rib thermometer

Discussion in 'Meat Thermometers' started by kryinggame, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. kryinggame

    kryinggame Smoking Fanatic

    When I smoke ribs, I never use a thermometer but kind of look for the pullback or will just pull of a small piece to taste.

    Is there a good thermometer to use for ribs?

    Currently when I smoke, I use the Taylor thermometer.  In the past, I've used the maverick and hated it because the probe wore out 2 times and I found it unreliable.

  2. I use a soil thermometer! I used to be an agronomist and have a ton lying around, so I never have to worry about losing them or breaking them!
  3. I've never used a thermometer on ribs. I too just look at it's bend ability and pullback. And I have a maverick and sometimes it makes me wonder about it's accuracy especially on long smokes.
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    You kind of have to get a feel for what the ribs look like & feel like when they are done, a therm is not very reliable because it's hard to get a good placement due to all the bones.
  5. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Never used a therm on ribs, either. I think you'd be very hard pressed to smoke ribs by temp...finding the right spot to insert the probe between the bones, getting that same position every time you probed, and, either finding a proven method or creating your own and making it work, 'cause, I've never heard of anyone using a temp method to cook ribs...way too complicated, IMO.

    KISS method works best for me...low & slow until everything looks and feels right...pull-back, bend test, etc. BTW, I did some higher temp cooking with spares a month or two back, just for giggles and what if...started @ 320-330* for the first hour, dropped back to 275* for the remainder of a 3-hour cooking time, instead of my typical 6-7hrs. They looked OK, had a fair amount of shrinkage/pull-back, but tenderness was totally lacking...a ton of chew all the way through. When reheated the next day @ 225* for nearly 2 hours in a covered pan, a bit more pull-back showed and they were far more tender, so the slower reheat turned 'em into much more edible ribs. Can't rush 'em, just like brisket or butts.

  6. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    ribs are the only thing that I smoke strickly by time not temp. Now you do get a feel for them when they are done. The look the feel and bend test also works. It all depends on what and how you like your ribs. I like mine tender but still with a little pull to them.
  7. there are lots of articles and studies on this...it appears that there is no one best method...so best to use several

    thermometers are impractical, so most recommend a combination of pull back and 'bend'--of course experience helps, but that's a good place to start!
  8. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    As Mballi says, there are different amounts of doneness.  The way I like ribs is not the acceptable doneness for competition.  Mine are fall off the bone tender with just a bit of gnawing to get the last little bits off the bone.  Competition wants you to take a bite and the meat stick to the bones.   I know mine are done when i see the meat pulling from the end of the bones and when I can take that last rib, give it slight twist and pull it out.

    To each his own.
  9. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yep, everybody here likes fall off the bone too. Actually I think most people like them that way. BBQ sauce & tender as can be, that's what they like here.

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