Spare ribs way too tender

Discussion in 'Pork' started by mike nwpa, May 26, 2014.

  1. I smoked spare ribs today using 3-2-1 method in my electric smoker at around 220.  I marinated all night then on the smoker this morning.  The flavor was good but they were way too fall of the bone tender.  This did not seem right.  What should I have changed or done differently to firm them up?
  2. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Simple answer is less time in the foil next time.    When wrapped, the ribs are basically being steamed / braised.   If done for too long, you end up with mush.
    Last edited: May 26, 2014
  3. davidhef88

    davidhef88 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Are you sure you were around 220*? Has your thermometer been tested in boiling water or an ice bath.
    demosthenes9 likes this.
  4. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    As said before?

    The 3-2-1 method is used as a starting point for many.

    Less time in the foil and more time in the "1" portion is what many come down to.

    Others like no foil time.

    The rib that is perfect for you is an endeavor.

    Keep at it, you will get there!

    Good luck and good smoking.
  5. davidhef88

    davidhef88 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I usually go 3-1.5-1.5. Just make sure your temps are where you think they are.
  6. I wouldnt marinate them.
  7. ps0303

    ps0303 Meat Mopper

    I second this....
  8. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I do a dry rub the night before. 

    You will learn how to look at the ribs as they cook and not depend on the times so much.   Just like we can't give firm times for butts and briskeys we can't give firm times on ribs.   The first 3 hours is to pick up smoke, this is not a firm time.  I generally leave them on the smoker until they are nicely colored and starting to dry.  Then I foil them with a bit of liquid and additional seasoning.  They stay in the foil until the meat pulls back from the bone.   The foil stage is a good place to hold ribs when trying to time them for serving

    About 3/4 hour before serving remove from the foil,  toss onto a hot grate or smoker with a bit of sauce and finish cooking

    Good Luck
  9. brooksy

    brooksy Master of the Pit

    Try doing them without foiling or marinading. Give them a coat of rub a couple of hours before you throw them in the smoker and cook till they pass the tear test.
  10. danbury

    danbury Smoking Fanatic

    Were these ribs of the "enhanced" kind?  Hormel brand or similar?  If they were, then that will contribute to to that result, but I do have to agree there may be too much foil time.

    I won't go near any pork or other meat than knowingly has been enhanced.  Pork ribs and other cuts will end up tasting like ham.

    Look at the label(s) and look for a line similar to "This product was enhanced with a xxx% solution.. bla bla bla".  

    In my experience, Regular Walmart stores have enhanced pork where as for some reason the Sam's Club by me does not.  
    Last edited: May 31, 2014
  11. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    What was in the marinade. Vinegar or any pineapple juice?
    I'm with the others on this. Don't marinate.
    Less time in foil. Rub just prior to cooking

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