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Seeking tender ribs

Greg MGreg M Posts: 6
edited 10:08AM in EggHead Forum
Greetings from a new user in Arizona! I purchased a large green egg one week ago after reading the posts in this forum for several weeks. Had great success with a beer butt chicken but my two attempts at baby back ribs need some improvement. The first time I smoked over a drip pan at about 245 degrees for 3.5 hours. I had done a light rub,pecan chips, and removed the membrane. Flavor was excellent but meat did not pull away from the bone and seemed somewhat tough. The second time I added firebricks below the pan and went 3 hours at about 235 degrees then an hour in foil (similar to Gfw's post) before finishing with sauce for 30 minutes. Still tougher than I like and not separating from the bone. Any suggestions on increasing tenderness?


  • CatCat Posts: 556
    Greg M,[p]If you're cooking indirect, you may need to give the ribs a little more time. I do babies direct, in a rib rack, at a dome temp of 250 or so & they take up to 4 hours sometimes. [p]I prefer mine tender & juicy but with a little bite - pulling cleanly off the bone when bitten but not falling off. If your goal is the latter, you may need to wrap in foil. I'll leave that to my'll get some good advice![p]Welcome to the Forum & to the BGE family. Where are you in AZ? I love Phoenix, Scottsdale, & especially hiking in Sedona.[p]Cathy

  • Greg MGreg M Posts: 6
    Cat,thank you. I live in Scottsdale. It is pretty country!

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Greg M, My good friend Cat is a ribby expert as well as JJ. Both differ a bit on technique but terrific ribs. Jslots in the recipe section is also a top choice recipe.
    As far as C~W..I just put mine in always bone side down, membrane removed, indirect over firebricks, Hickory wood for smoke..and/or seasoned (thats slathered) with mustard and then rubs. (forget the woods if your doing a slathered rib) Takes about 4 hours to the point where I pull and wrap em in foil. JJ taught me this way back when..He tosses em in a ice chest wrapped in towels for half to a hour before eating. Well.. I just wrap em, sauce em if you want to at this point in the wrap...put em back on the grill. and shut down the BGE with top and bottom shut..and let em rest in the heat for 40 minutes to a hour. Unwrap one, and if its ready you can pull the bone right out of the meat.
    Now some say..thats too try unwrapping after 30 minutes..sample test is the way to find your perfect rib.
    Just my way of thinking. I really like em with no sauce and serve the sauce as a dipping sauce. Then you can have both worlds..and try different and spicy or regulars.[p]BTW..if your a rib it every 45 minutes.. I think it just slows down the cook and you lose the natural basting from the fats in the meats. I never turn em. Some will flip out on that.."-)
    Yikes...I'm gone..

  • Greg M,[p]I will defer to others with much more experience. But after reading your post, my guess would be not enough time at that temperature and cooking indirect. In my 5 months of cooking on the egg, ribs are my favorite. I prefer to cook them direct, usually @ 250* for 3/3.5 hours. I have really enjoyed the recipe Cat posted in the Recipe section. [p]Continued success,

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Greg M,[p]""The second time I added firebricks below the pan and went 3 hours at about 235 degrees then an hour in foil (similar to Gfw's post) before finishing with sauce for 30 minutes. Still tougher than I like and not separating from the bone. Any suggestions on increasing tenderness? ""[p]Wow, no offense intended but after that they should be spoon-eatable. If after 3.5 hrs indirect and a full hour in foil - perhaps tossing them in a blender is next.[p]Tim
  • Tim M,[p]It doesn't make any difference if the ribs you cook are wrapped in foil, cooked indirect or direct, or in your smoker for many hours, they need to be cooked longer if they are tough when they come out of your Egg. There is no substitue for time with this fine treat. Even loin backs will take 6-7 hours for them to come out right. Try a longer smoking time and I think you will be pleased with the results.[p]Old Dave
  • ChiefChief Posts: 154
    Greg M,
    Maybe this will help. Soaked 6 slabs of Babies in beer overnight; rubbed down the next day with Lowery's season salt and nothing else; used platesetter and drip pan w/ water. Placed ribs on normal grid and the extended gird; smoked ribs for one hour in hickory at 200; turned all ribs over every 45 minutes; cooked ribs another 3 hours--temp 250--275. Thirty minutes before taking them off brushed on BBQ sause turning twice.
    All ribs fell off the bone.
    It worked in Florida.

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Chief, thats cause you got saltier air and bikini babies..
    If that doesn't work, unshoot the hog and put him back in the lot!! Or send it back to Arkansas Razorbacks..:-)
    Lots of ways to get those lip smackin ribs..I have 8 or 9 racks in FoodSaver Bags with membranes pulled and rubs on in the freezer. Ready to go Fathers Day...!!

    [ul][li]all about ribs..and then some!! Hints and tips and things![/ul]
  • JimEJimE Posts: 158
    Greg M,
    This past weekend I tried JSlot's technique for the first time (see recipe section). I've cooked a lot of ribs in a lot of different ways, and I must say these were very, very good![p]One note: get your fire going well before layering in the pizza stone. I put mine in too early and it took me quite some time to get up to 350.[p]Good Eating![p]Jim

  • ChiefChief Posts: 154
    Thank you for the information. I read the entire site and did I learn alot. Information that alot of people should read.
    Again, thanks for the help. The bikini babies do make a difference in a good rib not to mention our excellent spring water.

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,437
    Greg M,
    This is one subject that has many roads leading to it! Everyone seems to have a method they prefer...none are wrong, just depends what you like. The method I have settled on gives me consistently moist and tender results. Most of the time the meat pulls cleanly from the bone, and once the bone slid right out in my tong's grasp.[p]I cook babybacks and spares on a second grate, elevated over a water filled drip pan. 275-300 dome temp. I start bone side down, and don't open the lid for 2 hours. Rotate or flip and go another hour (or two). Once the meat starts pulling back from the end of the bone pretty good, I usually pull out the drip pan, and sauce the ribs while finishing the last 30 minutes direct (but on the elevated grid which is further from the coals). I haven't yet used foil, although if I have a stretch of below par results in the future, I plan on giving it a shot.[p]Try a few of the suggestions you have received, and let us know what ya find.[p]May your ribs be tender!
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
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