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rib - failure

Yesterday I tried some spare ribs trimmed St Louis style.    2 racks.  Cut them in half, removed membranne and rubbed.  Once the egg settled in at around 280 on they went.  Used apple wood.  Spritzed them after the first 30 minutes and about every 30 minutes thereafter.  Cooked fo 2.5 hours then I foiled with some apple juice.  Checked them after another 1 1/2 hours and they were black in color, and falling off the bone.  Not my best effort.  I generally use this method 3-2-1 and have had pretty consistent results.  I didn't let them go the full 3 hours uncovered as they were getting pretty dark.  I then checked them early in the foil process and like I said, they were already past done. 

 

I am getting a little frustrated with the egg.  I love it for steaks and burgers, chops, etc...(grilling) but my efforts at smoking have been disappointing so far.  I turned out much better q on my WSM.  I am sure it is just a matter of getting used to the egg.  I haven't calibrated the thermometer or even compared it to my Maverick.  So far I have just been going off of the lid thermometer temp.  But it is almost as though it cooks hotter than what I am used to. 

Got any suggestions?  Thanks. 

Comments

  • MikeP624MikeP624 Posts: 292

    Try Car Wash Mike's Rib method. This has always worked well for me.  I cook them a bit hotter than he does.  I usually do 250 to 275.

    http://playingwithfireandsmoke.blogspot.com/2002/06/baby-back-rib-class.html

  • jerrypjerryp Posts: 222
    I did 3-2-1 spareribs for the first time Saturday and they turned out awesome.  I drastically reduced the amount of sugar in my rub and it helped big time.  I brushed them with honey and butter for the foiled portion of the cook and it imparted plenty of sweet without scorching in the initial 3 hour cook.  I always preferred baby backs before this cook, but I'll use spareribs from now on. Half the price as well.
  • Mighty_QuinnMighty_Quinn Posts: 1,878
    edited January 2013
    Calibrate your dome thermometer...if you have a feeling you're running hotter than it says, you're probably right...those things are notorious for being off.

    Also, were you cooking indirect?
  • Calibrating dome thermometers is like spray painting a turd gold ... at the end of the day all you really have is a turd! Bimetallic thermometers are notoriously inaccurate and I don't trust them! Get a dual lead electronic thermometer like the Maverick ET-732 and a hand held instant read thermometer for spot checks. Your Egg is NOTHING like your WSM. You shouldn't need to spritz, mop, or any of that stuff ... ever!
  • JRWhiteeJRWhitee Posts: 1,798
    edited January 2013
    I do 3-1-1 with dome temp 250-270 as well as Jerryp and they have always turned out great, I did leave them foiled longer than 1 hour once and they did fall apart. Maybe you foiled them too long. 
                                                                        
    _________________________________________________

    Large BGE 2006, Small BGE 2014, Adjustable Rig R&B, PSWoo3, Thermapen.
    Weber Gasser for the Wife. 
    Founding Member of the Green Man Group cooking team.
    Johns Creek, Georgia
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,519
    I'm betting cook was direct or the thermo was way off and maybe 150 higher. 
    Mickey turbos his ribs and is happy, well about the ribs anyway....
    On my MBGE the 3/2/1 becomes more of 2/1.5/.75 at 250 dome max. I can see why your's were braised fall off the bone cooked. 
    Keep at it and I have never spayed. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,192
    To echo an above statement. Cooking w. the Egg requires different methods than other cookers. It took me about 6 mo.s to stop repeating old methods, and learn to use the Egg on its own terms.

    No need to mop/spritz unless somehow the surface dries out. Mostly, it just slows down the cooking, and may wash off the rub and smoke. For more flavor, add extra rub towards the end.

    No real need for foiling either, assuming you have the time. Foiling mostly speeds up the cooking, but does add to the risk of mushy meat.

    Better luck next time.
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,590

    LIke another poster said, sugar will burn so you are going to get a dark appearance if you used sugar, butt sounds like yours were burned.

