Perfect smoking day went bad,

Discussion in 'Pork' started by fpmich, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    Ever have it happen to you when the weather is perfect?

    Breeze slight, 90* outside and you decide to smoke some ribs.  BUT....... They didn't cook right! for you?

    A few days ago, I had just that, happen.

    Ribs in smoker, slight breeze, 90* outside.

    using sfb  Char-Griller with mods. and Maverick ET-732

    Pre-heated smoker to 265* before opening door and adding ribs  Temp dropped to 245* and then to 235*, during the 1st the first hour.

    Dropped to 220* by third hour.  Never had to open lid, or firebox.  (Easiest smoke ever, I told my wife.)  HA!

    Foiled at 3 hours, bumped temp up to 225*- 230* for two hours.

    Removed from foil and placed back on smoker @ 225* for 6th hour.

    At end of 6th hour, still nopull back and bend/toothpick test was not great at all.  Left on for another 1/2 hours while coals burned down to 205*.

    Tried a bit and way too stiff yet.   Foiled and put in 250* oven for 1 1/2 hours.  Still not tender!  Better but not tender.

    Now here is the weird part.

    The next day I smoked the rib trimmings.

    Very breezy ( 12-18 mph), 89* outside temp

    Hard time keeping temp above 210* .  Turned smoker intake into, and 90* from wind, as well as away from it.  Stayed the same.

    Used 5 times as much lump as day before,  seemed like I had to add lit coals way too often, and still couldn't keep it above 225*

    Pulled at 3 1/2 hours and foiled and finished in 250* oven for 2 1/2 hours.  Except for setting bark or sauce, they turned out perfect!

    So..... what gives?  Any ideas?

    I don't have pics of ribletts, but here are the ribs. at foiling time.

    Finished ribs before oven foiling again for a couple more hours, before becoming tender with still some bite to them.

    Smoke penetration throughout.

    You can see they aren't dry.  Just not tender enough. and no pull back until after 2 or more hours in oven foil.  Even then, the pull back was very little.
  2. bosox20

    bosox20 Smoke Blower

    I'm no expert, but I would guess your temp was just too low. Probably lower than you even thought. That would make for tougher ribs. Keep trying !!
  3. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    I think you misunderstood my post bosox20. 

    The rib cuts I smoked the 1st day were steady at a good temp.  I use a Maverick ET-73.

    Those are the ribs I had trouble with.

    I foiled and cooked some more in oven for about an hour more, and next day after testing, I again foiled and cooked them another hour and a half before becoming semi-tender.  They did have slight pull back by then, but not much.


    The rib trimmings, from same racks, (riblets I guess you call them), were the ones that had the too low temps due to wind. so I finished them off in 250* oven with foil for 1 & 1/2 hours and un-foiled for 1/2 hour and they turned out just great!  Nice and tender.

    The rib racks, and the riblets, turned out exactly the opposite of what I expected with those temps.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  4. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Sounds like you didn't hold you mouth right when you applied the rub, causes tough ribs every time[​IMG].

    I cook ribs on a CharGriller as well and occasionally I get a rack that does just what you have described, even though the other racks being cooked at the same time get done perfectly. It's happened more than once and not always with the largest rack. Now I always try to keep the temp up higher than 240°, that seems to help. Otherwise IDK.
  5. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    Yep.  It happens.

    We got a pig last fall from our daughter and it was a young one, same as always.  This time no matter what cut or how cooked, it all was tough.

    Only thing we could figure was that they must have chased it around with a prod trying to get it into the killing chute before processing. 
  6. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well,  ya got me here, and you don't?

    Growing up in the restaurant business?  Seems like every dam piece of meat wants to cook differently?

    From the first post?

    I was wondering of those might have been elephant ribs? [​IMG]

    Happens to all of us.

    Don't worry about it!

    Good luck and good smoking.
  7. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Hey fp, when you come to the michigan get together your not smoking ribs are you? I'm not sure I want to eat tough ribs at the once a year bbq gathering.

    Lol! I'm just kidding bro. I had smoked two racks a few weeks back and one of them was the same damn way. No pullback and not nearly as tender as they usually are. What can you do? I did the Same thing and refoiled them. It helped a bit, but they just didn't turn out like they normally do.
  8. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    Yup Venture.

    Meat is like dried beans or rice.

    My daughter asked for my bean soup recipe.  (I don't have one, I just cook them.  LOL)  They are different each time.  But I gave her a basic recipe/method, and she complained they weren't done in time for dinner.  I told her never cook beans for today.  Always cook for tomorrow, because cooking time to tender will vary by hours.

    I always make my Mexican/Spanish rice a day or two ahead.  It's a little trickier with meat, cause you are always wanting to eat it right away, and reheating dries it out a bit more.

    PS>   They just have been elephant ribs Venture.   The larger end had some quite large bones.  I'm thinking an older pig.  Gonna pay attention to that look more from now on.
  9. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    HA!   Hillbilly!

    Nope!  I'm not planning on bringing anything that might embarrass me.  That pretty much rules out anything "smoked".

    If I smoke something for the party, ... I just know the gremlins will get me again!
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  10. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Nothing smoked???

    This is a smokers get together.... Lol!
  11. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I am with you on the beans.

    Some things just benefit from being fridged overnight.

    Good luck and good smoking.

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