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Going to try pork ribs later this week for the first time. Have a question or two

In looking at some pork rib recipes, I see a lot of “cook at 300 for x hours type recipes, but I have not seen any that said cook until the temp reaches Y degrees (not sure what that would be for pork ribs).  When you smoke ribs on the EGG do you not use a meat probe and track the temperature like you would with a pork butt or chicken?  Also is there an optimal EGG temp to use?  I’m seen some refer to 300 and others around 240.



  • RRPRRP Posts: 23,270
    I use my Thermopen and the meat between the bones is done when the temperature is between 196º and 200º.
    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time.
  • ColtsFanColtsFan Posts: 4,445
    I usually run the egg 275* or so, don't wrap, and use the bend test for the finish. Temp would be pretty close to what Ron said above
    ~ John -
    1-XL BGE, 2-LG BGE, KJ Jr, Ardore Pizza Oven, King Disc 
    Bloomington, IN - Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 21,605
    Never have temp'd a rib cook, beef, pork or lamb.  I just go with the trusty toothpick test for the win.  When it probes clean between the rib bones you are there.  FWIW-
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here; L&S BGE's, PBC, Lang 36; burnin wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,692
    Just like pork butts and beef brisket you cook ribs until tender.  Internal temps are just an approximate measure to alert you that you should start checking for doneness.  Time and temp recommendations are the same - an indicator of when to start checking.  Ribs are harder to get a good internal temp on than a roast because of their thin nature and bone mass.  Most cooks seem to just use the time and temp to get close and then check for tenderness.
    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.
  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,692
    Also is there an optimal EGG temp to use?  I’m seen some refer to 300 and others around 240.
    NO.  Anywhere from 225 to 350 works fine.  Some would even recommend higher.  There are (maybe?) some subtle differences but no consensus on an optimal temp.

    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 26,074
    i start poking when they get near 190, then its more looking for that more tenderness issue. becareful with recipes, some like ribs falling apart, some like a little pull slight chill. its very easy to overcook them, i hate them when they are cooked to fall apart tenderness
  • Mark_B_GoodMark_B_Good Posts: 106
    I just go by dome temperature ... 250F to 275F is good.
    3h time for that smoke to penetrate.  Then I wrap and cook for 2h to 3h ... try and hit that tenderness right on the bullseye.
    Napoleon Prestige Pro 665, XL BGE, Lots of time for BBQ!
  • saluki2007saluki2007 Posts: 5,124
    If you do choose to cook over 300 make sure you use a rub that doesn't have a large amount of sugar in it.
    Large and Small BGE
    Morton, IL

  • MikeCTMikeCT Posts: 33
    These are all great pointers.  Thank you!

  • calikingcaliking Posts: 14,205
    Probing a thin cut like ribs, for temp, is not the same as probing thicker cuts like steak, butts, etc. Bend test, or the toothpick test, should suffice. 

    Re: egg temp, the fat renders differently at hot n fast temps (350+ ?). It’s not bad by any means, but they’re different vs. ribs cooked at lower temp. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • ColbyLangColbyLang Posts: 616
    250°-275° here. 3 hours naked, 1 hour wrapped with honey, butter, a little apple juice (little being key) and some rub. Another 30-45 minutes naked after saucing. Personally prefer baby backs over St. Louis style. Can’t go wrong with either though. Have never probed for temp or doneness. Bend test for the win
  • StillH2OEggerStillH2OEgger Posts: 2,882
    Ribs seem to be the one cook that everybody has a slightly different tenderness and texture preference for them and their families. I encourage you to try a few different ways and take notes and dial in what gives the results you prefer. I usually smoke at 250 for 3 to 4 1/2 hours (depending on ribs) then usually no more than 1 hour to 1:15 in foil and 30 minutes to an hour uncovered to finish. A longer foil stage will help with tenderness, but it's a fine line between tender and mushy. Lots of ways to get there with ribs. Good luck.
    Stillwater, MN
  • dmouratidmourati Posts: 847
    edited June 30
    You cook to tenderness which you can check with a toothpick. If it pulls out with no resistance, you are done. The baseline for ribs I use is 3-2-1 method which I adapt to more like 3-1-1. 3 hours on the grill naked, 1 hour wrapped in foil and with honey, brown sugar, and butter. 1 hour unwrapped naked again to finish. I cook at around 275. Start checking every 15 minutes during the last hour and you will be good to go.
    Mountain View, CA
  • MikeCTMikeCT Posts: 33
    So for the “bend test” - how flexible should the be?  Ends touching to form a circle?

