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To foil or not to foil?

toothpicktoothpick Posts: 154
edited 4:01PM in EggHead Forum
That is the question.

I'm doing some baby backs this weekend .

(Thanks for the recent membrane thread. That's very helpful.)

I've never foiled my ribs, but I understand if you really want them to fall off the bone, that's what you gotta do. It feels a little like cheating to wrap 'em up somehow.

I'd love some thoughts, recipes and opinions on ribs and foiling.



  • vidalia1vidalia1 Posts: 7,092
    A lot of championship pitmasters foil...if it is good enough for them it is good enough for me. :)
  • I foil and my wife has never questioned my manhood. Well, not over that, at least.....

    I'm not sure I understand why anyone should complain how you achieve your results. Do it and if you like the results, then do it again.
    The Naked Whiz
  • toothpicktoothpick Posts: 154

    Well that's good enough for me. Looks like I'll be trying out the foil--at least on some of them. Thanks, vidalia1. Thanks Naked Whiz.

    I'll post results and pics.

    Favorite techniques, recipes anyone?
  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    The best ribs you are ever going to cook, is the ones you like. Go for it.

  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    Many, if not most experienced BBQ cooks consider ribs that are "falling off the bone" to be overcooked. The meat should gently pull away from the bone when you bite.
  • vidalia1vidalia1 Posts: 7,092
    Just because you foil your ribs does not mean they are "falling off the bone" and overcooked. Again World Champion PitMasters foil their ribs....whatever you like is what works best... :)
  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    toothpick wrote:
    I've never foiled my ribs, but I understand if you really want them to fall off the bone, that's what you gotta do. quote]
  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    Kim, I didn't insinuate foiling would overcook.
  • AvocadosAvocados Posts: 465
    A lot of these world champion pitmasters also say that what they cook for the judges in a comp. is not the way they like to cook for themselves....
  • toothpicktoothpick Posts: 154
    Well I guess what I wanted were tips for some yummy ribs. I've done ribs maybe 4 times with 4 different results, so was hoping for some good insight, which y'all have given me. Thanks. I think I'll try foil on some of them this time.

    I didn't know that fall off the bone was considered over-done. I love this forum for exactly that sort of knowledge.

    Thanks to you all. Other tips welcome. Thanks again!
  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,721
    go to sams or costco and buy a big 500 foot roll of heavy duty foil....make sure it's heavy duty......when you hit the 250 foot wonder how you ever did bbq without it....

    the true bbq master will say fall off the bone is no good.....ask the average person in a crowd....most will say fall off the bone is perfect.....i'm a crowd guy....t ACGP, Inc.
  • JeffersonianJeffersonian Posts: 4,244
    You do have to be careful not to let the ribs spend too much time in the foil or they will get mushy and fall apart on you. I see the folks on BBQPM foiling, but they never just foil...they always seem to be putting things in the wrap to braise another layer of flavor into the meat. I've done that the last couple of times with my spares, and gotten rave reviews.
  • toothpicktoothpick Posts: 154
    Thanks, t. Good stuff. The vibe I'm getting here from all is, "I'm ok, you're ok. Cook it how you like it."

    I'll post results. Thanks again.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,994
    you can get ribs to fall off the bone with pretty much any method, foiling can really get them to fall off. dont go only by time in the foil stage, check on them, if they are not tender enough after an hour in foil, cook them more in the foil. the 311 method the last hour is just for firming them back up and saucing. i like the texture of ribs cooked direct, but you can really get some added flavor to ribs with foiling, especially if you like sweet ribs. my brother actually foils for the first couple hours, then finishes them up no foil
  • It does tend to make them fall apart, but after years of trying on other grills and failing, I like mine falling of the bone. After foiling, I throw them back on the grill to firm up a little.
  • The ones I did Sunday were fall off the bone tender. (The best ribs this side of the Pecos Post) I used a turkey size aluminum pan to hold the ribs and covered tightly with foil. I also added something to the bottom of the pan. In a medium sauce pan melt 1 stick of butter, add 3/4 cup of honey and 2 12 oz. cans of Dr. Pepper. Stir to mix and pour in the bottom of the pan. I cooked that for 3 hrs but I think 2 hrs would have been enough, I'm going to shorten the time next cook.
  • dhuffjrdhuffjr Posts: 3,182
    Another reason to buy the Sam's three back of baby backs....besides that three fit just right on a you've got three slabs to play with. Different rubs etc.
  • gsgentrygsgentry Posts: 128
    I bought the Sams 3-Pack a while back and have to say, they were horrible!!! I work for a grocery store chain so the next morning I went over and talked to the meat buyer. Told him about my experience and he said it was probably a very old pig that was super fatty. He said Wal-Mart (Sams) buys them dirt cheap because nobody else wants them.

    Hopefully others have had better luck!
  • toothpicktoothpick Posts: 154
    Dang. Making me hungry over here. Dr. Pepper, huh? Cool. Thanks for the tips.
  • Never had a problem with Sam's ribs, spares or babybacks. Never trust a competitor's explanation, lol!
    The Naked Whiz
  • AngelaAngela Posts: 543
    exactly, so what if it's what "champions" do, when they admit they cook to please someone other than themselves in competition.
    Egging on two larges + 36" Blackstone griddle
  • AngelaAngela Posts: 543
    No one should be surprised by that, it is walmarts basic business plan to buy the cheapest of everything, it's not about quality with them.
    Egging on two larges + 36" Blackstone griddle
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