Smoking ribs has been a contentious issue around here. She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO) liked the way I used to grill ribs and hasn't really warmed to smoked ribs.
I liked the 3-2-1 method and I liked them. SWMBO liked them too but they were just too fall apart.
I adjusted to 2-2-1 and it was closer but still somewhat fall off the bone.
I tried not foiling and it was closer but I just couldn't get the pull right every time despite trying the toothpick test, the bend test and the test of my patience.
I read an article on the Thermoworks (makers of Thermapen) site about cooking the ribs to 185 F and then cooling them to 185 F and serving. The pull was spot on but it was hard to get the timing for making wet ribs. If you put the sauce on too early, it over caramelized. Put it on too late and you don't get that nice stickiness and have to over cook the ribs.
This is the method that I have settled on. I am not saying it is the best in the world, it just meets mine and SWMBO's idea of a great rib.
We are enjoying snow and cold weather here in the Canadian Rockies.
Due to the cost of ribs, I have to wait for side ribs to come on sale which seems to mean I get somewhat raggedy ribs. I pulled the silverskin off the back and rubbed them down with a basic KC style rub. I fired them into the Bradley at 230 F over pecan smoke for 3 hours.
Three hours is all the smoke SWMBO liked and it was colder than a mother in law's stare so I brought the ribs in and put them in a 230 F oven. I inserted my temperature probe into the thickest part of the ribs.
When the internal temperature got to 185 F (I confirm this with my Thermapen as the high content of bone makes temperature reading difficult), I turn the oven down to 190 F and brush the ribs with a KC style barbecue sauce. I put it back in the oven for 15 minutes and then brush them with sauce again. Back in the oven for 15 minutes and then I take them out of the oven completely and let them cool to 155 F internal temperature. I cut them into ribs and serve.
This is my go to way to make ribs for a couple of reasons.
The pull is perfect. The meat comes off the bone when you bite but it doesn't fall off. You can take a bite of this pork and the shape of your bite is in the meat. Tender with chew. Just the way we like it.
The sauce caramelizes perfectly for our tastes.
SWMBO likes them. Obviously the reasons are not in order of importance.