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Unread 06-08-2011, 10:55 AM   #1
hmacmill
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Default BB Ribs with no foil

I'd like to try doing ribs without using foil but I have a hard time figuring out when they're done. I tried the bend test but I can't really figure that out. Is there any idiot proof way to tell when the ribs are done? Also, is there a ballpark time it takes BB ribs to get done? I usually cook between 220 - 250F. Thanks in advance for the advice!
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Unread 06-08-2011, 11:00 AM   #2
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I havent foild a rib in years. here is the trick with baby backs. they go through 3 stages. at first before they are cooked they are floppy. around 1.5 hours, the racks stiffen up, around 3-4 hours they get limp again showing when they are done. your going to have to learn how far you can take them from when they get limp again. I usually push it to the exact moment before they tear apart doing that test. usually if Im doing 3 racks or more, Ill have a near tear on one and pull them all off if they are close
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Unread 06-08-2011, 11:21 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmacmill View Post
I'd like to try doing ribs without using foil but I have a hard time figuring out when they're done. I tried the bend test but I can't really figure that out. Is there any idiot proof way to tell when the ribs are done? Also, is there a ballpark time it takes BB ribs to get done? I usually cook between 220 - 250F. Thanks in advance for the advice!
On the bend test, when the rack bends at a 70* degree angle and the meat is pulled 1/4" from the bone you are good to go. It usually takes 5 to 6 hours.
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Unread 06-08-2011, 11:23 AM   #4
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You can also use a toothpick and stick it in the meat between the bones. When the ribs are done it will go in with little resistance.
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Unread 06-08-2011, 12:11 PM   #5
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I never foil ribs and use the toothpick trick for doneness.
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Unread 06-08-2011, 01:40 PM   #6
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What Ron and Carbon said...^^^...
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Unread 06-08-2011, 03:10 PM   #7
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I haven't foiled in years. From a tenderness standpoint there's no need to. The toothpic test, bending test or when the meat has pulled up the bone will tell you when they're done.
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Unread 06-08-2011, 06:05 PM   #8
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Have just started doing away with the foil. So far,so good. Tenderness as above^.
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Unread 06-08-2011, 07:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Untraceable View Post
They go through 3 stages. at first before they are cooked they are floppy. around 1.5 hours, the racks stiffen up, around 3-4 hours they get limp again showing when they are done.
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Unread 06-08-2011, 07:42 PM   #10
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I just cooked some ribs today. I started them without foil bone side down and left them on for 2h 20m. Before I put them in foil I put honey on them and put them back on bone side up for 1h 20m. To finish them off I put them back on bone side down and basted them in the sauce that was created while they were in the foil for about 20m. Only my second solo attempt at ribs, but I think think they turned out delicious. On my next rib cook I plan on using some brown sugar during the foil time.
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Unread 06-08-2011, 09:49 PM   #11
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SAHC, that's pretty close to how I do them. Modified Harry Soo. 250 degrees for two hours, light dusting of brown sugar and honey drizzle with a few tablespoons of apple juice in foil for one hour, take out, sauce, wait fifteen and sauce again. Takes 3.5 hours to deliciousness.

I do change grills as well. Usually I do the first hour and a half on the Traeger then move to the Kamado Joe where I drop in four good chunks of peach wood for a heavy smoke for the next 30 minutes. Just perfect. Then again, we all make perfect ribs.
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Unread 06-09-2011, 07:07 AM   #12
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I dont know about you all, butBaby's at 1 hr 15 mins to 1 1/2 indirect on a Weber Kettle at 350 dome and they're done perfectly.

3 or 4 hours...my gosh.
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Unread 06-09-2011, 07:31 AM   #13
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Foil makes it easy to produce moist and tender ribs every time, and the ribs are more forgiving to temperature spikes while they're in the foil, but there is a down side. Lot's of flavor gets thrown away with the liquid when you unwrap, and the flavors seem to get a little muddled while the ribs are steaming away.

If you're going to use the 3-2-1 Method, the Trigg Method, or any variation using foil for ribs (or butts or briskets for that matter), I think it's a good idea to have a finishing seasoning on hand to recharge the flavors you washed away. For me, a finishing seasoning is a finely ground or powdered variation of the original rub with just a touch more cayenne for kick or some other ingredient for brightness. I don't want to change the flavor profile, just kick it up a notch. I put it on as soon as they come out of the foil, before saucing.

Try it and you just might become a foil convert.
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Unread 06-09-2011, 07:32 AM   #14
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Cooking at 350 is a lot different than what most of these folks are doing. I like to do ribs at around 275-300, and get BB ribs done in around 3 hours, no foil. Spares are done in about 3.5 hours using same method.
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Unread 06-09-2011, 07:43 AM   #15
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The bend test-

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