Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #EGGhead4Life.

In Atlanta? Come visit Big Green Egg headquarters, including our retail showroom, the History of the EGG Museum and Culinary Center!  3786 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30340.

My ribs were terrible.....again!!

Orio KidOrio Kid Posts: 87
edited 10:41AM in EggHead Forum
I tried spareribs again. Same result...rib jerky. I cooked them indirect at 250* for four hours. I used J.J.s rub, The only good part about them was the rub. I should have licked the outside and thrown the rib away.


  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,508
    orio kid,
    Can you describe your setup??? Sumthin don't sound right.[p]Calibrated dome thermometer?? Ribs protected from the direct heat of the fire?? Healthy meaty looking spare ribs??[p]Scratchin me 'ead.
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
    Instagram: @DizzyPigBBQ
  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    orio kid, I'm assuming your removing the membrane. I remove membrane, cover with mustard, apply rub, and let sit over night. I cook the next day at about 250-275 for up to 6 hours. The small end comes out very tender and while the large end comes out a litle tougher it is still very good. Are the ribs burnt or just tough? Maybe next time apply Adolph's meat tenderizer after the mustard. Like NB said make sure the temp is correct and the direct heat is not touching the meat.
    Just a few thoughts.

  • JJJJ Posts: 951
    orio kid,
    As NB requested, detail the indirect setup you used. I never cook my ribs indirect so I can not be of service there. However, from what I have read it seems to take a higher temp and a longer cook time when doing ribs indirect. Others who do cook ribs indirect can give you much more accurate info. That's what great about this forum, the help you get and the shorter learning curve time. Hang in there, you are not the Lone Ranger in experiencing less than perfection while starting out.

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    orio kid,[p]I, also, would like to hear your setup since spares done indirect at 250 for 4hr should be ok - maybe underdone actually and certainly not jerky. 300-350 indirect for 4.5 hr is more the norm. What was the indirect device you used? Drip pan? stone? firebrick? double boiler drip pan? [p]Now, lets also define "jerky" ribs. Many out there like a really sloppy "drop in your lap" rib like they get in some resturants. If your looking for that style, the closest (and not very close) is to cook them in foil. This steams them like many resturants do for hours while they wait for customers to come in and order them. They are not my favorites but some people want ultra tender ribs and steaming them seems to be what they like. An alternative method to just finishing them in foil for 3 hrs was to come up with the 3-1-1 method. That is discribed on the forum here and my web site and GFW's web site in great detail. [p]Give us more information and we will try to get you happy with ribs.[p]
    Tim M

    [ul][li]Tim's house of Egg[/ul]
  • orio kid,
    I too would like a description of your set-up! You don't have to put up with "rib jerky"! The Egg will do them right, you just need a little direction! All the ones that have responded are doing mouth watering ribs, and no one here on the forum will steer you wrong!
    Hang in there, we'll help you get them right yet![p]Dr. Chicken

  • orio kid,
    I used fire bricks 3 on the bottom and 1 on each side. I have also just recently checked and adjusted my thermometer.

  • They were not burnt at all, I removed the membrane, applied the rub, and wrapped in saran wrap the night before. they were refrigerated for 18 hours. I did not use the mustard on the outside this time.
    I ate them anyway, but I am still picking meat out of my teeth. The wife and kids took one bite each and quit.

  • orio kid,
    The ribs not being done will give you a chewy tough texture. Like JJ and Tim and the others said. sounds like they needed more time. Last ones I did at 250 indirect took 6 hours. I have been using a polder lately so that I can get a better idea how they are coming along without opening the egg. Ribs have a plateau, much like butts and briskets, where the collagen breaks down. Ya gotta get past 170 internal at least (though most don't use polders in their ribs). If you remove during the plateau, it is too early. You should be able to twist a rib off, or even pull a bone out, when they are done.[p]Don't give up. The difference between undercoked, and properly cooked ribs is HUGE.
    Hang in there.

  • Dang. Made that typo again! Guess I am growing up.

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Dr. Chicken, yuppers, my mouth was watering last night. My wiffy scarfed em down like they were candy. I think sometimes we make it far too difficult a process, and it's really simple.

