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No Crust Ribs

TonyTony Posts: 224
edited 11:03AM in EggHead Forum
OK - I have tried making ribs 3 times.[p]1st time @ 255 for about 4 hours, good flavor a little tough, did not come off bone easy. Outside not crusty.[p]2nd time @ 300 for 5-6 hours, way overdone, outside hard.[p]3rd time @ 250 3-1-1 method, outside crusty, not easy to cut[p]What am i doing wrong, I am looking for nice soft meat all the way through. These were all st. louis style, belly ribs. Maybe next time i will try baby backs and what do you think, lower temp and maybe some spritzing? All times had dizzy pig rub, could the sugars be carmaliziing too much?[p]Tony


  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Tony,[p]1st time - not long enough
    2nd time - too high temp
    3rd time - long enough for back ribs, but not spares[p]For spares, try the 4-1-1 method at 250 dome temp. During foil, spritz with apple juice and some honey. Do not add sauce until the final 20-30 minutes.

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,832
    Tony,[p]The size of the ribs makes a difference with the cooking time. If I do a St. Louis trim from a 6 lb. rack of spares, they'll take longer than one that started from 4 pounders.
    Also, if the ribs really fill the Egg enough to block air flow, the temperature at the grate will be less than 250 for much of the time, and so slow the cook.[p]Although getting tender ribs with the 3-1-1 method is pretty easy, I find it difficult to get them crusty. Seems the fluid melts away a lot of the rub. One trick that has helped was to give the ribs a bit of a mop in the last 15 min. and a dusting of turbinado. Then serve with warm sauce on the side.[p]gdenby

  • mb168mb168 Posts: 265
    Tony,[p]I prefer baby backs and I always use Car Wash Mike's method, check here for both on Thirdeye's site
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,718
    each of those methods will give you different results, what are you looking for exactly. 250 will get some fall off the bone ribs but you need to cook them longer, not by time, but by doneness, did you take a temp reading or stick a tooth pick between the bones to see if they were done or pick up the rack in the center to see how floppy they are, if they bend in the middle and start to separate they are done. the last method probably needed more time in the foil, this is a judgement call as well, you want them almost falling apart because the last hour direct is for firming them back up. my problem with ribs is usually over cooking them, it looks like your not cooking them enough though

  • TonyTony Posts: 224
    fishlessman,[p]Thank for the input.[p]I am looking for fall off the bone, very little if any crust (maybe this is bark). Moist all the way through. In all cases I just went by time, I did not use any methods you listed to check doneness. I would agree on my 1st attempt i did not cook long enough, but I think I overcooked on the 2nd and maybe the 3rd. I was setup indirect with a clay pot bottom / water try for a deflector.[p][p]

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,718
    on the 3 1 1 are you adding liquid or wrapping them dry during the foil stage, if you add liquid, add HOT liquid and cook them meat side down so the meat braises, then the last stage dont cook them as long or maybe skip it all together if you dont want the bark. your cook might look like 3 2 .5 for what your looking for, i actually like a drier rib with some pull and a crispier bark. this is why the recipes are more of a guide, eventually you will find what you like, thats the best way to cook them.

  • TonyTony Posts: 224
    fishlessman,[p]Thanks, I do not remember what side I had down. I added a little room temp apple juice.[p]Anthony
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    it's tough to overcook ribs, believe it or not, because they can't get really dry and hard if they have already been "fall off the bone".[p]what i mean is that when most folks take off the ribs, and they are tough, and they are dry, it's nearly impossible to believe that they could be underdone still. i don't normally go this long, but the best ones i ever had were 'screw ups' that i'd let go NINE hours at 250. they were moist and fall of the bone. i don't like them to fall apart though, but rather pull clean away with a little tug.[p]the easiest way for a relatively new BGE user to get good ribs is probably the 3-1-1 method, though when i do it, i usually go a bit longer, like 6 hours.[p]can i ask a stupid question? do you have the ribs set up indirect....

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • TonyTony Posts: 224
    stike,[p]Yes, they were indirect wxcept for the last part when I added some sauce. I used a pot bottom. I agree with the pull from the bone clean with a little tug. That is what I meant by fall off.
  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,715
    <p />Tony, one way I gauge ribs is the bend test. When you grab them, if they feel like they could break off at any point then they are done, or real close. If they flap in the wind, then they need more time. It will take practice to know what done feels like. Tough job, all that practice, LOL. Tom ACGP, Inc.
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