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Unread 01-26-2014, 08:34 AM   #1
BlackDogBBQ
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Default Can't Get Them Ribs Tender

We are preparing for our 1st competition (GBA Jekyll Island) and need some advice because we just can't get our rib recipe down. We got the flavor we want but cant get those ribs to be tender and, to be honest, they are a little dry as well. Here is a break down of what I have done the last couple of times any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Start off with rack of St Louis Style Ribs ranging from 2.5 - 3.5 lbs

I have both brined for a couple of hours and have done racks just rubbed not brined both ways needed some help in the tenderness department.

Cut membrane off the back.

Put on Stumps Smoker at 225 for two hours basting (with a spray bottle) a couple of times after they have been on for 45 mins.

Spray with baste one more time and wrap in tin foil for two hours.

Take out of tin foil baste with sauce and put back on smoker for 1 hour.

Take off let rest 15-20 mins and enjoy tasteful but not tender ribs.

What going wrong guys? Thanks a lot in advance
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Unread 01-26-2014, 08:49 AM   #2
Old Dave
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Add 2 oz of apple juice to the foil packet and put the meat side down when you foil.

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Unread 01-26-2014, 09:30 AM   #3
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You mentioned they were dry and tough, normally that is a sign of an under-cooked rib which because you are only cooking at 225' would make sense. Try bumping your temps up using the same time frame. We cook at 275', two hours, then foil for 1.5 hours and they are close to being down.
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Unread 01-26-2014, 09:35 AM   #4
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At 225 your an hour short on the first leg. Try 3 hrs or better yet kick up those temps.

275 is the new 225.
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Unread 01-26-2014, 10:05 AM   #5
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Also, every time you open the smoker (spritzing, for example) you have to add at least 10 minutes to the cook time because you are letting the heat escape.
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Unread 01-26-2014, 10:21 AM   #6
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Ron started where I was going...quit opening the cooker..
Last year I had several batches of ribs from rest depot that where dry. No matter how I cooked em, just did not have it..Talked to others and same issue..so maybe the packaging company..
However I layer brown sugar over them after my rub..another help is I do a couple racks upside down for 2 or 3 hours till I get a nice bend to them then flip or foil foan hour , then finnish up till the bend splits the meat
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Unread 01-26-2014, 10:36 AM   #7
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Another thing to check is the placement and/or calibration of your thermometer. Its telling you 225, but it could be lower. At that low of a temp thermometer accuracy is much more crucial than it is around 275. Its a simple thing to overlook, and most of us have had the issue at one time or another. Also, forgive me if this sounds too obvious, but make sure you are reading your temp at the cooking grate. It can be surprising how big the temp differences can be from the grate to the lid.
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Unread 01-26-2014, 10:45 AM   #8
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Quit spritzing and let those ribs cook. If you are cooking at 225 and your thermometer is correct I would estimate 5-6 hours if you wrap after 3 hours of smoke. Ribs are done when they are done. If you do choose to spritz as often as you are, better add 1.5-2 hours. Is your spritz warm or cold, if it's cold, then it's cooling that meat down and extending your cook!

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Unread 01-26-2014, 11:46 AM   #9
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As others said, you didn't cook them long enough.

Try 275 next time and after you get a feel for it lower them temp if you want.
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Unread 01-26-2014, 11:50 AM   #10
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Yup... Follow the good advice above.
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Unread 01-26-2014, 11:57 AM   #11
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If they're not tender they're not done.
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Unread 01-26-2014, 01:17 PM   #12
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You would most likely get better results by cooking the ribs nekkid at 280 F till they pass the bend test (3.5 to 4 hours). Now this style of cooking isn't going to win any awards, but it demonstrates the texture and moisture of a properly cooked rib, and what can be accomplished by simply leaving the darn cooker closed and letting the meat cook.
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Unread 01-26-2014, 02:19 PM   #13
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The problem I'm running into when it comes to cranking up the cooker beyond 225 is I am also cooking a boston butts for the competition at the same time (only have one smoker so far) and 225 is my comfort zone cooking temp for BB's. So it looks like without a doubt after reading all the responses I need to cook longer if I'm not going to bump up the temp. So should I cook it longer in foil or longer unfoiled? Since I have had issues with the ribs being dry I fear the latter will not help me in that department. What do yall think?

By the way thanks everyone who has taken the time to help me out. It really is greatly appreciate it.
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Unread 01-26-2014, 03:37 PM   #14
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Wrap when the color looks good and the bark is set (it wont rub off). About 2 or 3 hrs
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Unread 01-26-2014, 03:46 PM   #15
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What kind of Smoker do you use? Sometimes the 'hot' spots in a smoker can be a plus. I do Butts at 300*ish, Briskets at 300*ish and like to do Ribs at 275*.........

Experiment Cooking Butts at higher temps or Build an UDS for the Ribs n Chicken - Easy n Affordable Smoker.
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