Hop on down to your nearest EGG dealer this week to pick up some Easter EGGcessories! Here are a few that may be useful for Easter, the V-rack, electric charcoal lighter and flexible skewers! Now that Spring is in the air, it's time to think about getting out to one of the many #EGGfests around the country - see a list here
Dry and tough usually means underdone. If you were cooking indirect w. a dome of 225F, even w. foiling the meat might not have finished. The grill temp is often 25 - 30 degrees less for several hours.
Rely on the bend test. Whatever procedure is used, at around 3/4 of the expected time, gently lift the rack of ribs in the middle. perfectly done ribs will almost bend in half, or even start splitting in half.
I stopped foiling long ago. I don't like infusing extra flavor and sweetness by adding extra fluid. I've moved more towards "dry" ribs w. sauce on the side.
Some "fall of the bone" is good, some, not good. The way I look at it, great ribs have bones falling out of the meat. The thin sheath of connective tissue has completely dissolved, and the heat has traveled along the bone, draining moisture from the bone. Over cooked, often par-boiled ribs produce meat that is rather mushy, and doesn't come clean off the bone. The mushiness is due to the muscle proteins being over denatured, which causes all water to be squeezed out. W/o sauce, that meat, tho' tender, is likely to be gummy and dry in the mouth. At the same time, not all of the collagen may have converted to gel, shown by the meat still sticking in small shreds to the bone. Its the gel which is what gives 'Q its real succulence.
I think you will have fun w. it. I only managed to get mostly tough skin, but everything under the skin was super. Honestly, as I cut into the cheeks, the bacon-ey aroma was unbelievably intense. Most of the meat was surrounded by more fat than in the shoulder, and I was sure every mouthful I had was richer than ice cream.
Whenever the dome is opened, the fire size increases. In a low and slow cook, many folks will first see the temp drop after opening the dome, then see it rise beyond where it was before settling back to where it was before dome opening.
At a higher temp, with a 30 minute pre-heat, the Egg ceramics have lots of heat in them. When the dome opens, the fire grabs lots of oxygen, and so when the dome closes, the heat from the ceramics is added to the burst from the lump.
You can lessen the rise by working as quickly as possible w. the dome open.
Also, if you are grilling direct, realize that the temperature at the dome is considerably cooler than down near the fire. In a direct cook, the food is mostly heated by the IR rays coming from the lump. The intensity of those drops off pretty rapidly, so the bottom of the food at the raised grill level is getting significantly more heat than what the dome temp reads.
Because of this, if you put the grill on the lower level, or even remove the fire ring and have the grill just above the lump, things like burgers can be cooked with a dome as low as 350. Its just awkward flipping them when they are that far down into the Egg base.