Need help with 2-2-1 Rib Smoking on Big Green Egg

Discussion in 'Pork' started by jwfortune, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. jwfortune

    jwfortune Newbie

    So my wife surprised me with a big green egg for an early fathers day present last week, and have never smoked anything in my life was excited to see what this equipment had to offer.....

    This weekend I tried smoking a Brisket on Saturday and Ribs on Sunday.  The Brisket came out pretty good, but I will ask about that another time.  

    The ribs I was a little disappointed with, but I think it is my fault - can you help?  Here is what happened.

    I prepped the ribs using a rub found on the internet and removing the membrane as most recipes indicate.

    I got my large size BGE to 210 degrees - a little cooler than the 240 to 260 that is recommended - and smoked by ribs for 2 hours over BGE lump charcoal using indirect heating and a small smoke box with cherry chips.

    I then wrapped up the six half baby back rib slabs with foil and put them back on for 1.5 hours at about 210 to 230. 

    I finished them off for 1 hour unwrapped with BBQ sauce on them.

     - The ribs did not come out tender enough.  Some of the pieces were pretty good, but others were a little tough and crunchy.  So the reason I didn't get my smoker to 260 as the recipe said, is because I was using a mean thermometer on the ribs and noticed they were cooking at 160 after about 1.5 hours on the first smoking step.  When they were wrapped up in foil they got all they way to 200 at one point before I lowered the temp.  I read that ribs are done when they are about 185 or so.

    So what did I do wrong?  Should the ribs cook at that high of an internal temperature?  

    Thanks for the help.
  2. Ribs are hard to judge by IT too little of the probe goes in. In my opinion. 250° sounds good for ribs. I have no idea why some part would be crunchy and others not except if the hotter temperature was coming up around the edges? I've never used a BGE someone else would be better help for that specifically. Also most around here use the bend test to check if ribs are done. Search bend test and you'll get some hits.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2015
  3. jbills5

    jbills5 Meat Mopper

    Your ribs needed more time. Good smoker temp for ribs is anywhere between 225-250. The reason you had the crunchy edges is because of the heat coming up the edges of the smoker.  

    As Brian mentions, use the bend test. Or, you can use the toothpick test. When a toothpick goes easily into the meat, you are good to go.

    Also, BGE lump charcoal is just Royal Oak with the BGE logo slapped on the bag and therefore marked up. You can find Royal Oak lump at Home Depot for 12 bucks for a 17 pound bag. 
  4. jwfortune

    jwfortune Newbie

    So it is OK if your ribs cook at a high internal temperature then?  I guess that is how they soften up.  And they stay moist because they are in the smoker..

    Thanks for the Royal Oak advice....
  5. jbills5

    jbills5 Meat Mopper

    Yeah, the higher IT allows that fat and connective tissue to break down and that is what gives it the tenderness. 
  6. timh

    timh Newbie

    This is a great fourm to learn about the bend test. The first time I did baby back ribs following a recipe they came out burnt. The second time used the bend test came out perfect. I did my necked for about four hours at 225.
  7. jwfortune

    jwfortune Newbie

    OK thanks guys.  I was caught up in monitoring the internal temp of the ribs and making sure it didn't get too high - from what I am reading I don't think this matters as much......

    I will check out the bend test forums.
  8. jbills5

    jbills5 Meat Mopper

    I did the same when I first started smoking. The whole thing is a learning process. That is the fun part because you can still eat what you cook and keep getting better.
  9. darbinco

    darbinco Fire Starter

    Did you use the plate setter in your egg so it gives you an indirect heat?
  10. jwfortune

    jwfortune Newbie

    I did use a plate for indirect heat.  I also put a pan of water on top of the plate.

    I guess the Ribs were not cooked long enough or at a hot enough temperature, but I was worried they would over cook with an internal temp of up to 200 degrees during the cooking process.

    I am looking forward to trying this again and just letting them ride with my big green egg at around 250 or so.  I need to learn the bend test too.

    Let me know if there is any other cooking advice on ribs in a big green egg....
  11. bodbob

    bodbob Fire Starter

    JW, Your internal temp could have been the result of the probe being to close to a bone. The fact that they were still tough says you didn't get them to 185 much less 200. There's another great website called that has a ton of information about cooking ribs and such. You might want to check it out too.



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