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dry tough ribs again.

funk49funk49 Posts: 115
edited 9:25PM in EggHead Forum
3rd time was not a charm. I'm about ready to give up on them. I tried doing them on a raised grid this time. 250* dome. 5 hours. Foiled them for close to an hour.
Spritzed them about evey 45 miutes. Used plate setter legs up with a drip pan and the thermometer was calibrated. They came out like shoe leather again.


  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Are you cooking them indirect?
  • funk49funk49 Posts: 115
    Yes. I had the platesetter in and a drip pan under the ribs.
  • funk49funk49 Posts: 115
    Could the fact that I used a raised grid have had an effect on the temps? Would it have been hotter up higher, or cooler? Some but not all of the ribs had pulled back from the bone. I just pulled them after 5 hours. I was hungry. I thought they should have been done in 4 considering they were foiled for close to an hour?
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Dry and tough is UNDERCOOKED

    Throw your clock out
    As devil's advocate, let's say they are actually overcooked. That means you had them perfect somewhere during the cook, but that they stayed on too long. If that's the case, you need to check them more and catch them at the right point. This has never involved a clock.

    If they are, as I suspect, undercooked, then they simply need more time

    A frequent concern is "they are already dry, how can cooking them longer not make them drier"?

    Well. The best rib you'll ever have is one that is way overcooked. If it were a roast, it would be dry as a bone. But t isn't a roast.

    Cooking long low and slow drives out water, water which we'd want in a roast. It makes the meat moist. But that roast is 'done'around 140 max. If you cooked ribs like that, you'd havemoist ribs. But moist TOUGH ribs

    Continue to cook them though, and you will drive out the water and the ribs will be dry and tough. That's what you have.

    And so here comes the magic of q. Cook it even longer, and the stuff that makes the meat tough, collagen (a sheath around every fiber of muscle) will literally become gelatin. It melts. The long-gone moisture from water is replaced with succulence from the collagen. And since that collagen is no longer holding anything together, the meat begins to fall apart

    I'm not kidding. The best spares I ever did were those I forgot on the BGE. They went NINE hours at about250

    That can be sped up, sure. But my point is it is nearly impossible to overcook them. And very easy to flinch and take them off too soon

    Those ribs have a mind of their own and are done when done.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • funk49funk49 Posts: 115
    Thank you. You are probably correct. Next time I'll leave them on longer. I have nothing to lose at this point. I'll try leaving them on till they fall apart. They can't possibly come out any worse. :blush:
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    If only a few had pulled back from the bone they were underdone. Look for all of the bones to be exposed 1/2" or so.



    You can also do the bend test, where you pick them up with a pair of tongs and see if the slab bends about 90* or so.
  • stevesailsstevesails Posts: 990
    THANK YOU!!!
    that is the best explaination on houw to cook ribs i have ever read.
    XL   Walled Lake, MI

  • Gator Bait Gator Bait Posts: 5,244
    What cut of ribs were they? Spares or baby backs? I do baby backs on my medium egg and have learned to do them indirect, three hours @ 225º and then foiled @ 250º, 45 minutes to an hour till internal temp of 195º to 200º will give me good results. You can add moisture to the foil package if you want. Many use a mix of apple juice and cider vinegar 50/50, just a couple tablespoons or honey, maple syrup or brown sugar may be added for sweeter ribs. Don't give up, they are worth the trouble to learn to get them right. I had eaten many over cooked ribs before my nieces husband showed me this method that works well. Good luck.


  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    You need to check them. You can't catch a ball at the height of its arc by trying to guess when it'll be there
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Austin  EggheadAustin Egghead Posts: 3,907
    Thanks Stike Good explanation and Bookmarked!
    Large, small and mini now Egging in Rowlett Tx
  • funk49funk49 Posts: 115
    Sorry, I don't understand the bend test. Do you pick them up with 2 pairs of tongs at the ends and try to bend them? Or do you pick them up from the center with 1 pair of tongs and see if they bend about 90* all by themselves?
  • funk49funk49 Posts: 115
    They were marked as Pork loin back ribs. I did put in Apple juice and Apple cider vinegar while foiled.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,935
    The sign of a well done batch of ribs is almost always shown by how the meat draws back from the bones. The only ribs that I have ever really burnt in the Egg were ones that were so thin that the meat over some of the bones split away. Some bones were 60% bare.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Learned it here