    I do mine 250 indirect, and I like 4-0-1. I dont like them fall of the bone, so no foil for me. 4 hours uncovered they get nice and tender, but you have to bite to get off bone.. Then the last hour gets a brushing of Bone Suckin Sauce. Hard to beat the ribs done this way. I do usually spritz mine with apple juice and apple cider, but it is certainly not a must.

    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • gerhardkgerhardk Posts: 764
    3 1 1 here, the ribs are still attached enough to the meat that bone will lift a half rack and then slowly pull cleanly out of the meat. 3 2 1 gives the kind of results were if pull a bone it will pull right out of the meat with very little effort. Gerhard
  • SPRIGSSPRIGS Posts: 195
    Cooked indirect with the place setter legs up.  Next cook, I will run the maverick to see what the grate temp actrually is compared to the lid temp. The only reason I spritz is that I don't like a really tough bark on my ribs.  I found with past cookers spritzing helped in delaying the formation of the bark.  Maybe I don't need to do that with the egg.  I included some brown sugar in my rub but unless my grate temp far exceeded my lid temp of 280 or so, I wouldn't think it would have burned.  Obviously I am still learning.  Thanks for all of the suggestions.   
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    Like someone else suggested that it sounds like you are cooking without a place setter??  The first potion od 3-2-1 is "the smoke portion".  At this time, same with turbo cooking a butt, you want to maximize the smoke onto the meat.  The egg is not a good smoke machine --  i use chunks of soaked pecan and average about 2 hours of smoke.  To maximize this "smoke period" i cook as low as my egg will go, which the first hour might be 230 to 240 dome temperature.  After the first hour, the temperature begins to creep up because the meat is gaining internal temperature and the pecan is beginning to burn up, producing more heat.  I never open my dome during this period, because it will cause the temperature to rise with the end result being "less smoke applied to the meat"!!  So my ribs are usually like 2 -1 1/2 -1/2 .  I use St. Louis style and am cooking on a large . 
  • BENTEBENTE Posts: 8,337
    +1 on the car wash mike method. i have never had a batch come out anything other than perfect! i have never done the 3-2-1 thing it sounded like too much trouble and i'm lazy

    happy eggin

    TB

    Anderson S.C.

    "Life is too short to be diplomatic. A man's friends shouldn't mind what he does or says- and those who are not his friends, well, the hell with them. They don't count."

    Tyrus Raymond Cobb

  • calikingcaliking Posts: 5,280
    Most of us have screwed up a fair number of racks before we got it close to what we wanted ( I know I have). I used to trim and  foil and spritz and mop, etc. but it was just too much work for me. 

    Now I let the egg hit 280-300 at the dome, throw on a rubbed,  untrimmed rack of spares, and leave it alone for 3.5-4 hours. Usually use cherry for smoke, but sometimes I use pecan. They are done when a toothpick inserted in the meat slides in and out without any resistance, or if the ribs bend about 90° when you pick them up from one end. Works great for me. 



    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,495
    Like someone else suggested that it sounds like you are cooking without a place setter??  The first potion od 3-2-1 is "the smoke portion".  At this time, same with turbo cooking a butt, you want to maximize the smoke onto the meat.  The egg is not a good smoke machine --  i use chunks of soaked pecan and average about 2 hours of smoke.  To maximize this "smoke period" i cook as low as my egg will go, which the first hour might be 230 to 240 dome temperature.  After the first hour, the temperature begins to creep up because the meat is gaining internal temperature and the pecan is beginning to burn up, producing more heat.  I never open my dome during this period, because it will cause the temperature to rise with the end result being "less smoke applied to the meat"!!  So my ribs are usually like 2 -1 1/2 -1/2 .  I use St. Louis style and am cooking on a large . 
    The is actually a fantastic smoke machine. IT depends on how you load the chips or chunks. You don't really need to soak the wood; it just creates steam. Mix it throughout the lump when initially loading. The fire will move around, causing different areas to smolder. I have tossed 4-5 chunks right on top and had half burn off and half nearly untouched(the ones near the edges of the lump where it was relatively un-burned.
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    My comparison to "smoke machines" are like any wood burning cooker or even an old upright R2D2 smoker!  For many years, we would cook on old wood burning cookers that had a smoke box in one end.  We would be producing thick smoke all night with the grill full of butts.  Back then we didn't call it "pulled pork" but "chipped pork" because the smoke created a heavy 3/4 inch thick bark all around the outside of the butts.  From what they now tell us, is about two hours of cooking and the additional smoke doesn't effect the taste, because the butt is sealed by it's cooked outside.  I wouldn't even consider smoking fish on an egg, just isn't enough smoke without breaking it down to reload the wood.  And i certainly don't agree with your therory on not using "soaked" smoke wood.  The seasoned smoke wood would be gone in ten minutes!  I light my Egg with an electric starter, so the fire is centered from the cast iron bottom plate to near the top of the lump and burns outword as the cook continues.
  • Thick smoke all night and a 3/4" bark?  No thanks. That is pure creosote.  
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 10,750
    There's a dozen ways to do them. Hang in there. I've screwed plenty of cooks up but getting better...
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,495
    @Charlie_Tuna,
    Off-set smokers do a wonderful job making BBQ. They just eat through a ton of fuel. I learned to make BBQ on my Dad's until it fell apart. I get the same bark now as I did then; it's the rub, not the smoke alone that does this. 

