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Ribs.....what am i doing wrong?????

ok, today was my third attempt at doing ribs.  each time the flavor has been decent to real good....BUT, the issue I am having is keeping them from cooking to the point that they literally fall apart.

i'm keeping the egg between 250-275 with indirect heat due to plate setter.  

I'm rubbing the ribs with a coat of mustard then i spread the dry rub on them (various rubs each time ranging from myron mixon's to dizzy pig stuff)....i have let em set overnight to letting em set for 30-60 minutes.

i am putting them on the egg for anywhere from 1:30 like today to 2:30 hours before wrapping them.

when i wrap i usually put various things in the wrap that may include honey, frank's red hot, brown sugar and butter.

after wrapping i have cooked the ribs anywhere from another 2-3 hours before unwrapping.

once unwrapped i mop them with my BBQ sauce ranging from various brands and then let them set in the egg for about another 30 minutes.

each time they just seem to be a mess visually.....the first two times the taste was decent and then excellent.  today's flavor was decent but the ribs were not tender at all.....i'm really struggling.

my buddy says that getting the spare ribs already cut into small sections causes him to overcook them because the seem "to cook faster".....he may be right because a few weeks ago we cooked some on his indirect smoker and they looked like competition ribs and tasted great.  but these cut up spare's were all i could get this weekend at my local Kroger.

any ideas or suggestions would be much appreciated.....do you need to do things differently on the egg????

here are some pics of today's mess.
gettin lucky in kentucky!   2 XL eggs!

Comments

  • Have tried not wrapping them? I dont wrap mine.
  • msloanmsloan Posts: 249
    Have tried not wrapping them? I dont wrap mine.
    no not yet.  i just assumed that wrapping was "necessary".....lol
    gettin lucky in kentucky!   2 XL eggs!
  • msloanmsloan Posts: 249
    That's too long in the foil, which is making the meat too mushy. I just did some baby backs tonight that passed the bite test with perfection. The way I do it is 250 at the grate and I smoke them for 3 hours, then I pull them and wrap in foil with no liquid or anything else. Put them back on for an hour. Then take them out of foil and put them back on for one more hour. Sauce in the last 30 min. This is commonly referred to as the 3-1-1 method. Try that next time, it works for me!
    thanks!  i sure will.
    gettin lucky in kentucky!   2 XL eggs!
  • AuburntgrAuburntgr Posts: 61
    Rookie suggestion here but I would try not wrapping. I would also recommend brushing on the BBQ sauce one hour before they are ready in order to let the sauce carmelize on the ribs. Take my advice with a grain of salt as I am still a rookie with the egg and ribs.
    Germantown, TN Medium Green Egg
  • msloan said:



    Have tried not wrapping them? I dont wrap mine.

    no not yet.  i just assumed that wrapping was "necessary".....lol

    Ive always made them mushy if I wrap them. I prefer the texture when I dont wrap.

  • Have you considered the "Ronco" method?  That is, "Set it & forget it".  No foil.  That way you can keep an eye on it.  It seems to me the ribs are overcooking in the foil when you're not able to see it happening. 

    ........................................................................................

    Flint, Michigan.  Named the most dangerous city in America by the F.B.I. three years running.

  • msloanmsloan Posts: 249
    Have you considered the "Ronco" method?  That is, "Set it & forget it".  No foil.  That way you can keep an eye on it.  It seems to me the ribs are overcooking in the foil when you're not able to see it happening. 
    no i havnt....but i am willing to consider anything that would help me.
    gettin lucky in kentucky!   2 XL eggs!
  • I'm a novice, but the biggest change between my first two ribs (spares) and this weekend's baby backs was 2 hours in foil for the baby backs and no foil on the spares. The spares very much required a little effort to get off the bone (not tough, but definitely not falling off) while the baby back rib bones were almost jumping out of the meat.
    It's an obsession, but it's pleasin'
  • TexanOfTheNorthTexanOfTheNorth Posts: 2,750
    I'll add my 2 cents re: not wrapping. 

    Your set-up and temp sounds similar to mine. I usually do two racks and find that they're done in about 3 1/2 to 4 hours (I keep my temp a little closer to 270 than 250). Once I put the ribs on I don't open the egg until I am ready to start testing for doneness. I do not see where you mention a drip pan... I use a drip pan to catch drippings but do not add any liquid to the pan. Make sure that your drip pan has some separation from the plate setter.

