Originally Posted by tbonez
Really good advice in this thread..I really appreciate it! I think Im going to cook one rack at a time until I get this down. Its hard to drop $40-50 and kill the ribs.
Been there; done that; too many times!!!
El Ropo is dead on; a $5 WallyWorld oven thermometer on the grate is cheap and extremely effective. What you'll find is that while calibrated, your dome thermometer is X degrees higher or lower than your surface. At that time you'll be able to use it as a gauge (knowing it's actually X degrees high or low).
Either way, 220 produces leather. Get those temps somewhere from 250 to 300 (wont hurt as Ropo says to go a little over 300, but too far over and you're not rendering the fat but frying it) and let 'er rip.
You dont have to foil. It does however help in a) reducing/regulating smoke on the ribs, and b) keeping/adding moisture.
I'm also not against spares; but I do prefer babybacks. The reason that I prefer babybacks is that I hate, and I mean I HATE pork fat in ribs... Spare ribs are notoriously more fatty. Nothing wrong with that; many people prefer them for this very reason.