    i loves the guidelines above like the 275 temp and 3-1-1.   That is super helpful for a starting point.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 21,605
    Here is thread from using the search function here that may help:  FWIW-

    RE: Will be trying baby back ribs for the first time tomorrow  

    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here; L&S BGE's, PBC, Lang 36; burnin wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • MikeCTMikeCT Posts: 33
    Today is the day.  I’m using recipes from a Dinosaur BBQ cookbook (Generally NY state restaurants) and made the run, sauce, and mop last night.

    i have two ~3.5 racks of baby backs that I’ll be using.   The recipe suggested 2.5-3.0 pound St. Louis racks and said the cook time was 3.5-4.0 hours and I think the temp was 225-250.  I’ll probably go at 250 degrees unless I hear from here that I should go lower.  Considering that the weight of the racks is more, but they tend to be less meaty than St. Lous, should I still be thinking about a 4 hour cook time for those size racks at ~250?

    I’ll try the bend test but with a probe or instant read is my target temp 180?  I think with pulled pork it was 190-195 from what I recall.

    last question - for the bbq sauce glaze at the end, does go on when approaching the ribs being done or after they are done and pass the bend and temp test?  The recipe suggested that when the ribs are done glaze with sauce And then leave on the grill for another 20 mins or so which seems like it may overcook them.

    sorry for all of the rookie questions.  Hopefully I’ll be in a position to contribute soon!

  • StillH2OEggerStillH2OEgger Posts: 2,882
    You'll get dozens of answers on how to do ribs. I suggest following what you're doing. I don't anyone hits their version of perfection on their first attempt, so make adjustments to find your desired sweet spot on upcoming rib cooks. No reason to cook at less than 250 degrees, but they may require more than four hours, even for baby backs. To me, tooth pick test is most reliable way to ensure good results. Hard to get consistent temp readings with ribs because so much of them are bones and fat. Also, beware that a recipe created for a stick burner or other vessel might not be the best method for the BGE. Good luck, and let us know how they turn out.
    Stillwater, MN
  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 7,909
    At 3.5 pounds they may take 5 or more hours at 250.  If your egg settles in a little above 250 take that as a win.  With that said, an hour or more in the foil usually gets them very close to done.  Those ribs will likely be thick enough that you can get temps on them.  185 to 200 is the range I have seen where they probe like "buttah".  

    I wouldn't worry too much about 15-20 minutes of "overcooking" after the glaze is put on.  It typically takes more than that to go from "probes like buttah and will pull off the bone" to "fall off the bone but the meat still has good texture" to "fall off the bone and mushy".   

    Also, pay attention to how you orient the ribs when you put them on.  Put the thicker part toward the hotter part of the egg if you can - typically this is the back.  With that said, the ribs in the middle will likely be the least cooked.  If there is much difference between the end ribs and the middle ribs, I have sometimes cut the rack in the middle and oriented the middle ribs to the outside and vice versa.  

    XL BGE, Klose BYC, ProQ Excel, Weber Kettle, Firepit, Grand Turbo gasser, and a portable Outdoor Gourmet gasser for tailgating

    San Antonio, TX

  • Mark_B_GoodMark_B_Good Posts: 106
    I cook them to a good bend, then glaze on some BBQ sauce and do a high temperature sear at say 400F direct fire (take off conveggtor plate), but for a few minutes, so you don't lose much moisture.
    Napoleon Prestige Pro 665, XL BGE, Lots of time for BBQ!
  • MikeCTMikeCT Posts: 33
    Ok - thanks.   I’m going to fire up the Egg in an hour or so so we’ll see how it goes!
  • Matt86mMatt86m Posts: 452
    The bend is picking the rack up with tongs (about 1/3-1/2 way) and allowing it to bend, 90* +- is what you are looking for. Too done and the rack will tear, not done enough and it won't bend to 90.

    #'s are approximate you are just looking for a good bend in the rack.

    The 3, 2, 1 method is a good starting point then you can adjust from there depending what you like.
    XL aka Senior, Mini Max aka Junior, Weber Q's, Blackstone 22, Lion built in, RecTec Mini 300, Lodge Hibachi, Uuni, wife says I have too many grills,,,,how many shoes do you have?
    IG -->  matt_86m
  • cmkrattcmkratt Posts: 54
    I’ve tried turbo ribs at 350, and the 3-2-1 method. But my favorite way to do ribs is Car Wash Mike’s method, and I use the toothpick test for doneness. 

  • MikeCTMikeCT Posts: 33
    I think it worked!  Used a probe the whole time, mopped a few times, then off when hit 180 (4 hours and 50), then sauced and back on for 20 mins!

    thanks everyone!!!
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