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Bad Sunday Ribs

edited 12:44PM in EggHead Forum
Had a bad outcome Sunday. St. Louis cut pork ribs, one rack. Injected with apple juice, covered in French's mustard, then rubbed, wrapped and refrigerated for 6 hours. Plate setter legs up, Whole Foods Natural hardwood charcoal. Drip pan. 6.5 hrs at 220 degrees. A handful or two of hickory chips soaked in water for 6 hours. Mopped a few times with a rub-vinegar-little bit of ketchup. Mopped with finishing sauce 20 minutes before they were done.[p]
Ribs were rubbery, could barely get a bite off the bone. (The flavor was great, but basically had to lick it off the rubber-like rib meat)[p]Needless to say, a bitter disappointment. [p]What do you think, not on long enough? Bad cut of ribs? Not marinated long enough? Random chance? [p]
My first time using the plate setter... Not sure how this effected the outcome.


  • SalmonSalmon Posts: 146
    Dr. Meat, Just guessin' here butt, if 220 was your dome temp your grat temp was a bit lower, ribs can stand up to 250 to 275. Additonally, if you basted a few times you lost a bit of heat. 6 hours may have not been enough. As for myself, I think basting is over rated.[p]Rick

  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    Dr. Meat,[p]I've never injected ribs, but I'm ok with rub and a little mustard. 6 hours of soaking the wood may have been a little overkill and not yielded the best smoke, but that would have nothing to do with the tenderness. I'm ok with mopping or spraying once or twice. Sounds like too low of a grate temp and not enough time. Have you ever used a foiling step? It may be something to check out. Many folks really have good luck with it. Here is generally how I do 'em.[p]Keep playing with them until you like the finished product. Spares are one of the corner stones of barbecue.[p]Happy Trails

    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • Rib-RobRib-Rob Posts: 66
    Dr. Meat,
    Been there, and done that. In my case, it was the ribs not being cooked enough. Your temp seemed low. Others more knowlegeable will chime in, I'm sure. Did the ribs pull back from the ends of the bone? If they didn't, then more smoking would have been in order. Don't give up. Pump up the temp and give it another go.

  • wdanwdan Posts: 261
    Dr. Meat,
    For now, I would suggest using baby backs until you get to know your BGE better. B-backs are usually more forgiving than the spares. [p]Your seasoning/curing/injecting/etc prolly did not make a difference in good vs. bad outcome especially since flavor was good. I was an old water smoker and had to change many of my evil ways when I got my Egg. And even then, it still took some time to break certain other old habits.[p]I don't soak anything anymore, esp. chunks.
    With baby backs, I've become a firm believer in the 3-1-1 method. Smoke for 3 hours indirect at 250 dome(w/plate setter as you described); followed by cooking in foil with a liquid moisture enhancer (apple juice + others) at 250 dome; then direct over coals with finishing sauce. Times are approximate (look for meat pulling back on bones). Grid versus dome temp is not everyone's priority. You can use dome temps for everything you do unless you're baking souffles or something similar. Dome temps are relative but consistent. With the heavy ceramic insulating characteristics of the Egg, you'll do fine in any weather using just the dome temp for control, combined with actual internal meat temps for doneness. I don't measure rib internal temps...with them, you need to use visual doneness indicators like 1/4" pull-back from bone.

  • Dr. Meat,[p]Walk, don't run, and pick up a copy of Dr. BBQ's cookbook and try out the method for Championship ribs. [p]I made a small batch o' these for Superbowl Sunday and a friend I've known for years said that since I got the BGE I went from OK ribs to great ribs. But these took the take. He put them at a tie with Colonel Porkbutt's pulled pork which was AWESOME! The ribs were gone before I could get a bite.[p]Todd
  • ParrotheadParrothead Posts: 101
    Dr. Meat,
    You are getting some great advice on this one!
    Spares are a tough gig, man. Like WDAN said, BB are a bit easier until you get the hang of a method that works. It took me SEVERAL rib cooks to get it down to the point that I didn't have to have Pizza Hut on stand by!![p]Personally, I like WessB's method for BB's. For spares I tend to go 3/1/1.5. The foil step is crucial (IMHO). Like several have said here, I go 250-275 dome.[p]The best advice I can give is don't give up!! It is definitely worth all the trial and error.[p]Wobbly pops to ya!![p]Chris

    Wobbly Pops to ya, Chris
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,416
    I think you are right. Under done is most likely. I also agree with you on the basting!
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • EddieMacEddieMac Posts: 423
    You're definitely getting some sound advice here.....I've never been a good rib guy.....and Dr. BBQ's 3-1-1 Championship Ribs recipe is a great way to go.....I've had very good success with this particular method...I only keep them foiled for 30 -35 minutes as I like my ribs to stick to the bones a little bit.....But this 3-1-1 method really and truly works....You'll have the desired results the very first time if you follow the directions....[p]Ed McLean
    Ft. Pierce, FL

  • PorkchopPorkchop Posts: 155
    Dr. Meat,
    1)kick the heat up if you want, 250 or so
    i generally go a bit lower on temps myself, but i plan on leaving spares on for 8 hrs when i do. [p]2)don't baste. spares have plenty of fat; don't need it. lifting the dome just adds time to your cook. as to the fat issue, sometimes you can even trim the thicker section on the slab and get some of that fat off. the ribs won't suffer for it[p]3)don't watch the clock. they're done when they're done...[p]don't know about the whole foiling issue; never done it. once the ribs hit the grate, i don't mess with them. i might try it tho; sounds like it works pretty good. i just don't like working that hard when i bbq... :o)

  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    Smoke and Beers & Dr. Meat,[p]That recipe along with a few other good ones are found on DrBBQ's website. And if you can't find his book locally, you can order it there too![p]~thirdeye~
    [ul][li]Championship Ribs[/ul]
    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • Smokin BobSmokin Bob Posts: 239
    Dr. Meat,[p]In my experiences - rubbery ribs = undercooked!
  • A huge thank you to all of the excellent replies to my post. I can't wait 'till this weekend to give it another go! This is a great forum, and the depth of experience and talent here are a tremendous thing to have on your side![p]Dr. Meat
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