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Unread 06-22-2010, 09:54 PM   #1
Gerritt
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Question Ribs...

Could use some help...

My last attempt at making ribs was a fail...

So I picked up some more hoping to redeem myself!

I have a offset barrel smoker/grill

The last I tried ribs.. they tasted great! but were tough and chewy...

All I did was grill them for about 4 hours (indirect in the offset) and let them rest..

what did I do wrong here?

anyone care to help me make the family some awesome ribs?!


Thanks in advance!

G.
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Unread 06-22-2010, 10:12 PM   #2
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Try starting with the basic 3-2-1 method...rub then smoke @ 225 for 3 hours, foil with a little apple juice for the next 2 hours, then finish for the last hour unfoiled. Some folks foil...some don't...it's a never ending debate subject to personal preference. It will help make your ribs tender. If you don't want to foil, cook the ribs until you can pick up the rack in the middle and get a good bend on both sides to indicate doneness.
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Unread 06-22-2010, 10:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerritt View Post
All I did was grill them for about 4 hours (indirect in the offset) and let them rest..

what did I do wrong here?



G.
they need more time or boost up the temps a bit...
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Unread 06-22-2010, 10:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_AL View Post
Try starting with the basic 3-2-1 method...rub then smoke @ 225 for 3 hours, foil with a little apple juice for the next 2 hours, then finish for the last hour unfoiled. Some folks foil...some don't...it's a never ending debate subject to personal preference. It will help make your ribs tender. If you don't want to foil, cook the ribs until you can pick up the rack in the middle and get a good bend on both sides to indicate doneness.
I agree, foil is a big debate, but it works for me. IMO loose the juice.
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Unread 06-22-2010, 10:54 PM   #5
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Yep, they need to cook longer or get foiled.
I cook mine in a WSM, sometimes on a Brinkman offset, in a rib rack. I don't foil, or cook for a set time, rather for doneness as indicated by the bend test.
Also, I have read that the 3-2-1 method might be too long in the foil. If your ribs get mushy, try 3-1-1.
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Unread 06-22-2010, 11:25 PM   #6
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I was in the same boat 4 or 5 years ago. The 3-2-1 saved me. Friends and family now rave about my ribs. Give it a try. The last hour (or so) is actually important it gives th ribs a chance to firm up after the time in the foil.

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Unread 06-23-2010, 03:05 AM   #7
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Its all about temperature control. Try to get your offset to run a steady 225 at the grate.
As for foiling I foil for 40 minutes. No more. They come out the way I like them. You'll have to find your best way and that'll take you a lot more than a few racks. Good luck.
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Unread 06-23-2010, 06:20 AM   #8
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Depending on the amount of smoke you like and how much your smoker puts out, you
may trying having them on smoke a little less that 3 hours. We do about an hour
and a half on smoke, then foil and spritz with a little apple juice/worcestershire mix
for another 3.5 hours, then unfoil for the remainder (usually 30 minutes, give or take,
depending on the ribs). We cook right at 250.
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Unread 06-23-2010, 07:29 AM   #9
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When you FOIL any Meat, especially Tough Cuts of Meat, consider using PINEAPPLE JUICE, which contains Natural qualities that Tenderize Meat.

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Unread 06-23-2010, 07:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbormaster View Post
Yep, they need to cook longer or get foiled.
Yup.

It takes a lil practice, unless you've already got experience
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Unread 06-23-2010, 07:50 AM   #11
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I cook my baby backs in a WSM at 225 or 250 for 4 hours without foil. Like Harbor said, I don't exactly shoot for exactly 4 hours, however it just seems like that's typically how long it takes. After the first 2 hrs I squirt them every once in awhile. Then at the end I take them off and put my sauce on them and wrap them in foil... Never have any complaints and they have a little bite but are plenty tender also. If i notice they are a little more done than expected I just don't leave them in the foil for as long.
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Unread 06-23-2010, 08:33 AM   #12
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I usually do baby backs, but I do spares when they are on sale. Not enough meat on spares for me.

I've done them a few ways.

1.) Cooked them 5 hours straight, served them right off the smoker. Fail. Good tasting but not tender.

2.) Cooked 'em 6 hours straight unfoiled, then wrapped in foil and towels and rested for 30 minutes. Came out nice and tender.

3.) Cooked them 3-2-1 traditional, worked great.

4.) Cooked them 3 on, 2 off in foil and wrapped in towels in a cooler, then about 1 1/2 back on, came out great but raised a ruckus here when I told it. Not the way it's done, they said, and I reckon there could be food safety concerns.

In my experience, spares, 3-2-1 works well, but baby back, 2-2-1 is better.

Foil, no foil, whatever -- the time and low temps are what makes them come out right. I like to stay around 225 ideally, and no more than 250 with pork. There are no shortcuts to tenderness that I am aware of.

There are many objectives with ribs. Some like to have them fall off the bone, and I tend toward that end of the spectrum. I want the meat to hang in there long enough to get to my teeth, then pull off like buttah. Others like a chewier experience. Keep playing around and see what you like best. The best thing about all this is, you get to eat your mistakes! No evidence is left behind.
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Unread 06-23-2010, 08:49 AM   #13
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Foiling definitely makes them more tender. I normally use 3-2-1 but lately it seems they get a little too cooked, so I think my next run will be 3-1-1. Or maybe even a 2-1-1.

For Fathers Day I decided to experiment without foil after reading the thread that talked about foil being a crutch. Gotta try things to find what I like.

I did these ribs with a dry rub, then melted some butter in a pot, added apple juice, brown sugar, and bourbon to it. Let it cool and put it in my spray bottle. I then misted the ribs every 20 minutes or so.

They came out very tasty after about 4 to 4.5 hours. The flavor was pretty good, and they had a slight toughness to the outer layer, that jerky type of consistency. Not a thick layer, but just a touch. They were very good overall. But I was thinking I would foil them for a short period next time, because I like them slightly more tender on the outer surface. Don't get me wrong, they were very good, but I was experimenting with getting them perfect, if there is such a thing.
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Unread 06-23-2010, 08:51 AM   #14
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This was my first cook so I am no expert by any means....on a UDS anyway. I went in with a 3-1-1 philosophy. I rubbed my ribs the night before and wrapped them in Cling wrap. I would have rather the rub have stayed on longer for at least 24 hours but I got anxious.

Anyway, I took the juice that came off the ribs and put them in a bowl. I got the UDS to wander between 225-250, and ended up doing a 3-1-.5. The rub ended up to salty for my taste, the ribs pulled right off the bone, but the meat was slightly dry. There was a about 1/4 bone exposed, but it sounds like the bend test is the way to go. The next rub I'll watch the salt amount...not sure what to do on dryness.

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Unread 06-23-2010, 09:00 AM   #15
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2Bulldogs, in my experience, the longer they are foiled the less dry they will be. If you lengthen the foil time, it will help. You also might lower the final smoke temp to 200-225, so you don't dry out what the foil has generated. Just some ideas.

It is wild, I have taken ribs that are dry when I take them off, wrap them in foil and put them back on an hour or more, take them off and they were tender and moist. If they are dry coming off and still hot, I just wrap in foil and towels and rest 30 mins to 1 hour, and they loosen up and are more tender.

Tender is time + temp + moisture rentention. Time is the biggie if temp is in the traditional 225-250 smoking range, in my experience. The collagen has to break down, and that is a time thing. Many think foiling just retains the moisture, but I think it also promotes collagen breakdown by concentrating the heat.

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