a slight "Tug" off the bone... Like JimmyJ I am curious if you are refering to the "Slight Tug" or are u having to rip this meat off the Bone? Most, including myself, look for the Tug and it is usualy the result from the 3-2-1 method... if you are looking for fall off the bone just by lifting the bone than you will probably want to extend your foil time... also, remeber to add liquid in your foil...Good Luck my friend!
  9. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well after checking thermometers for correctness, remember when opening the foil to check for a good pull back of the ribs from the bone. You want close to 1/2 inch or so. If it is not there yet, remember that 3-2-1 is a guideline, so you may have to adjust yourself to a 3 - 2.5 - .5 to get them where you achieve "fall off the bone".
  10. So I checked out my thermometer and it seems to be registering the right temp when water is boiling so it should be pretty accurate.

    yeah the issue is that there is not much pullback on the ribs - I am kind of regretting buying a performer + Smokenator. Since I am awaiting delivery of the AMNPS, I am find myself smoking with the AMNPS + gas since I have had success making nice baby back ribs on it.
  11. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    did you remove the membrane from the back of the ribs?
  12. Definitely removed the membrane - do that all the time.

    Sry missed that question =)

    I won't give up just yet =) - by the way, if I were to places the thermometer besides the ribs on the grill what temperature am I looking at? Most recipes call for 225 - 240F but this is on the dome where it is hotter. Am I looking for something between 205 - 225F on the grill surface?
  13. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You want a grill surface temp of 250º
  14. Perfect - that means that the dome temp will be approx 270 or so.

    Isn't that a lot higher than what is usually recommended of 225 or so?
  15. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When we talk about temps inside the chamber we generally mean grate temps. Dome temps are usually only used to judge if the smoker is going up in temp or dropping in temp, the grat temp is where the food is acutally cooking. Also since you are doing this on a grill, you may find that your grate temps are higher than you think, thus accounting for the meat cooking to hot and fast. Best thing to do is run you grill empty with one therm on the grate and one in the dome, then compare the two readings and use that as your mental adjustment when reading the dome. Also measure the grates at all 4 sides and the middle you may find you have hot spots.
  16. Its like a science! haha I have to get a new data log book
  17. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    You are right about it being a science.That why i have the einstine quote.[​IMG]
  18. I am so excited with all this new information and tips from you guys. I can't wait to heat up the grill and smoke some RIBSS!!!!

    I will update this thread on my next try. By the way what is bearview?
  19. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well if you listen to Bearcarver that would be where you vacuum seal your smoked meat and overnight it to him for his re-"view".... LOL.

    No... it's the nickname we gave of that close up shot of the slice/pulled chunk of meat or plate. The one that makes you drool and lick your screen... lol.
  20. smokey mo

    smokey mo Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    You have the right attitude.  Smokem if you gottem...

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