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Toothpick test

I've seen a few references to the toothpick test for gauging doneness for ribs. Can someone tell me what the test is?

Comments

  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 8,891
    Probe the meat between the rib bones with something pointy like a toothpick - or an instant-read thermometer.  When the meat temp is 190 or so (different for every rack) the resistance in the tissue will decrease significantly and that's how you'll know they're done.  As some say, it will feel like "buttah" as you pass the probe through the meat.

    XXL BGE, Karebecue, Klose BYC, Chargiller Akorn Kamado, Weber Smokey Mountain, Grand Turbo gasser, Weber Smoky Joe, and the wheelbarrow that my grandfather used to cook steaks from his cattle

    San Antonio, TX

  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 8,891
    And welcome aboard.

    XXL BGE, Karebecue, Klose BYC, Chargiller Akorn Kamado, Weber Smokey Mountain, Grand Turbo gasser, Weber Smoky Joe, and the wheelbarrow that my grandfather used to cook steaks from his cattle

    San Antonio, TX

  • StillH2OEggerStillH2OEgger Posts: 3,321
    Welcome to the forum. Foghorn has you covered. I will just add that it's hard to describe, but you'll know the "no resistance" when you feel it.
    Stillwater, MN
  • JayJay Posts: 2
    Thanks guys. Been a long time Egg owner and lurker here. Forum is great for answering most of my questions via search feature. Appreciate all you regulars do to educate us!!
  • Mark_B_GoodMark_B_Good Posts: 812
    I think the bend test is easy enough. Hold the rack vertical and bend it gently to one side try to get 90 degrees, and then let go. If it stays at 90 degrees, you're good.

    Trick is if you wrap in foil, leave the foil loose enough (but sealed), that you can do the bend test while still on foil. If it's not cooked enough, you can just place back on the grill for another 15 to 30 minutes.

    I guess another trick is to get your times right. I find 3h smoke and 2h wrapped at 275F and they're always perfect. The bend test is there for confirmation only before I take the wrap off.
    Napoleon Prestige Pro 665, XL BGE, Lots of time for BBQ!
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 24,219
    Welcome aboard and enjoy the journey.  Above all, have fun.
    Another endorser for the toothpick test for the finish.  Quick and easy.  
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,769
    To learn the feel start to test the item at temps way lower than expected target. This will give you the feel of “not ready yet”.  Once done the difference will be pretty apparent. 
    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.
     
  • 500500 Posts: 3,145
    The toothpick test really worked for me smoking ribs this time.  They cook to done at different times, and for me, even at different times n the same rib.  The toothpick is also like sticking a toothpick in a cake to see if it's done.  When I cooks spares on Saturday, I pulled only the portion of ribs that were done given the toothpick test.  I cut portions off as they finished.  I ended up taking two slabs of ribs off between 5 and 6 hours.  
    I like my butt rubbed and my pork pulled.
    Member since 2009
  • pgprescottpgprescott Posts: 13,539
    I prefer the toothpick test to the bend test personally. Like others have said probes with little or no resistance. The temp will be closer to 200-205 if you’d like to check that and log what you like. I use my thermopen as a temp and toothpick tester. Two birds with one stone sorta deal. 
  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,769
    One issue with the bend test is it is designed for a full rack of ribs.  I often cut full racks before cooking in order to fit better on the limited grid space.
    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.
     
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