Originally Posted by Noboundaries
Ooooh, wet to dry, I LIKE that idea!
If the competition texture is for you, wet-to-dry leans more towards that. Not fall-off-the-bone tender, but not a chewy texture, either. I just use the bend test and the visual pull-back of meat from the bone tips as well as overall shrinkage to determine the level of internal cooking. Most times I use visual checks only, and get good results with texture/chew. I don't like chewy ribs, nor bone popping ribs. A good baseline for the wet-to-dry method is around 3.5-4hrs wet with smoke, depending on how high your actual smoke chamber humidity runs (a faster evaporation from the water pan translates to higher humidity). Then, 2.5-3hrs dry (this is somewhat dependent on your ambient humidity). My location is dry/arid, most times, unless there is weather in the area, then the ambient humidity is higher and I may need to run a bit longer for the dry stage for similar/repeatable results.
Also, I'm @ ~5,000' elevation, so my cooking times are longer, or I need to bump chamber temps about 10-15* higher to compensate when compared to others who are smoking at lower elevation. And, I smoke ribs low & slow @ 225*...renders out more fat and seems to reduce the natural response of meat to evaporate internal moisture as it cooks...low & slow combined with the wet-to-dry method seems to yield the best results for me.
Note that with foiling, meat tends to cook faster...this may not be in the best interests of texture if you're looking to break-down the connective tissues. A lot of folks foil brisket and pork shoulder for PP, either just to speed-up cooking, or, to help jump through the stall (stalls are not a bad thing, they're normal with low & slow cooking). Ribs are foiled to achieve a more rapid cooking, and, whether or not they realize it, it greatly reduces the formation of bark. Don't like bark? Foil away. If you do like bark, less foiled time is in your best interests...this applies to brisket and pork shoulder, among many other cuts of meat.