What Happened to My Ribs?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by tonyroberts, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. tonyroberts

    tonyroberts Newbie

    I acquired an electric Brinkman several months ago, and I've been waiting for some decent weather to try it out on some ribs. I've been reading these forums regularly and and a good plan of attack for some 2-2-1 baby backs. This past weekend seemed like the right moment.

    While I was smoking, I thought I'd throw on a fatty. The q-view of those looked so good. Anyway, preparing and smoking the fatty (stuffed with cheese and onions) went well and the result looked beautiful. I never had so much fun cooking.


    So, on to the ribs, the main reason for the smoke. The smoker was running at 250, and I followed the 2-2-1 routine as prescribed, using a batch of Jeff''s rub. When the ribs came out, they looked great.


    The only problem I saw was was at the right end where the last 2-3 ribs were really charred and were all black and bubbly. It didn't look like I could serve those, so I cut them off, set them aside and plated the remainder.

    The ribs I served were OK, but were not as tender as I had hopped. After dinner, I took a bite of the charred ribs and found them to be perfect. They were tender and juicy and didn't taste charred at all.

    So, are the good ribs supposed to look that nasty? Any idea why just the right end of the rack cooked that way and not the rest? Did I need more apple juice during the foiling stage?

    I'm sure I'll be giving this another shot soon and appreciate any advice.

    BTW, I also smoked a pan of Dutch's beans and have to say kudos and thanks for that recipe. It was a big hit.
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Tony welcome to SMF glad you decided to join in. Thats a great looking fatty for sure [​IMG] I'm sorry to say it could be several different things that affected the outcome. Smoking at 250 is going to give a little different results than at 225. I suspect that you will need to shorten all the numbers a bit when cooking at 250 especially the last hour. Did you seal the foil well so it didn't loose the juice? How did they look/feel coming out of the foil after the 2-2? When you took them off the smoker after the 2-2-1 how did they look/feel?
  3. davidmcg

    davidmcg Meat Mopper

    Tony, did you have water or sand in the drip pan? Did ya spray them while they were smoking? Also could have been the ribs were too lean. You need a good mix of fat in there to keep them internally moist and balanced. Best thing I could suggest is go back at it again and lower the temp to 215 to 225. Best thing you can do when your unhappy with the results is go back at it and try it again. No 2 smoking sessions are ever the same and we all get less than desireable results. Been smoking for 25 years, give or take a year, and it still happens from time to time. In the beginning my stuff was less than what it is now. A month ago I messed up some ribs, got the temps way out of whack.

    I have an electric Brinkman as well. In the winter time it works much better if I wrap it in a welding blanket. That thin metal is not good for holding heat and moisture, especially on ribs. The electric Brinkman in my mind does better on shorter in length items like fatties and butts. Same holds true for the charcoal ECB
  4. tonyroberts

    tonyroberts Newbie

    Thanks, Pinewoods. Interesting questions. Yes, the foil was well sealed. As for how the ribs felt/looked, I'm not sure how to answer. I'm a first timer at this, so I don't have a frame of reference. They looked good, but I don't remember how they felt.

    What should I be looking for after the 2-2 and the 2-2-1?

  5. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I had a similar issue when I was first experimenting where I put too much apple juice in the foil and I smoked it a little too long and probalby a little too hot and the ends got pretty crispy and bad looking where it was in the juice in the foil. Make sure you seal up the foil good and I always like to spritz (spray) them with apple juice or anything sweet durning the first 2-3 hours.
  6. tonyroberts

    tonyroberts Newbie

    David, the pan was full of water, and yes, I did spray a couple times during the smoke. Unfortunately, I have no temp control in the smoker. It seems to run at 250 pretty consistently.

    You can bet that I will try again, that's why I'm trying to gather some additional information. Thanks for the help.
  7. tonyroberts

    tonyroberts Newbie

    That makes sense. The interesting thing in my case is that the bad-looking ends were the most tasty. I'm assuming I should be able to get tender ribs that don't look that nasty. Can't wait to give it another try.
  8. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    After the first 2 you should have a little pull back on the end of the bones maybe 1/8 -1/4" and they should still be pretty stiff then after they come out of the foil after the second 2 they should be quite soft and almost flimsy then the last 1 should firm them back up some and they should have a nice bend to them. If the smoker is going to run at 250 I would shorten all the numbers. Its kind of a matter of trying different times until you get them the way you want them. The rub turning dark and looking black is more than likely form too much time at the temps and the sugar in the rub caramelizing and burning
  9. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sometimes the meat under the burnt stuff retains it's fat and therefore stays moist. Don't make yourself believe that any temp you get is the same all around the smoker. The sides and the middle can differ quite a bit.
    I have alot of experience with pork back ribs and I just made some of the driest in my time. They had a generouse portion of loin meat on them and I let them go for an additional 45 minutes while i finished a project. The loin meat towards the end dried up while the rest of the rib meat was just perfect.
    Bottom line, get some more more and try again...

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