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My first ribs

pirates21pirates21 Posts: 71
edited 9:10AM in EggHead Forum
First post here, hope I am doing this correctly.
Just did my first ribs. Apple wood, 3.5 hrs at 225-245 temp on the BGE temp gauge.
I then grilled them at higher temp with a little sauce for about 5 mins.
They looked amazing, and were delicious, but I found them to be a bit dry. Not quite as tender as I had hoped. What did I do wrong? Any tips...please???? Thanks!
Ninety feet between bases is perhaps as close as man has ever come to perfection." -- Red Smith


  • pirates21pirates21 Posts: 71
    I should add that I did use indirect cooking forr the smoking part....thanks for any help!
    Ninety feet between bases is perhaps as close as man has ever come to perfection." -- Red Smith
  • civil eggineercivil eggineer Posts: 1,547
    Probably a little undercooked. A simple way to check is pick them up in the middle. The sides should point nearly straight down forming a U shape when finished. Most cook baby backs about 5 hours at 250 dome temp. I cook mine for 10 minutes a side after being in a pressure cooker for 25 minutes but that is another story.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,948
    To little time.

    Baby back ribs usually take 4.5 - 5.5 hours with a dome of 250. Spares usually take an hour more.

    The tenderness is directly related to how much collagen breaks down into gelatin during the cook. The smoothness of the gelatin compensates for the water driven off during the cook. Collagen does not break down rapidly until around 180 F. With a dome temperature of 225, the ribs on the grill were probably around 200. So while water was being driven off, there was not enough heat to do a good job on the collagen.

    You can cook at a higher temp. for a shorter period, and ribs can be cooked direct. They usually need mopping or spritzing when cooked exposed to the glowing lump.
  • XLentEGGXLentEGG Posts: 433
    I go 3 hours at 225 - 250 while smoking. wrap in foil with a spritz of apple juice,back on for an hour. Unwrap and back on the grill for one more hour. During this hour I glaze with sauce every 15 minutes while letting the dome temp come up to @ 325. Serve and Enjoy !!
    More meat please !! :-)
  • Very similar to what I do as well. 321 or 311. They always turn out great.
    Large & MiniMax in Lexington, KY
  • pirates21pirates21 Posts: 71
    So many great responses.thanks!
    I guess because they were dry I figured I left them on too long, but I guess not. It just seems hard to imagine that leaving them on longer would make them more tender, and less chewy. I suppose I will try. A friend mentioned putting a drip pan with apple juice under the ribs to add moisture.
    Ninety feet between bases is perhaps as close as man has ever come to perfection." -- Red Smith
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,948
    When I used metal cookers, I usually put water in the pans. The Egg holds moisture pretty well by comparison. I usually only add water to the drip pan if the drippings are starting to burn. It does not hurt to have some fluid in the pan, and may even speed the cook along. However, purists may say you are making boiled ribs, not BBQ. But then, purists are burning logs, not lump.
  • FSM-MeatballFSM-Meatball Posts: 215
    It has been explained here before, but dry ribs are undercooked. During the first stages of cooking all of the moisture is being driven out and if you are watching the temp it will rise until this point which is the "Plateau" The ribs will hang around 165-175 for a while. During this plateau the collagen and connective tissue that surrounds the fibers of the meat are breaking down. That collagen takes the place of the water and lubricates all the individual fibers of the meat. This is when it will fall apart. Most people take the ribs off at 190-200 temp.

    This is the guide everyone uses.
  • pirates21pirates21 Posts: 71
    I read the link. Thanks!. Just you recommend adding a drip pan with juice, or even wrapping the ribs in foil with juice for 30 mins? Is 4.5 hrs at approximate 225 the most common time? Again, thanks so much.
    Ninety feet between bases is perhaps as close as man has ever come to perfection." -- Red Smith
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