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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Unread 06-11-2013, 04:41 PM   #1
Atlasman
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Default Frustrated with the rib guessing game

Arrrrrrrrrrrggggghhhhhh!!!!


Still new to the game and I'm sure everyone goes through these struggles but I'm almost ready to whip my ribs under the tires of my RV for traction.

Most frustrating of all is I will hammer out an excellent rack of ribs,.....spot on perfect, then unfoil the ones right next to it and they are trash. Unfortunately sometimes they are all trash.

I can't seem to find the zone........I have tried 225-275, I always use a water pan, I cook on either an Onyx Oven or a 22" weber bullet. I use apple and peach wood commonly and lump charcoal. Membrane removed. I apply rub an hour or so before cooking and have foiled every way known to man, dry, 1/4 cup liquid, and all the usual goodies.

Most common results are dry and/or tough...........but this is even after hours in the foil and the bones almost blowing out.

The worst part is I have no confidence in my cooks..........instead I find myself "hoping" they are good instead of knowing they are good like it should be.


Any and all brutally honest critique is welcome
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Unread 06-11-2013, 05:10 PM   #2
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Don't be afraid to open the foil and see what is going on. Stop cooking by time and cook using your senses.
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Unread 06-11-2013, 05:15 PM   #3
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Pick a cooker if you can and use that for the ribs until you have mastered it. Also, try to get racks that are close to the same size and weight. That helps with consistency.
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Unread 06-11-2013, 05:17 PM   #4
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Stay calm, you can fix almost anything. Build a little more time into your cook and check them a little sooner. And remember when you get them out of the foil they will firm up, you just have to have time to let it happen.
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Unread 06-11-2013, 05:31 PM   #5
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Do ya have a Therma-Pen
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Unread 06-11-2013, 05:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WineMaster View Post
Do ya have a Therma-Pen
He probably does, but it's the wrong color....
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Unread 06-11-2013, 05:53 PM   #7
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Yes I do..........only color there is.


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Unread 06-11-2013, 05:56 PM   #8
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What exactly is your process, and rib source?
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Unread 06-11-2013, 07:06 PM   #9
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To me it's starting to sound like meat source issue. Where and what kind/type of ribs do you purchased. For me, I found that I couldn't purchase any ribs in a normal store. I have to find completely un-enhanced ribs, otherwise mine tended to come out tough.

I now never have tough ribs, never ever. You're welcome to try some of this:

1. Remove membrane the night before the cook.

2. Soak over-night in a mixture of water, apple juice, and some worchestershire, and of course on ice...

3. Morning; remove from soak, pat dry, and apply the rub about an hour before placing them on the smoker.

4. On smoker at 275+-. I use hickory smoke. At 1.5 hours I remove them and put them in foil, with a fairly heavy spritz of apple juice and worchestershire before sealing up the foil. I cook them in foil for another 2.5 to 2.75 hours, give or take. They're done at that time.

Oh, forgot, I cook baby backs. At 4.25 hours, they're right at falling off the bone, but with any luck not quite there...
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Unread 06-11-2013, 07:06 PM   #10
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I'm gonna say that much of the inconsistency can be fixed while selecting the ribs at the store. 3 slab packages with the mystery slab in the middle are an enemy of consistency. Also look for ribs with small streaks of fat that travel through the meat. Big sections of red meat with little to no fat running through them is a sign that you might want to avoid that slab.

I have found the weight of a slab to be unreliable when trying to get them the same size. I look more at the physical size and shape, as well as the thickness. Sometimes two slabs will weigh about the same amount, but if you inspect closer you may find that one has larger bones and is cut differently.

Hope some of this ends up being helpful.
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Unread 06-11-2013, 08:08 PM   #11
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i think lower the temp to 250* and just use the three two one method and see how it works.
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Unread 06-11-2013, 08:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
What exactly is your process, and rib source?
Ribs come from restaurant depot lately, but have gotten them from Sams, BJ's and other local markets and butcher shops.

Process is rub and rest for hour or two.......on at 250 (lately) for anywhere from 2 1/2 to 3 hours depending how the color and bark is setting up using apple and peach wood. Spritz with juice every 20 minutes after first hour. Foil with all the usual suspects with liquid 1/4 cup or dry or blue bottle sqeeze etc for 1 1/2 to 2 hours and then either sauce and tent in the Cambro or sauce and back on the smoker.

I have made adjustments to every one of those steps with good to great results that are seemingly random and not repeatable (by me) in any reliable way at this time.

My temps are locked in by BBQ Guru DiGiQ2 on Onyx and PartyQ on the weber backed up by calibrated Mavericks. Thermapen in my pocket at all times.
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Unread 06-11-2013, 08:24 PM   #13
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spritz with juice every 20 minutes after first hour is killing you. them ribs ain't cooking.

knock that nonsense off and cook some ribs, if you aren't happy, i'll give you a fool proof(don't drink with smokin hoggz the night before though)recipe.
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Unread 06-11-2013, 08:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake Dogs View Post
To me it's starting to sound like meat source issue. Where and what kind/type of ribs do you purchased. For me, I found that I couldn't purchase any ribs in a normal store. I have to find completely un-enhanced ribs, otherwise mine tended to come out tough.

I now never have tough ribs, never ever. You're welcome to try some of this:

1. Remove membrane the night before the cook.

2. Soak over-night in a mixture of water, apple juice, and some worchestershire, and of course on ice...

3. Morning; remove from soak, pat dry, and apply the rub about an hour before placing them on the smoker.

4. On smoker at 275+-. I use hickory smoke. At 1.5 hours I remove them and put them in foil, with a fairly heavy spritz of apple juice and worchestershire before sealing up the foil. I cook them in foil for another 2.5 to 2.75 hours, give or take. They're done at that time.

Oh, forgot, I cook baby backs. At 4.25 hours, they're right at falling off the bone, but with any luck not quite there...
Where do you suggest I get my ribs from??
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Unread 06-11-2013, 08:24 PM   #15
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A tooth pick is your best friend & lots of cooking time under your belt

I found that when the tooth pick goes in easy ans lifts out with little effort time to pulling.
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