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Newbie needs HELP!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have smoked ribs two times  over indirect heat on a charcoal grill. About 275* for 4.5 hrs, always came out great. Santa delivered a propane smoker. Couldn't wait to try it. Its directions advised to cook at 200* for 3.5-5 hrs. I smoked at 200*-210* for 5 hrs, they were anything but fall off the bone. My guests ate one rack, I put the other rack in oven at 325* for 45 minutes, then they were better, still not really tender. What went wrong? thanks in advance for your thoughts!

post #2 of 10

Welcome to SMF check out this thread I just answered the same question

post #3 of 10

On main thing is you can't rely on the stock thermometer that comes in the smoker as they are know to be off. I would guess you either over cooked them because  the temps were higher  then you though or they weren't cooked  enough because you were running at a lower temp then you though. Did they look over done or turn out really dry at all? Get a thermometer that you can put in your smoker so you know what temps you are running at for sure. Also look up the 3-2-1 method for ribs and I bet you will have perfect ribs next time.

post #4 of 10



 I smoked at 200*-210* for 5 hrs, they were anything but fall off the bone.

  I'm guessing this is some of the problem.

Assuming you had an accurate thermo (as Ross mentioned) 200º - 210º isn't enough time to get tender ribs.


Even at 250º it can take 6 hours.


The link Jerry gave will help you out.


Hope this helps

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

I should have know better. The stock thermometer in my Char-Griller is 75* off. Guess i just got in a hurry, should have checked it, live and learn.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

I will look up 3-2-1, thanks. I almost chose a pic of my best whitetail buck for my profile, glad i didnt, yours is a hoss!

post #7 of 10

As others have said get a good thermometer. The maverick 732 seams to have good reviews, might be a place to start. 


I do ribs all the time in my MF LPG 2 door from Lowe's. 99.9% of the time its spares not BB.  I strictly use the 3-2-1 method and smoke at a temp of 225 - 250 my target temp is 235.

The 3 is give or take I remove and foil them when the meat just starts to pull back from the bones. I spritz every hour with this spritz. I also heavily spritz when I foil.


8 oz Apple Cider (100% apple juice good substitute)
6 oz Jack Daniels Black (Evan Williams good substitute)

4 oz water
2 oz Cider Vinegar


1. Mix all ingredients together in spray bottle.

2. Spray meat every hour till done.


The 2  will be 1.5 -2 depending on how rushed I am.

The 1 is give or take when the ribs firm up off they come. Do not spritz during this time

Some times I rub others I don't , just depends on my mood. If I rub ribs are slathered in cheap mustard with 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce  per 16 oz bottle. Rub is then applied  and they are wrapped in Saraann wrap, and put in fridge for at least 12 hours. ribs are taken out 1 hour before smoke time unwrapped and rub reapplied. 


post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks I will definitely use that spritz recipe. I think the Bride has a Sunbeam thermometer in her oven, i may "borrow" it when she isnt looking.

post #9 of 10

If you are spritzing, remember that you are losing heat and prolonging your cook time every time you do that.


If you like fall off the bone stuff, the 3-2-1 will get you pretty close for spare ribs. It will take some experimentation to learn what you, your family and guests will like.


Good luck and good smoking.

post #10 of 10

Like the others have said 3-2-1 is a good place to start.

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