  • Char-Woody,
    I'll second that my friend! But, I'll also admit I had the dickens of a time getting them to what I wanted and to what we expect now![p]Cheers![p]Dr. Chicken

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    orio kid,[p]Yep, underdone. I have been an advocate of checking rib temps between the bones to check for doneness. I am glad to see Nature Boy (aka Mature Boy heeeee) is seeing the value in it too. I like to get mine in the 180-190 range but I have eaten them at 160-170 and it wasn't as much fun. The point of indirect is to either allow higher temps to cook with for a short amount of time or to stretch out a long cook without burning up the food. The latter is best for spare ribs. Go long next time, use the mustard and plan on 5.5-6 hrs and you will be happy with the results. [p]Tim
  • CornfedCornfed Posts: 1,324
    Tim M,[p]I starting using a meat thermometer to check ribs for doneness on your advice and the advice of that new guy, "Mature Boy." I usually use them when I'm trying a new cooking method (say, my first use of an indirect setup). After a few tries with the technique, I often forgo the therm since I'll have a decent idea of how the things will cook.[p]Hang in there, orio kid. My first bunch of ribs on the Egg fell very short of expectations. I think it was on my third try where I got 'em to come out how I like 'em. Since then, they just keep getting better and better.[p]Cornfed (not to be confused with Mature Cornfed...)
  • SmokeySmokey Posts: 2,468
    NB not MB,
    NB,[p]So, can I be "In-mature Boy". There may be more to your typo than you think! Like many today, I'm cookin'. I have a 5 lb butt smokin and ribs waiting to their chance to have some intimate time with the egg![p]Best to all![p]Smokey

  • orio kid,[p]I began BBQing on the BGE last May. I followed the instructions of all the guys who responded below. They are experts and you have to have faith in what they say. Most of what I say below, I learned from these people here at the Forum.[p]Before I begin, I would guess as some did below that your ribs were not over done but under done. But it is hard to say from your brief description.[p]I have make ribs maybe 15-20 times since I began. It took me 3 or four times to begin gettin my specific technique down. Though the guys were a great help, we all still have to learn the details by trial and error. (EGGSPERIENCE cannot be taught)[p]Here are a few things I have learned through my experience.[p]I like to do spareribs rather than babyback because I like a meatier rib.[p]1 I do not think it necessary to cut off the membrane on spareribs. I tried it both ways - can't tell the difference.[p]2. You didn't mention a drip pan of water set on your firebrick with the rack and the ribs on that rack set in the pan of hot water. This is very important to make the ribs tender.[p]3. Do ribs indirct for at least three hours (This is only a ballpark figure since the time varies with the meat and other variable) Tim or Nature Boy recommended to me, stick in a fork in the meat, if it is soft the fork will slide off the meat. If meat is hard it will tend to come up with the fork as you pull it out. Also watch to see how the meat pulls back from the bone. As it gets done it will pull off the bone, and the color of the bone also indicates when it is done.[p]Another technique someone told me about is to lift the rack of ribs by grasping them in the center. If they do not bend much they are still tough, If the meat tends to break away from the bone, they are getting done.[p]4. Flip every 45 minutes. I usually brush both sides with apple juice with each flip.[p]5. Keep the temp between 220 and 260 (not lower or higher) [p]6. Wrap in aluminum foil for another hour indirect. Still at same temp. More apple juice.[p]7. Then direct w/o foil at about 250-270 and baste with BBQ sauce. This step is key. If you leave it on too long the ribs will be like charcoal. If not enough, they will still be too tough.[p]When they come out of the foil, they should be pretty tender. Give them the tests I describe above.[p]8. Put on direct and baste with BBQ sauce for about an hour. This is key. If you leave them on too long, ribs will more like charcoal. If not long enough ribs will not take on the sauce flavor.[p]They should pull clean off the bone, and in my last dozen tries, they are "finger licking good". The Kentucky Colonel has nothing on anyone who knows how to do do ribs.[p]You will learn as I did. Practice makes perfect. Keep it up. Do not be disappointed. Learn from your mistakes.[p]Good luck to you.[p]

Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.