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Old 10-19-2011, 05:26 PM   #1
Oldpro1946
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Default Please help...ribs bad again

My second try at spares was BAD. The first attempt I cooked for 6 hrs at 250 with water pan, no foiling. Bark tough, thick and chewey. Today I cooked at 250, 3-1-.5, put brown sugar, parkay and honey in the foil. St. Louis ribs were way overcooked, even the bones started cooking and getting soft. Couldn't even see much meat. Bark was fine, terrific. I am at a loss. I am using a Smoke Hollow 30 electric smoker. Temp was steady. I have seen such juicy ribs on this site but mine were awful. Three strikes and I'm out. Please help!
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:49 PM   #2
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be patient. it takes a minute to dial in your cooker times.

try this...

2 hours out of foil @ 260-275. if you see some pullback and pighoney wrap em. if not leave em for another 1/2 to 3/4 hour.

after @ an hour stick a toothpick inbetween the bones, if it sildes in and out easily, you're done, if not leave em in for another 1/2 hour. check again.
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:53 PM   #3
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Is your thermometer accurate?

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Old 10-19-2011, 05:53 PM   #4
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If I am doing the 250 cook, which I do often, I generally with spares do a 2, 1, .5 cook. I always check the foil after one hour to see the pullback and if after saucing in the last fifteen, they are not to my liking, I let them ride right there for a bit longer. You are doing fine, it just takes a few tries sometimes.
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Old 10-19-2011, 06:01 PM   #5
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I would agree on taking more time and patience. BBQ is the art of patience. I would follow Boggiesnap's advice. Another slower option if to put them in there are 225F, don't foil and let them slow cook until done. Pullback is one clue to being done, another is bend.

I like water in the cooker unless I am doing a lot of meat. I believe added moisture inproves texture and heat control. So I use a water pan in my kettle for all BBQ cooking.
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Old 10-19-2011, 06:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
be patient. it takes a minute to dial in your cooker times.

try this...

2 hours out of foil @ 260-275. if you see some pullback and pighoney wrap em. if not leave em for another 1/2 to 3/4 hour.

after @ an hour stick a toothpick inbetween the bones, if it sildes in and out easily, you're done, if not leave em in for another 1/2 hour. check again.
Should I be foiling after some pullback? Also, are you saying I should cook them 2 to 3hrs then foil for 1hr...finished? Thanks.
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Old 10-19-2011, 06:56 PM   #7
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The bones were soft? How confident are you in your thermometer? I've over cooked ribs before and I've never had the bones soften. There is some cartilage at the end of the bones in spares. Was it the cartilage that you thought was softened bones?

Also, how much did the racks weigh? I like to use racks that are around 2.5 lbs after trimming St. Louis style. I cook min at 250 for 2.5 hours, then foil for 1.5 and then glaze and set for 15 minutes and they are pretty close to just right.
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Should I be foiling after some pullback? Also, are you saying I should cook them 2 to 3hrs then foil for 1hr...finished? Thanks.
yes, wait for some pull back before foiling. maybe 1/2 inch at most times.

take a look after 2 hours, if you see enough pullback, then foil. if not let 'em ride a bit longer before foiling.

once foiled check after the first 3/4 to 1 hour for done.

if after a full hour in foil still not done, i'd pull em out of foil to finish to avoid mush.
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
yes, wait for some pull back before foiling. maybe 1/2 inch at most times.

take a look after 2 hours, if you see enough pullback, then foil. if not let 'em ride a bit longer before foiling.

once foiled check after the first 3/4 to 1 hour for done.

if after a full hour in foil still not done, i'd pull em out of foil to finish to avoid mush.
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:26 PM   #10
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I am going to echo the other comments, especially with regards to temp. Make sure that your temp is accurate. I don't trust the thermometer thats on the lid of my smoker. I have a thermometer at grate level, so I have a more accurate temp.
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:44 PM   #11
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trial and error my friend. trial and error. dont quit! ull get em! either your temp gauge is off or somethings up. i always look for a little pull back before i foil em up. i expect after foiling that the pullback is extensive and the ribs are basically done. if not done completely. then i sauce/glaze em up and put em back in for 15 min (if they are done already from the foil) or i leave em in longer if they werent already done. sometimes up to 45-60 min
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
The bones were soft? How confident are you in your thermometer? I've over cooked ribs before and I've never had the bones soften. There is some cartilage at the end of the bones in spares. Was it the cartilage that you thought was softened bones?

Also, how much did the racks weigh? I like to use racks that are around 2.5 lbs after trimming St. Louis style. I cook min at 250 for 2.5 hours, then foil for 1.5 and then glaze and set for 15 minutes and they are pretty close to just right.
My smoker is new and I did cook a brisket that turned out well. So I believe the thermometer is fine. At the end of the bone there was a couple of areas that was soft. I don't know how to explain it. the bones, I guess, weren't actually soft but at one end of 2 bones it was a little "dug out"??? I trimmed the spares in to St. Louis ribs and they looked kind of average size. Could I have had too much smoke? This smokin" stuff is harder than I thought. I thought what could be so hard; right temp, right length of time, right smoke.....easy. Boy was I wrong.
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcpetro97 View Post
I am going to echo the other comments, especially with regards to temp. Make sure that your temp is accurate. I don't trust the thermometer thats on the lid of my smoker. I have a thermometer at grate level, so I have a more accurate temp.
Could I use a regular meat thermometer?
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyDirty00 View Post
trial and error my friend. trial and error. dont quit! ull get em! either your temp gauge is off or somethings up. i always look for a little pull back before i foil em up. i expect after foiling that the pullback is extensive and the ribs are basically done. if not done completely. then i sauce/glaze em up and put em back in for 15 min (if they are done already from the foil) or i leave em in longer if they werent already done. sometimes up to 45-60 min
What was unusual was that there was hardly any meat on the ribs after I cooked them. It was like the meat melted off with the fat. As I said before; this smokin' thing is harder than it looks!!!
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:56 PM   #15
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it is, but it'll get real easy after a few times.

except for farkin' brisket.
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