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Speaking Of Ribs...I Found My Secret To Success

FlaMikeFlaMike Posts: 648
edited 5:24AM in EggHead Forum
A few days ago, I did 2 slabs of spares from Costco. Nice, meaty ones. They took about 7 hrs, and came out as perfect as they could be... as opposed to my last rib cook, which were done as few hrs early, and came out overdone. Cause I wasn't paying attention.

Here's what I learned. Ribs need to be attended to!

You can put on a pork butt and forget about it for the entire cook, just watch the temp. It will be good, no action required.

But ribs need to be watched. The temp needs to be watched. The first few hours let them be, but then a spritz here & there, an hourly check for even cooking, maybe turn the grid a little, and after 3 hours or so, the "lift-in-the-middle" test for doneness should be a must. By doing that, you can't miss. No more surprises.

Some slabs take a little less time, some a little longer, but at least when they're done, if you've been watching, they'll come off at just the right time for you.

Any comments?


  • dls2122dls2122 Posts: 66
    I made ribs for the 1st time a couple weeks agao (I'm new so everything is a 1st time at the moment). They turned out pretty good, but a little overcooked - but still very good. What is the "lift-in-the-middle" test?

  • FlaMikeFlaMike Posts: 648
    You slide some tongs under the middle of the slab and lift. If the slab droops, and the meat looks l ike it's beginning to tear a little, it's done. If it feels stiff, and doesn't want to bend much, than it's not done yet.
  • RascalRascal Posts: 3,450
    I'm a little confused.... You suggested doing the lift-in-the-middle test after 3 hours, yet you said your ribs took all of 7 hours to cook. Were they that meaty, and what temp were you cooking at? Thanks!
  • East Cobb EggyEast Cobb Eggy Posts: 1,162
    I agree. Ribs tend to be much more work than a Butt.

  • FlaMikeFlaMike Posts: 648
    When I said 3 hrs, that's just in case they're going to be done in 4 hrs. You'll have time to sauce if you want. My last batch took 7 hrs, but I started checking at 3 just to be safe. I didn't sauce until 6 1/2.
  • RascalRascal Posts: 3,450
    That's more better! Butts have been great but I still can't rave about my ribs.. Thank you, as I never thought they could take up to 7 hours before passing the "test"!
  • Ross in VenturaRoss in Ventura Posts: 7,137
    What was your Grid and Dome Temp.?
  • FlaMikeFlaMike Posts: 648
    Dome temp at 250°. Don't usually do a grid temp. Hickory and Guava chunks, Blues Hog sauce for last 30 min on meat side. Adjustable rig, 2 levels. Drip pan, no water. Spritz with apple juice/apple vinegar combo after 2 hrs, and once more about 3-4 hrs. That's it. Checked it every hour after that.
  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    I've always said it takes practice and if that is a 6pack/2 margarita cook (thanks baccus) so be it. :woohoo:
    Now where are those pics? :ohmy:

  • Ross in VenturaRoss in Ventura Posts: 7,137
    Thanks for the imput.
  • CrimsongatorCrimsongator Posts: 5,789
    I've also found if you cook them flat and leave the bones down the whole time, the bottoms really draw up and cook too myuch. I sometimes start with meat down and flip a few hours later.
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226

    I have never had a rack of spare's or baby take 7 hours. I have a hard time going past 4 hrs.

    Dome calibrated, indirect, raised grid. I keep reading these long times but have never experienced it.

  • HungryManHungryMan Posts: 3,470
    I have always had good luck with ribs. Here is the HungryMan technique. (SpareRibs) Indirect. 375Degrees for 45 min. 2hours at 250. Flip a time or two. Check with the fold test. When you think it's ready, temp back to 375. sauce up (if you want) and a few minutes on each side to crisp up. Guidelines only. I have cooked them faster and slower like the prove Carwash Mike method. It's all good to me.
  • FlaMikeFlaMike Posts: 648
    Pics?.... well, uh, oh my, geez, um, I must have forgotten them. Was so happy they turned out good, didn't think of pics until it was too late. Next time, promise.
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