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Ribs fell apart....what did I do wrong?

edited 12:26PM in EggHead Forum
I made the best batch of ribs over the weekend. I used the 3-1-1 method to perfection. I started with a JJ rub coated, mustard slathered rack of ribs marinated over night. I cooked the ribs with a little hickory smoke and kept the temp at 250 throughout the cooking. I also slathered them in pineapple preserves during the foil phase. The only problem was the ribs fell apart when I removed them from the foil. All the bones fell out and made the ribs almost impossible to flip when going direct.[p]Did I do something right or wrong? Whatever the answer it make the 3 racks of ribs disappear when the family got up from the table.[p]KT


  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,523
    When they cook too long they fall apart. The foil has quite a bit to do with that. They were probably done before you removed from the foil to start your final hour. Use times as a guide, but use visual clues for determining doneness. As soon as they want to pull apart, or a toothpick slides in and out of the flesh easily, they are ready. [p]Have you tried without doing the foil? Worth a least for comparison pruposes.[p]Glad they were all et up!
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
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  • Nature Boy,[p]Thanks, Yes next time I make some changes to the process. I believe that I should have not went as long in the first phase and will cut the time back to 2 hrs. I like the tender ribs but these were too messy and were mostly a pile of meat when finshed. I would have rather had tenderloin if all I was after was meat. I did create a new sauce using JJ's rub as a base. I need to eggperiment a little more to fine tune the recipe but it's a sure winner. It made you want to eat the bones that did remain in the ribs.[p]KT

  • TF1TF1 Posts: 16
    Nature Boy,
    As a happy comprimise to foil/no foil:[p]Poke a couple of holes in the top of the foil pouch as to let most of the steam get away. It will still allow enough to tenderize, but not so much as "steaming" would. And it will still be able to receive additional smoke. Done it this way a handful of times and seems to really work and cuts down on the 3-1-1. It works out to more of a 3-1.5. [p]Hope you give it a shot.[p]TF1

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,523
    I will try that. I use the foil wrap on occasion with fat spare ribs. A few times has been perfect, and a few times they've been a bit mushy. Poking holes might be a nice compromise! Or even with less time in the foil. [p]Tanks!
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
    Instagram: @DizzyPigBBQ
  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    KT,[p]Just a guess because that never happened to me yet, omit anything extra in the foil phase. They do steam in the foil but you may have over done it with too much steam. [p]Tim
  • EarlEarl Posts: 468
    How much liquid did you use, sounds like you may have boiled them, or steamed them to death. I do not use tin foil, just cook direct & turn them over often.[p]Earl

  • GfwGfw Posts: 1,598
    KT, as time progessses, you'll learn to take a careful look at the ribs before they are cooked. I generally only use foil if the ribs appear to have a nice fat streak - the last two times, I didn't use foil and they still turned out perfect - but the ribs were pretty lean when I started.[p]Anyway, glad the ribs turned out good. The pinapple thing sounds kind of interesting - next time I'm going to look for what appear to be a little 'fattier' and try the pinapple thing.[p]:~}

    [ul][li]Gfw's BBQ[/ul]
  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    TF1 wrote: "It works out to more of a 3-1.5. "[p]
    Are you saying you cooke spares for 3 - 1.5 ?
    That means 3 hrs indirect and 1.5 in foil --- then eat them?
    I tried that method once - in fact I made a suggestion that an hour at the end would have greatly improved them. Someone (can't recall who, GFW recalls his name) finalyy tried it and the 3-1-1 method was born. The 3-1 ribs I did, based on a suggestion from someone on the forum back then, came out way to wet and soggy. IMO it needs some time drying out and firming up the meat, ie: the last hour direct.[p]I would also not think any smoke is going to get into the meat during the foil phase, even with a hole since the pressure in the foil will be constanly higher than the outside of the foil. I think the first hour or so is the place you get the smoke.[p]Tim[p]

  • BrianBrian Posts: 73
    KT,[p]Since when is meat falling off the bone a problem? You could have chopped it up a bit and made some sandwiches with it.
  • Tim M,So you are the fella that invented that 3-1-1 method . Did you not also invent the 1-1-1 method ? you old inventor you . Graham

  • GfwGfw Posts: 1,598
    <p />AGBell, actually we must give credit (as Tim states inn his post) to George T. He started me going - I merely shortened the foil time. I've done a lot of ribs this way and they always turn out perfect, about like the ones in the picture! :~}

    [ul][li]Apple Juice Ribs - George T.[/ul]
  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    AGBell,[p]I am sure you meant that remark as a slam to me but since you are all wrong I will ignore it and you and since you post with no email like a coward. As I mentioned and GFW caught - I simply made the suggestion, a couple times, that the 3-1 method that someone posted was not good and that cooking the ribs after the foil phase might help. George T (thanks again for that name Gordon) did a version of the 3-1-1 method and GFW modified it to the 3-1-1 method as we know it. Gordon bugged me and everyone else here until several tried it - me included - and the 3-1-1 was off and rolling. I didn't invent it - never said I did. I did recently do 2 cooks with a 1-1-1 method that works very well. [p]Tim
  • RichRich Posts: 67
    Tim M,
    I have never heard of the 3-2-1 method. Please send me the details. It sounds great.

  • GfwGfw Posts: 1,598
    <p />Rich, check out the link. Good luck and post your results! :~}

    [ul][li]3-1-1.5 is Better! (used to be 3-2-1)[/ul]
  • RRPRRP Posts: 22,058
    Gfw, B E A U T I F U L !!!!
    Needless to say those don't look like the ones Famous Dave passed off on me yesterday in my one man taste test.

    L, M, S, &  Mini
    And oh yes...also a 17" BlackStone gas fired griddle! 
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • GfwGfw Posts: 1,598
    Ron - I'm sure you know that I actually snapped that picture at Famous Daves - just kidding. [p]Maybe part of the problem is that I like Baby Backs and Famous Daves serves spares.[p]Does anyone know where Famous Dave is famous?[p]

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