dry ribs

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ratch79, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. ratch79

    ratch79 Newbie

    This is my first post so forgive me. I've smoked ribs a couple of time on an off set charcoal smoker with little success. Just bought a mmasterbuilt electric smoker and my baby back ribs came out very dry and crispy. The ends shrunk 1/4 inch or so. Not to bad. Smoked at 225 tried the 321 method. To long??? Water in pan might have dried up but added more for last hour. They seemed done little tug and they came off bone.I like fall off the bone that's why I cooked then that long. Seems like I lost moisture.HELp
  2. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Dry ribs are usually the result of either cooking too long or too high of a temp (for the amount of time that you cooked).    First, what kind of ribs were you cooking, Baby Backs or Spares ?  Second, how sure are you about the chamber temp ?  Are you just going by what the MES says ?  Or did you have another thermometer that you know is accurate?
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
  3. ratch79

    ratch79 Newbie

    I was cooking baby back ribs. I also was going by the temperature reading on smoker.
  4. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The 3-2-1 method is for Spare Ribs, which are larger and take more time.  BabyBacks usually go 2-2-1 or even 2-1-1.

    Also, stock thermometers / temp gauges are usually off, sometimes by a fair degree.  Do you have another thermometer that you can use to double check the chamber temp ?  One that is known to be accurate ?
  5. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey, IMHO no matter what smoker ya have ya really need a good thermometer like a Maverick ET-732 !! I never go by the temp on the smoker as they are usually not a true reading... The Mav is a dual probe so ya can keep track of smoker temp & food temp at the same time !! Just my 2 cents, hope it helps some...
    demosthenes9 likes this.
  6. ratch79

    ratch79 Newbie

    I'm going to findthe one I used with my offset its just a meat probe though? Definitely want to get a dual one like your saying. I'm guessing a little too long and unsure of temp equals not good ribs. That's half the fun. Try and try again. Lol. Any tips out there for keeping meat moist in an electric smoker.
  7. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Cooking/smoking is all about the application of heat over time.   Too high a temp, too much time, or a combination of the two leads to dry meat.  This applies to offsets, verticals, charcoal, gassers and electrics.   That your smoker is electric isn't what caused the ribs to be dry.  

    Biggest tip I can give you at the moment is to avoid trying to cook "by the numbers" .  Things like "3-2-1" and all it's variants are guidelines.  It might take more time overall, or it might take less.   Additionally, the time for each step in that process might change.   Instead of 2 hours in foil, the ribs might only need 1 hour.
    waterinholebrew likes this.
  8. bigwheel

    bigwheel Smoking Fanatic

    I like ribs cooked around 260..meat side down and no flipping till they get done. Long slow cook times have a tendency to dry them out..depending on the air flow you have going though the pit and what type of humidity level you can maintain. Low temps and brisk air flow is a dehydrator.
  9. hickorybutt

    hickorybutt Smoking Fanatic

    If they were too 'crispy ' it sounds like over cooking. Too tough would be undercooking.

    In order to get tender baby backs, I would put them in foil at a maximum of 2.5 hours into the smoke. Foil them for around an hour if 2.5 hours in. If you foiled them at the 2 hour mark, keep em in foil for 1.5 hours. How long they stay in foil will determine how tender they are - depending on your liking. Finish them off bare for 45ish minutes to firm the bark.

    And as one stated above, timing rules are guidelines. Each piece of meat behaves differently! You can periodically check each rack by bending. If they bend and act like they wanna break apart, they're done.
  10. I like smoking them between 160 to 180 for 3 hours. I'll then up the temperature to 275, wrap the ribs in foil with about a 1/4 cup of water for another 2 hours. They come off the bone when I use the tongs to take them out of the foil. I need a set of tongs to keep the meat on the bone. After they set a while the meat stays together but still falls off the bone. :grilling_smilie:

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