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Pork Ribs

edited 11:06PM in EggHead Forum
I smoked ribs today and have a question:
I applied a rub,let set overnight, smoked them for 7 hours at 200 degrees. I used the plate setter with a drip pan under the grate with 1/2 Apple Juice and 1/2 water. When I checked them they were still tough so I put the ribs in the apple juice pan and smoked them another hour. The ribs were still stuck to the bones and were hard to pull them off of the bones.

This is my first time using the BGE and I thought I would have better results than this.

Any help will be appreciated, Frank


  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172

    Do this:

    Car Wash Mike Rib Lesson

    The pan full of liquid is not necessary in the BGE.
  • AshmanAshman Posts: 375
    You might want to check the calibration on your temp gauge. Might have just been a really tough pig. Did you pull the membrane? Good luck, remember its the journey that makes memories.

  • RushRush Posts: 19
    I think 200 degrees is too low to get the ribs up to temp in order to break down the connective tissue and make them tender. If that is dome temp, you could have been cooking them at 160 over the water pan, which would explain them being tough due to under cooking. Possible solutions are cook at a higher dome temp or remove the water pan and cook at a slightly higher dome temp. I have cooked many racks at 215 grate (225 dome), and they take a long time (7-8 hours), but they are good!
  • I pulled the membrane off. I have a Brinkmann smoker that I have had for years with a water pan and the ribs from it were good.
    The pan I had on the plate saver with liquid in it was bubbling so I thought the BGE was hot enough (maybe it was too hot). I won't use liquid anymore.

    I know two men with BGEs so I know how good the unit is.

    What is the best way to check the temp on my gauge?

    Thank you very much for your help. Frank
  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    I don't know where you got the idea to cook them at 200 dome, they most likely would never get done. 250 dome will give you 230 grate temp through most of your cook, spares usually take me 6-7 hours, BB's are 5 hours. -RP
  • Put the tip in boiling water and see if it shows 212ºF/100ºC.

    If you're significantly above sea level, you can adjust for altitude. As a rule of thumb, the boiling point of water drops by one degree Fahrenheit for every 500 feet elevation. So, if your elevation is 2000' above sea level, the boiling point drops by 4 degrees and is only 208ºF. If you're in Denver and 5000' above sea level, boiling point drops to 202ºF.

    Actually, the boiling point adjustment is for air pressure, so if you wanted to be super precise you'd use your current barometric pressure and a more complicated formula...but altitude is good enough for government work. :)

    If your thermometer is not showing the value it should, turn the adjustment nut on the back to put it where it should be.

    Hope that helps!
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    First bump the temp up to 250 dome. At 200 dome they will never get done.

    Many of us rub them two or three hours before the cook. Over night is not necessary and can lead to excessively salty ribs.

    Cook them indirect for three hours in the smoke. Spritz with apple juice every 30-45 minutes. Then foil them with some apple juice, Parkay, and honey. Cook them for 1 hour in the foil.

    Remove the foil, add some more rub and cook for up to one more hour. During this stage you can use a brush and brush on your favorite BBQ sauce.

    The ribs will be done when you can pick up the rack with thongs perpendicular to the bone and the rack bends 90 degrees.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    not nearly long enough if you were really at 200 degrees. they would take forever. in fact, if they are "done" when they themselves hit 200, imagine how long it would take to get there.

    try 250 next time. don't know if you were talking spares or babyback. spares for me at 250 take almost 8/9 hours. it can be sped up (foiling or higher temps).

    b-backs would go 5 hours minimum to perhaps more like 6-7 hours, indirect at 7 hours.

    don't fall into the trap that everything that comes out wrong is the eggs fault....

    your eggs were, believe it or not, undercooked
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    even under identical conditions, cook time can vary simply depending from pig to pig. two 8 pound butts (from different pigs) in the same egg can end up being finished at different times. i can't imagine having everything nailed down so tightly that my cook is thrown off by the barometric pressure.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    I really don't think altitude makes that big a difference in the egg for 2 reasons.

    1. I doubt anyone can actually discern 208 from 212 on the dial of a BGE thermo (and know which of those two is the correct current temp).

    2. If 4* really makes that big of a difference in what you're cooking, you need to be using a different vehicle to cook.

    Short moral to the story - stick it in boiling water, turn the nut to wherever you think 210-212 is, and let it rip. The device is not designed to be a precision instrument.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    especially when an electric oven varies by more than four degrees when the element cycles on and off.
    if julia child was okay with saying "medium heat" instead of 325/350/375, i think we're okay if a cold front comes thru and the barometric pressure drops a bit.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • crghc98crghc98 Posts: 1,006
    Did a rack I picked up from the store at .99 cents a pound....(they were not enhanced..talked to the butcher)

    The temp got away from me and settled in about 295...I just let it go instead of fighting it...

    they were done in about 4 1/2 hours. Not as good a a 6-7 hour cook, but better than most other methods...

    Got to love the egg....
  • Thank you!
    I will take your advice. I got the advice about cooking at 200 from a web page that said to cook at low temp for a longer time.
    I would think a higher temp would break the pork down and make it more tender. Thanks Again, Frank
  • Thanks for the help. The first thing I want to say is that I don't blame the BGE for my lack of experience. I know 2 people who own these units and have eaten the food they produce. That is why I spent the high dollars on the unit. I have cooked on charcoal since 1970 and should have known that a temp of 200 was too low. But not knowing anything about the BGE I took their advice.
    Again thanks for the help, Frankm
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    if you saved them, throw them back on. tough to kill ribs
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
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