    I don't know who "they" is, but I watched an America's Test Kitchen episode about BBQ where they cooked the butt on a Weber for 4 hours and then switched to an oven to finish the cooking process because their testing found that the meat would not accept anymore smoke flavor after 4 hours. 

    That's just fine if you disagree with soaking chunks. This is not "my theory" but is widely held belief by many on this forum and in the BBQ world. I fear that this is one of those "fat cap up or fat cap down" arguments. I used to soak but after reading info here and doing my own research online, I found that it only delays smoking of the food. The water has to evaporate before any smoking will occur. Just like browning meat. You will never get a sear when water is on the surface of the meat until it vaporizes. In addition, how would the wood be gone in 10 minutes? We are talking about smoking, not high-heat searing. Wood is inherently impervious to water. Liquid only penetrates a few millimeters. Here is a video where a guy cuts some chunks in half after soaking overnight:




    I would suggest that you cut some up yourself to verify this. It isn't wrong if you enjoy the way you make it. I was just suggesting ways to increase the amount of smoke during your cook.

  • gerhardkgerhardk Posts: 764
    The other thing to remember is that on the the temperature is totally controlled by the air vents, when I had an offset smoker it was so leaky that temperature had more to do with the available fuel not air. For this same reason your chunks or chips aren't going to burn away in 20 minutes or whatever. Stikes use to say that meat would absorb smoke during the entire cook but the smoke ring would only build until the meat reached a certain temperature. I have every reason to believe that he was right. I think the only thing my offset smoker did better than the egg was develop smoke ring. Gerhard
  •  I light my Egg with an electric starter, so the fire is centered from the cast iron bottom plate to near the top of the lump and (burns outword as the cook continues).

    I basically do the same but I only light the top middle for a low-n-slow. It would only make sence that if you move your smoke wood out to the sides, as the fire spreads it will find more wood. I smoked a brisket Saturday and had smoke for 8 hours. Then Sunday relit same charcoal for steaks and still had smoke chips around the sides.(btw I don't soak chips)

  • Dang it.....I meant to quote that first part. It was what @charlie tuna said
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,519
    I use an electric starter as well and light the top of the lump, the starter is only 1" into the pile. 

    @gerhardk nailed it, control of smoke is all about control of air, not lengthening the smoke fuel supply by making it burn slower by using wet wood. 

    The egg will smoulder away for sometime, as long as you don't lift the dome. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • rtt121rtt121 Posts: 420
    I have had very good results putting them on indirect 270* at the grid and cooking for 4.5 hours.

    I don't open it other than to check if they are done.  4.5-0-0
  • Dave in FloridaDave in Florida Posts: 746
    edited January 2013
    How I do my Turbo Ribs.  Everyone who has had them has loved them, so I haven't found a reason to change from it yet.

