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Pork Ribs forensics

jamiemeyerjamiemeyer Posts: 97
edited 2:22PM in EggHead Forum
OK, all. tonight was my first attempt with ribs on the XLBGE. I started out easily enough, following Carwash Mike's recipe. Or so I thought.

I had the ribs on for three hours at 200-225 dome. I kept the lid closed.. no peeking! I should note that these ribs are a full pork rib, no babies here. I only need just so much for the missus and myself.

Back to the story... after the first three hours low and slow, I opened the lid to find what looked like I had just put them on the grille. Warm to the touch, but very little progress. So, I stepped it up, and raised the temp to 275* dome.

Another hour goes by, and danged little progress. At this point, I am four hours in, and thinking I am close to done, but it looks like I am just beginning.

I continue to crank up the temp until I have 375* dome. And the cook continues... I inserted the polder at five hours in, and I get 165*. huh????

So, I keep the pace, and grab another glass of wine.... After I reach the 6 and 1/2 hour point, and the polder reaches 176, I am really sweating it. So, I crack the lid, and do the flex test. At that point, the rack bends in half and breaks, falling all over the grid.

So, I am left scratching my head. I expected a much shorter cook. With the polder in place, I expected to see a better temperature rating than this. Of course, the "flex test" reigns....

Any suggestions for an improved cook next time? Or is this what I should expect?

Thanks, all!


  • Beanie-BeanBeanie-Bean Posts: 3,092
    Hmm...I cook ribs on the LBGE at 250 deg, so that usually takes about 6-7 hours to complete for ribs which were trimmed up St. Louis style. The trimmings from the rack usually complete in about 3-4 hours and serve as little appetizers until the rest of the food is done.

    Just for the record, I don't monitor meat temp on the ribs--I just look at them and do the bend test during the latter part of the cook.

    Try setting up the cooker at 250 to begin with on the next pass, instead of 200/225. From what I've seen on the little round grate thermo I've got from the old days, the difference between the dome thermo and the grate can be -50 degrees (dome vs. grate) so you're cooking the ribs at 150-175 degrees.

    (Guys, did I state that correctly?)
  • JeffersonianJeffersonian Posts: 4,244
    Something has gone very awry here. Have you checked your dome thermometer?
  • jamiemeyerjamiemeyer Posts: 97
    FWIW, the dome thermo is spot on. I have been using it for some time with low and slow cooks. As a sanity check, I put the polder on the surface, and it showed that I was +- 3-* difference from the dome, as expected.

    Start to finish, I was 7 hours +-, so that is not far off Beanie-Bean's numbers. From the numbers posted by Carwash Mike, I expected to be closer to the 5 hour range. Sounds like next time I start at 250* and continue from there.

    Note that the end result tonight ROCKS, just longer than expected....

  • AlwaysGolfAlwaysGolf Posts: 704
    Glad you figured it out. Will start mine a little earlier than expected for tomorrows cook.

    From what I have learned and read 250 is the best temp for low and slow and ribs. Easier to maintain.
  • jamiemeyerjamiemeyer Posts: 97
    Yeah, stay with the 250 temp. unless you are looking for an all-night cook.. :laugh:

    The end result was awesome, just much later than expected. Good luck!

    P.S. are you breaking in the the Egg Mahal with this cook??
  • Rolling EggRolling Egg Posts: 1,995
    I just got done as well with my first cook on my new egg. I also chose ribs. I think just by reading what you done and comparing to me, I was @ 275 to 300 at all times. I think Miked nailed it when he said you loose 25 to 50 degrees at the rack versus dome temp. I cooked mine for 3 hours without a peek. pulled them off and wrapped in foil with apple juice, apple vinegar, and honey and put back on for another hour without a peek. Then I unwrapped and went right on the rack flat with them for another 30 min. then I left them there while I served them. THEY WERE AWESOME. By far the best I ever cooked. They fell right off the bone. I cant wait to try diff rubs and spices.
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    I believe CWM's instructions are for baby back ribs. Spares generally take a couple to three hours longer than baby backs, or longer if not trimmed up.

    That being said, I have had baby back ribs go 7 hours, and I have had spares come off in 5 or so. It really just depends on the ribs.

    I agree with Mike (beanie) that 200-225 is too low of a dome temp. I shoot for 240-250 myself, and I can say I have never tried to take an internal temp of a slab of ribs. The meat pulling away from the bone and the bend test are the only way I know how to tell when they are done.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    st. louis spares are best for me at about 7 to 78 hours sometimes. they are done when they are done.

    braising in foil will speed things up a bit, but spares take longer than b-bcks
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
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