Hi all. Just finished a great meal of baby backs. The only problem was that the thickest part of the ribs was too dry for my liking. Here's my setup and process:
Ribs are basic vacuum-packed from Safeway (all I can get here). GOSM propane smoker. Get it going with a mix of cherry chips and hickory chunks. Basic rub on the ribs (Brn sugar, salt, smoked paprika, cayenne, onion, garlic, chili powder, ancho) Set temp at around 200ºF but fluctuated to as high as 214ºF (using Redi-Check remote digital thermometer). Cannot get this smoker to go any cooler, and it climbs as it smokes longer. I end up having to open it sometimes to let out some of the heat. (want to be able to use lower temp but that's another story)
Initial smoke for 2 hours. Spray with apple cider after half an hour, and every time I open the door. At the end of the two hours, when I pull the ribs with tongs held halfway, I get about a 1 inch drop at the end. Not bad. Into the foil they go. Foiling sauce is Brn sugar, honey, apple juice, butter, and Frank's hot sauce, applied liberally. Half a slab per package. Package sealed tightly.
Last time I did this I foiled them for 2 hours and they were a little dry in the thick part as well. This time I went 4 hours in the foil. After that, they got a basting with BBQ sauce and back into the smoker for about 45 minutes.
Flavor was great, fall-off-the-bone tender, but the meaty thick section is too dry. The thinner and fatty parts were perfect. Tender and juicy. But the thick part was not...
Here's a photo of the finished product:
Any thoughts on what I might be doing wrong? I've considered longer time in the initial smoke, but I've had that dry things out too much. Maybe more time in the foil? Maybe foil not tightly sealed? Maybe I can't get any better results with Safeway ribs? I don't know. I have had ribs from restaurants that were not dry in the thick part, so I know it's possible. I just don't know what I have to do to get there.
Looking forward to hearing from you folks... Thanks!