    I do not sauce my ribs but I don't think that that has anything to do with your problem.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well, "spa-Peggy" is kind of like spaghetti. I'm not sure what Peggy does different, if anything. But it's the one dish she's kind of made her own.
    ____________________
    Aurora, Ontario, Canada
  • SpringramSpringram Posts: 417
    That's too long in the foil, which is making the meat too mushy. I just did some baby backs tonight that passed the bite test with perfection. The way I do it is 250 at the grate and I smoke them for 3 hours, then I pull them and wrap in foil with no liquid or anything else. Put them back on for an hour. Then take them out of foil and put them back on for one more hour. Sauce in the last 30 min. This is commonly referred to as the 3-1-1 method. Try that next time, it works for me!
    Boiler Up !!

    Springram
    Spring, Texas
    LBGE and Mini
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 5,368
    I made more mushy ribs than not when I used to foil, so I stopped doing that. Plus it was a real PITA - cooks took a loooong time, had to foil in the middle then unfoil, and then they were almost always too soft. 

    With the egg, I let em ride at 300-350°F until they are done. Did 4 STL racks yesterday, with a drip pan + air gap that took less than 2 hours. The fat renders differently when cooking at higher temps, but not necessarily in a bad way. Very juicy, and there were no leftovers. I was almost disappointed at how quickly they were done because I didn't get to hang out by the egg as much as I wanted to (it was a 1 scotch cook). Worked out okay though, since I had a houseful of people. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • I have done ribs once on my BGE and it was for my first cook.  I rubbed with mustard and Swamp Venom Dizzy.  I tossed the ribs on around 1:00pm at 250* with the setter in and wood chunks (cherry and apple soaked) around the outside of the setter.  I sprayed once with the mixture of apple cider and vinegar after an hour and then let it go for 4 hours.  I sprayed it down and wrapped it in foil for an hour and then finally on the grate directly for another 45 minutes basting with BBQ. I did the toothpick test toward and end and concluded that they were finished.

    Not sure it'll help you but that was my first (and only) success with ribs.
    ribs.jpeg
    1632 x 1224 - 942K
    Large BGE
    GR
  • GrillmagicGrillmagic Posts: 477
    edited July 2013

    OK this thread could possible explode with more information than I could ever give, I'm sure there are Eggers on here that have forgot more than I know in fact I'm a Newbie only running 400 pounds of Lump through my XL but this is what I have done and out of the 200/300 racks I've cooked on my BBW (Big Black Weber) and now 10/15 racks on my egg, the Egg ribs are the BOMB!

    So here is what works for me;

    Pull the MB on BB or St Louis (prefer St Louis cut) ) at room temp the MB comes off a whole lot easier then when they are cold.

    Trim and either mustard or EVOO then Dry rub the dickens out of them, I use Dizzy Pig Dust

    Throw them on at a stable 250 degree dome with some cherry or apple wood for smoke, Plate setter legs up, raised drip pan SS grid and meat side up at the felt for 3 hr checking at about 2 hrs and spritzing with apple juice once or twice.

    Then I foil meat side up with butter, honey, brown sugar and more rub for 2 more hrs still at 250

    Then finish them (plate setter removed) at 250 for how ever long is required 30/60 minutes (out of foil)  until done with or with out sauce some times flipping them meat side down, what ever it takes.

    Just a few tips from your uncle Chuck!

    www.chuckkingcomedy.com

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,259
    edited July 2013
    I agree with the notion that the foiling is what is making them mushy. Foiling is good for 3 things. It lets the meat get a pre-saucing, and so may add some flavor. It keeps the meat from getting too smokey, if you want to go light on the smoke. It speeds the cook along.

    The down side is that the meat at the least, will stew in its own juices. Too long, the meat proteins completely collapse, and one ends up w. mush, and the bark is ruined.

    Once I had learned to be more patient w. cooking ribs, I learned that foil was not needed at all for tenderness. Just time, and an even temperature.

    The Egg is very different than other cookers. It really does retain moisture better. Extra fluid in drip pans does very little. Mopping or spritzing can be kept to minimum. I often do not do more than 1 thin coat of water late into the cook.  Also, because it is easy to have enough fuel that the fire will burn clean and steady, so one does not need to pay much attention to heat fluctuation, or "bad" smoke.

    I've started experimenting w. ribs cut into single bones, or 2 - 3 bones sections. I'm looking for more rub surface. They do seem to cook faster, but I can't say exactly how much. I have had a few slabs that were smaller than usual. Those did cook a lot faster, and portions really did get charred. So while my method is basically plop the ribs on, and wait till they are done, I do peek in quickly at about hour 4 to see just what is really happening.

