Originally Posted by kryinggame
Hey gang, my question is related to spare ribs and I always make my ribs in my 30 inch MES.
From what my friends and family say, my ribs are great but to me, they're an A-. I want to make them an A.
My goal is to get more firmmer ribs (when I do the bend test).
I'm gonna tell you step by step how I prepare my ribs.
- Using spare ribs tat have been cleaned up, I rub them down using Jeff's rub and let them sit overnight
- The next morning, I'll get my MES ready. Get it up to 275
- Once it reaches 275, I'll put my rack in, along with my AMNPS and will lock the chamber and set it for 235 degrees and keep the timer to 7 hrs;
- I don't like the 3-2-1 method. I don't like meat thats falling off the bones. I just let the ribs cook for the entire 6 hours;
- After 4 hours of smoking, I'll open the chamber to spray some apple juice;
- The 5th hour, I'll squirt a bit more apple juice on it.
- At the 6th hour, I'll do the bend test. Generally, the ribs are about to break apart at this point.
- I'll take the ribs out and will wrap them in foil for 20 - 30 minutes before cutting up.
The problem is not in the flavor. Everyone loves them. IF, there are any left overs, they taste better the next day. Simply put, I don't like soft, breaking apart ribs. I like my pork with more tug to them, which is why I avoid the dang 3-2-1 method.
I know the "general rule" for done ribs is about 225 degrees at 6 hours. To get more tug or toughness out my ribs, should I smoke them for less time and less temperature?
Please gents, I'd like to hear proven points.
Woah, yes, I can see in the photo how tender they really are...lots of meat fracturing when you sliced them up...been there a few times myself. They don't appear to be dried-out, though, so part of what you're doing with spraying, and I'm told the MES has a humid smoke chamber, is helping to keep them moist. It's not easy to get tender ribs that aren't getting dry with all open grate cooking in some smokers.
OK, now for a fix: Line #7 is what tells most of the story to me. They're already over-cooked according to your liking if they're difficult to remove from the smoker due to being so tender. That said, for a bit more tug and less tenderness, I'd cut back on your temps by about 10* and probably also cut the total time in the smoker by 15-20 minutes the next time around. You could also preheat the smoker @ 240-250* degrees instead of 275*, unless you see too much temp drop after you load it and get it closed up for the initial stage of you rib smoke. The initial chamber temp, if too high, can increase the rate at which your food will begin to cook, thereby reducing overall cooking time, even if you cut back temps after a few minutes. But, you should notice a fairly significant change in texture after dropping temp and total time just a bit, preheat temp can have a slight effect, as well.
The foiling to rest may allow a slight carry-over which continues to cook the ribs, but I don't think in this case it would be much at all, as your ribs will likely be near, if not over, 200* internal temp to be so tender they're falling apart when removed to rest, and by the time you wrestle around a minute to get them out of the smoker and into foil, they will loose some surface thermal energy, and the cooking process will begin to reverse and draw heat back out. Also, the foil is cold...not much mass, but it's still a cold object contacting the meat.
As for resting foiled, I don't if I smoke all open grate or finish on open grates (3-2-1 or variants)...it will soften your bark, if you're after a heavy and stiff bark...which, by the way, you mentioned spraying apple juice @ 4th and 5th hour, but nothing else at the end, so you're building up some extra sugars along with the additional moisture. You could spray at the 3rd and 4th hours, then let it go after that, if you want a more prominent bark on your ribs. The bark will also aid in keeping the slab a bit more stiff for handling, even if it is more tender inside when finished, but a great bark, if you want it, is best left alone after 90-120 minutes, and open grate for at least the last hour. If you go for bark, remember this: slicing will be a bit more challenging...a serrated blade makes for easy work with a great bark.
Anyway,slow it down just a bit on temps, and drop a few minutes time off, and I think you'll get closer to what you are describing as your grade "A" texture for a bit more tug and chew to your spare ribs.
As Bama mentioned, you can do too much at a time when making adjustments, so make smaller adjustments if you are making more than one at a time. Hence why I stated to drop a little of each (temps and time).
Many great smokes to ya!!!