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First Smoke - Back Ribs turned out a little dry...

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I did my first smoke tonight on my Masterbuilt Dual Fuel Smoker... a test run on some Back Ribs. They ended up a little on the dry side. and am looking for some advice. I used the 2-2-1 method.  I struggled to keep the heat over 210 for the first hour, but I was able to keep it relatively stable at 250 for the rest of the smoke. Any suggestions? They seemed quite dry after the first 2 hour stage. Is this normal? How much liquid should I add to the foil for the second stage? ( I just guessed...)


Thanks for any and all advice or tips!

post #2 of 10

Sounds to me you are doing fine.  Doesn't take a lot of liquid.  The 2nd part of the method is about steaming the ribs.  They will turn out fine I'm sure.  Hold your nerve.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!


post #3 of 10

If the ribs were dry and tough they were under cooked. If they were dry and very tender they were over cooked.

Usually 1/4 cup of liquid is all that is used for the foil phase, however I use 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and about 2 tablespoons of BBQ sauce. I end up with about 1/2 cup of liquid in the foil after the foil phase because the foil also traps moisture from the meat, which also helps braise the ribs. Some cooks use no liquid in the foil for this reason.

If I had to guess, I'd say that, given the 210° and under cooking temp that they were under cooked. JM2C.

post #4 of 10

I agree with you cliffcarter on the over cooked/over cooked thing.  Was hard to get a handle on where our friend was.  Title says turned out dry then he says dry after 1st stage of 2-2-1?  The braise in foil should help then.  Maybe we will get some clarification.  Keep Smokin!


post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks. They were definitely overlooked, by your description.

When I foil the ribs, should they be wrapped tightly or loosely? Also, should they be bone side up, or down in the foil? (I had them wrapped tightly, bone side down in the foil)

post #6 of 10

I like to keep my smoker at 225-230 when doing ribs. Sometimes I foil them (using the 3-2-1 for spares and the 2-2-1 for babybacks) but I also go with out foiling them (spritzing them with apple cider ever hour after two hours). They generally get done in the suggested time period this way. I haven't had them come out dry yet.

Edited by Den60 - 6/16/13 at 10:52am
post #7 of 10

Sounds like you wrapped them fine. What do you use to monitor your smoker temperature?

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am just using the temp gauge on the front of the smoker...
post #9 of 10

Those are notoriously inaccurate. My advice is to go out and get an electronic thermometer (I use the Maverick ET-732) that allows you to monitor both grill temp as well as meat temperature - not that you need the latter for ribs. It is about a $60 investment but you will be able to monitor and control your temp which is extremely important.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks.... My second attempt was far more successful! I figured the first ones were overlooked, so second try, I took a chance and let the smoker do its thing at 200 degrees, assuming that the temperature was actually higher than that! Well, I got rave reviews from the family and guests! They were gone quickly, and not everyone got to a second helping!

I think I will invest in the better thermometer, and I will work on my "Rub". The help on here has been "smoking awesome!"

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