    LBGE at 350 dome, indirect, legs up, drip pan with 50/50 mix of apple juice and water.  Placed 4 chunks of peach wood on each side of the egg.  Pull membrane, yellow mustard than added my rub.  Covered and back into the fridge while the egg stabilized. Since I had 3 racks of ribs I had to use my extended grid.  2 racks of ribs went on the bottom and 1 on the top, making certain they did not hang past the drip pan.  Ribs went on bone side down for 1 hour. I also mist the ribs with just apple juice every 30 mins. Then I flipped them bone side up for 1 hour, this time could be + or - some time depending on how meaty the ribs are.  I usually start checking on them at about the 50 min mark during the 2nd hour, then check the drawback and bend test for doneness.  Sauced with 50/50 mix of Blues Hog and Sonny's Sweet sauce or Blues Hog and TN. Red mix .  Let them rest for about 15 mins and enjoyed.


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  • 500500 Posts: 1,198
    Alright so I see this talk back and forth about smoke and x-x-x methods so here is my problem. I have no trouble running over 10 hours but the smoke dies after the first hour or so. I lay chunks on the burning lump just before the meat goes on, be it ribs or butt. I start a lo and slo in just one spot as to not heat it up too high to where I cant get it back down again. It'll run at 250-275 forever with a loaded Egg, but after the cook I see unburnt wood chunks, and the fire did not spread out across the width of the lump, but went down through the lump, cutting about a 6" wide path almost down to the bottom. If I were to mix wood chunks throughout the lump before I light, wouldn't the smoke be rolling the whole time as the Egg stabilizes and burns off the bad black volitile smoke, burning the wood chunks up in the process? Trying to figure how to get more smoke. Maybe I need to light the whole lump, but I think it would get too hot.
    Large BGE; Midlothian, Virginia
    I like Pig Butts and I can not lie.
    "Barbecue is a journey, one meal at a time."
  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,166
    500 said:
    Alright so I see this talk back and forth about smoke and x-x-x methods so here is my problem. I have no trouble running over 10 hours but the smoke dies after the first hour or so. I lay chunks on the burning lump just before the meat goes on, be it ribs or butt. I start a lo and slo in just one spot as to not heat it up too high to where I cant get it back down again. It'll run at 250-275 forever with a loaded Egg, but after the cook I see unburnt wood chunks, and the fire did not spread out across the width of the lump, but went down through the lump, cutting about a 6" wide path almost down to the bottom. If I were to mix wood chunks throughout the lump before I light, wouldn't the smoke be rolling the whole time as the Egg stabilizes and burns off the bad black volitile smoke, burning the wood chunks up in the process? Trying to figure how to get more smoke. Maybe I need to light the whole lump, but I think it would get too hot.
    you got the idea when you said mix chunks in lump.  burn is typically down and in the center sometimes towards back middle as well because of the way the egg drafts.  build a column as you fill with lump mixing in chunks, there is a great picture out there of it.  i will see if i can snag it to share.
  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,166
    edited January 2013
    this is the best visual i have seen for loading the fire box and how it works.  courtesy of the STIKE

    image
  • I have a mini round point shovel I use both before lighting and after. Before to clear ash and after to spread the lit coals around as I see fit. This helps me with burn through problem on longer cooks. No real science, just what looks right to me. It also squelches the fire a bit as I leave the lid open a while when starting. It's a bit unconventional. Then scatter the smoking wood around. Remember, it is possible to over smoke.
  • 500500 Posts: 1,198
    U_tarded said:
    this is the best visual i have seen for loading the fire box and how it works.  courtesy of the STIKE

    image
    Thanks for the visual.  That gave me idea.  When loading up for a low and slow, start with an empty Egg.  Fill a chimney starter with lump and chunks or chips mixed in throughout.  Invert the loaded chimney starter into the Egg, but not dumping it out.  Fill in around it with additional lump, filling up the Egg as usual, halfway up the fire ring.  Pull out the chimney starter, and there you have the column of lump and chunks in the middle of the lump pile.  Light the middle and off you go.  Sounds like it would work.
    Large BGE; Midlothian, Virginia
    I like Pig Butts and I can not lie.
    "Barbecue is a journey, one meal at a time."
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