    Ribs are as forgiving as butts, but that's often overlooked
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • funk49funk49 Posts: 115
    Would the fact that the package said they were previously frozen, effect the cook time, or the tenderness?
  • SomedayMommySomedayMommy Posts: 193
    Yep - the latter
  • NC-CDNNC-CDN Posts: 703
    Great advice Stike. Sounds like that is what happened, unless his temps were not at 250, but instead 350. Once you get it it's easy peasy. You'll make smashing ribs every time. On my egg I've not made bad ribs yet. I think I'll do ribs for the end of the world tomorrow. Mmmm ribs.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,935
    It depends a little on how the meat is frozen, and at what temperature it is held. But in general, every time meat is frozen, ice crystals form that can puncture the cell walls. And, the longer the meat is held frozen, the worse the damage becomes. So, frozen meat will dry out quicker.

    The problem with stuff labeled "previously frozen" is that it may mean frozen more than once.

    I have no problem with meats I get straight from farmers that is well frozen. But everything I get from the market comes cryovac'd, and is only refrigerated.
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Chuck Norris could
  • RaleighGuyRaleighGuy Posts: 207
    Just make sure they are done before 6!


    Raleigh, NC

  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    funk49 wrote:
    They were marked as Pork loin back ribs. I did put in Apple juice and Apple cider vinegar while foiled.

    Those would be baby back ribs.

    Question on your liquid - did you put it in cold or did you preheat it? If you put it in cold it can substantially increase your cook time, depending on how much you added. A couple tablespoons is really all that is needed.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,980
    the method with the foil is 3 1 1, or 3 2 1 ribs, google it. its 3 hours smoked, 1 or 2 hours in foil with juice, then the last hour is to firm them up. there are tricks to this method, juice is added hot, the time is by looks as they should be falling apart before you start phase 3 to firm them up, in the foil you put them meat side down so the meat is braising in the liquid.smoke them around 250, braise them around 275, firm them back up around 300 and only til firm-not 1 hour. some like them falling apart and dont do the last step. at aboout 45 minutes in the foil check and make sure there is still liquid in the foil, add more hot liquid if needed
  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,721

    the "bend" test works from me on when done. pick 'em up with tongs, if you can flap 'em like a flag in the wind, not done. if they feel like they'll break at any second, then done. ACGP, Inc.
  • BOWHUNRBOWHUNR Posts: 1,483
    You've received some good advice from the above posters. I have always used the 3-2-1 method for baby backs with good success.
    3 hours @250 indirect. Remove and foil.
    2 hours foiled and sprayed with apple juice @250 indirect. Remove foil and sauce.
    1 hour sauced @250 indirect.
    I watch them pretty close for that last hour but for the most part I have always had good luck using this method.

    Omaha, NE

    I'm ashamed what I did for a Klondike Bar!!

    Omaha, NE
  • SomedayMommySomedayMommy Posts: 193
    Yeah, putting them on a raised rack is at a lower temp, too. Next time, do the PS still, but puts the ribs at grid level, and as other posters have said, just wait until the meat pulls back like in the picture.....
  • The BoneThe Bone Posts: 14
    Funk, I have not read through all the posts here, but, Baby Back Ribs (pork loin back ribs) do not take nearly as long to cook as regular spare ribs. In my humble opinion, 5 hours is too long for baby backs.
  • The BoneThe Bone Posts: 14
    I must respectfully sort of disagree here. I have made baby backs and cooked them too long. All of the moisture was cooked out of them. They WERE tough and chewy. Baby backs do not take as long to cook as regular ribs. (IMHO :) )
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i was talking spares, when i went 9 hours.
    point holds true, you need to check them. time is a rough guide
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • BBQRBBQR Posts: 68
    try buying the ribs from another source other then a grocery store.

    Add apple juice in with the foiling.

    3 hrs, 1 hr foil, 1/2-1hr back on grill with some sauce.
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