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Short rib smoking problem

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

So, I tried smoking some short ribs and didn't have the best result.  They are cut in about 3"x6" segments, and appear to have been trimmed (relatively) lean by the processor.  I smoked them at 225 for 4 hours and they came out tasting great but very dry and tough.  Trying to figure out what i could have done differently.  I know they usually smoke for longer than that, but they came out so dry could that really be it?  I have a half cow so there are many more short ribs that I want to smoke so I want to figure this out.  Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

post #2 of 6

They needed to cook longer at 225F.  Beef ribs, short ribs, etc have a lot of connective tissue that has to melt to make them tender and juicy.  Tough cuts of meat get their juices from melted connective tissue, not fat.  The connective tissue doesn't start to melt until the internal temp in the ribs reaches 170F.  Smoking at 225F they will absorb heat quickly when cold, but the warmer they get and the smaller the temperature differential between the meat temp and the chamber temp, the slower the internal temp rises.  At 225F, unwrapped, you are looking at a smoke closer to 6 hours to get the internal temp up to the 195-205F range where enough connective tissue has melted to make them succulent and tender.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

So I don't have to worry about them getting too dry?

post #4 of 6
Undercooked tough cuts of meat like beef ribs, briskets, and Chuck roasts will taste dry. They will also taste dry if cooked or smoked to a high internal temp like 215F. That's why I gave the range of 195 to 205. You can also poke it with a toothpick when it is in that range. When they are "just right" the toothpick will penetrate the meat like poking a stick of room temp butter. Slides right in.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Awesome! Thanks for the advice.

post #6 of 6

Well I rarely do them longer than 4 1/2 hours. Try using a pan and some mojo crillio as a marinade, then some in the pan as they smoke. Spoon it over them as the cook.





you can tell when beef is done by the color. These had some fat on them though and were tender enough for the wife and I. Sometimes I will remove them from the pan and let them finish on the grate.



There can be some chewy areas, but we just work around them and hit the good stuff.  Beside, who eats their beef well done anymore. Not me.

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