    Before getting the Egg, I spent years producing mediocre ribs using cheap metal cookers. After the Egg, quality went up really rapidly. Stick w. it. You should get to the point that most ribs joints aren't worth visiting.
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 11,779
    Cooking them way, way too long. After a year of fails I hit a system I'm happy with. Spares, cut into a St Louis, 350 for 1 1/2...foil covered in honey, 1 hour then sauce and 30 minutes. I've learned to adjust the tenderness by changing the foul time

    @Caliking... Two hour cook,... One scotch? Puss.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • henapple said:



    @Caliking... Two hour cook,... One scotch? Puss.

    Kinda a booze aficionado & critic, eh? My Bud Light was wimpy a couple of days ago and now Caliking isn't swilling enough. Now there's a big hanging curveball for ya!

    ........................................................................................

    Flint, Michigan.  Named the most dangerous city in America by the F.B.I. three years running.

  • calikingcaliking Posts: 5,368
    @henapple - its on now, Tony! Calling me out in a second thread???  

    Put down the PBR and pay attention - it was LESS THAN 2 hours. Don't make me come over and put a cap in yo PBR bunny's a$$ (moar street cred... recently up 4 points). :D

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • SamFerriseSamFerrise Posts: 544
    3-2-1 system NEVER fails, always fall off bone tender.  Never exceed 250 indirect on my cooks.
    BabyBacks.jpg
    1028 x 771 - 1M
    Ribs 12202012.jpg
    1024 x 768 - 397K

    Simple ingredients, amazing results!
  • msloanmsloan Posts: 249
    thanks so much everyone!  it's really great to be able to receive so much good advice!  I feel confident after reading everything that my next cook for ribs will certainly go much better.
    gettin lucky in kentucky!   2 XL eggs!
  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,261
    Reduce your cooking time.  
    Cookin in Texas
  • dougbackerdougbacker Posts: 277
    It's simple
    250° grid
    3hrs on grid
    2hrs wrapped
    1hr unwrapped/bbq'ed on grid
    it's called the 3-2-1 method

    --------------------------------------------------------
    South Dakota
    KBØQBT
    Large BGE, 
    Mini BGE
    36" Blackstone Griddle
    Phoenix Gasser
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    And a deck box full of toy's


  • It's simple
    250° grid
    3hrs on grid
    2hrs wrapped
    1hr unwrapped/bbq'ed on grid
    it's called the 3-2-1 method

    Two hours wrapped and mine are mush. I just stick with no wrap and a longer cook time. I like a little "bite" to mine anyway.
  • claybrnclaybrn Posts: 31
    I also don't wrap my baby backs.  To keep them from drying out, I spritz them every hour with a solution of apple juice (1 cup), apple cider vinegar (1 cup), and liquid butter (1 tbsp).  I also follow the times and temps on Car Wash Mike's Recipe (http://playingwithfireandsmoke.blogspot.com/2002/06/baby-back-rib-class.html)
  • msloanmsloan Posts: 249
    It's simple
    250° grid
    3hrs on grid
    2hrs wrapped
    1hr unwrapped/bbq'ed on grid
    it's called the 3-2-1 method
    thats the whole point of my thread......my first cooks have been nearly that method in identical fashion as you have described with not very desirable results.....too mushy. and way too much feet literally falling off the bone.

    i am hopeful that some of the ideas expressed will help as i move forward because wrapping them for 2 hours or so has caused me problems.
    gettin lucky in kentucky!   2 XL eggs!
  • ShadowNickShadowNick Posts: 483
    Don't foil... I feel like its a holdover from mentality people had pre-egg. I'd never cooked my own ribs before the egg, and just tossed them in and let them sit for 5 hours at 250 the first time I did them... Best ribs I ever had up to that point.
    Chicago, Illinois
  • msloanmsloan Posts: 249

    Don't foil... I feel like its a holdover from mentality people had pre-egg. I'd never cooked my own ribs before the egg, and just tossed them in and let them sit for 5 hours at 250 the first time I did them... Best ribs I ever had up to that point.


    Thanks a bunch I think that may be the best plan for me as well!!!!
    gettin lucky in kentucky!   2 XL eggs!
  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 1,299
    I tend to go unfoil for 3 hours, foil for an hour or so, and and then finish with sauce unfoiled.   Kids like them fall off the bone tender.  I prefer competition tenderness where you get a bit of tug.  To each his own I guess.  
    Joe - I'm a reformed gasser-holic aka 4Runner Columbia, SC Wonderful BGE Resource Site: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramicfaq.htm and http://www.nibblemethis.com/
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