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Spare Ribs - OK but under done

ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,914
edited January 2012 in EggHead Forum
Thought I'd share my cook and opinion on the results.
I've done baby backs dozens of times but this was my first shot at spares.
I cut them up St. Louis style.  From what I've read, my plan was going to go an hour longer than I normally do baby backs.
I threw them on for 3 hours, then foiled for an hour, then another 1.5 hours out of the foil for a total of 5.5 hours.
Meat stuck completely to the bone when biting off. They were good but under done for my taste.
Next time I'll spend more time assessing the doneness, instead of just taking them off, cutting the all up and eating them!


Packerland, Wisconsin


  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,771
    I'm about to become a St. Louis convert (from BB's) and appreciate your comments.  Did they pass the "toothpick test"? Ribs are more of a challenge to me than brisket-go figure.
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,914
    edited January 2012
    I didn't do the "toothpick" test.  I did the "bend test" - I grabbed them with tongs and they bent at a 90 degree angle.  That, along with the amount of time and I decided to pull them off.  I guess I''m not to confident in any of these tests.  Next time, I will cut the end rib off and eat it for a test.

    Just did a little research and I guess I didn't even do the "bend test" properly.  Here's what I found on

     I pick up the slab with a pair of tongs and bounce them slightly. If they are ready, the slab will bow until the meat starts to crack on the surface.  A small crack means you need a little more time. It should be close to breaking when you lift the slab. 

    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,002
    i dont foil ribs anymore, but if you do and its the foil stage you want to work on, 1.5 to 2 hours in the foil, not 1.  i found the foil stage inconsistant for ribs with regards to time, you need to check to see if they're tender befor the final cook
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,914
    I'll try without the foil next time.  I've been doing my baby backs without foil for a while but I thought the spares might benefit from foil for some reason.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • gerhardkgerhardk Posts: 938
    I made them today and they were fall off the bone tender.  3-2-1 was what I did and when I wrap them in foil I pour some apple juice on the ribs. Last hour are bone side down and then sauce for last 20 minutes.

  • GreenhawKGreenhawK Posts: 398
    I never foil.  I feel that they get better flavor without foiling. Plus it just adds unnecessary steps to the process.  I use the bend test for doneness.  They are done when they look like they are about to fall apart when I pick them up, but they shouldn't fall apart.
    Large BGE Decatur, AL
  • smokesniffersmokesniffer Posts: 2,016
    Hey Choke, thanks for that tip about cracking, I will use that the next time. My last rib dinner wasn't quite fall of the bone, They did bend, and I thought that they would be done, but as it turned out they could have stayed on the egg a while longer. The bend test I did, did not crack the bark, even after 5.5 hours. Some egger's have said not to mop every hour, due to opening and closing the dome to much, and not accounting for more time to finish cooking. I will try your hints. Thanks
    Large, small, and a mini
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,914
    edited January 2012
    Yeah, mine were on 5.5 hours and that wasn't nearly enough.  Mine did bend 90 degrees but no cracking at all, just a bend.  Guess I should have researched BEFORE I took them off, not after I cut them up and started eating them and realized there were not done!!! X(
    Oh well.  Experience, repetition, practice.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • 57Driver57Driver Posts: 3
    I don't foil either.  I have the heat at @280 and cook St. Louis ribs for 5hrs on a rib rack, then I take them off--usually trying desperately to keep them together and sauce for another half hour.  Meat always falls off the bone and I get rave reviews.  This even works in North Dakota winters.  My son's birthday is in November and he always picks ribs for his b-day dinner.  Needless to say, most of the family likes coming to celebrate!
  • Mike8itMike8it Posts: 468
    I had a similar issue with ribs this past weekend. They went on at 12:30 withe the dome temp at 275. Foiled them at 3:30, took out of the foil around 5:00 and back on the gril. Checked them at 6:15 and not nearly done which I thought was odd. This whole time the dome was showing about 255. Come to find out my fire had died but the radiant temp of the platesetter gave me a somewhat false reading. Guess I need to keep a closer eye on the fire next time.
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