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Tough ribs

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

any of you ever buy ribs that just didn't want to get tender?  I recently bought two packs of two slabs each of loin end ribs at Sam's club and cooked all 4 at the same time in the same smoker using the 3-2-1 method.  two racks were tender and two racks were tough.  I didn't see any discernible difference in them when stripping the membrane, applying the mustard or rub.

All 4 racks went on a rib rack at the same time and the rack was turned 180° about halfway through the first part of the smoke.

 

I put the two tough racks back in foil with apple juice and let them go for another hour, then unfoiled for another 45 minutes.  They were better, but still tougher than the other two racks

post #2 of 13
You can get tough meat from an animal that was "agitated" when it died.... Improper "kill shot" type thing.. or harassed in the stall... also, some animals need to go through rigor before the chilling process.... venison takes 7 days, I think, to go completely through rigor... cut up too early, the muscles go through "shortening" which makes the meat really tough.... sooo, you never know....
post #3 of 13

this is a very interesting tidbit. I had no idea these factors existed and were important. Guess all the more reason to try and find the best source for meat.

post #4 of 13

Meat is fickle. It sounds like the tough ribs just needed some more time.  Then again, if they are loin end aka baby backs, you may have cooked them too long.  3-2-1 is a little long for baby backs.

post #5 of 13

Because meat is unique, there are no guarantees what one gets when they open the package.  Even professionals will buy several cuts for competitions and have to sort through it all to find the ones that turned out right, the variable being the meat itself.

post #6 of 13

They didn't happen to be the two racks of ribs in the middle of your rib rack did they?  If so, maybe a rotation is needed mid-smoke besides just turning the rack 180.

post #7 of 13

some meat is going to be tough, i it probably nothing you did, it is just the meat, like dave said the cow was noy killed properly.

dannylang

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by westby View Post
 

They didn't happen to be the two racks of ribs in the middle of your rib rack did they?  If so, maybe a rotation is needed mid-smoke besides just turning the rack 180.


I'm not sure as they got mixed up when I foiled them in AJ, then back in naked for the last hour

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbills5 View Post
 

Meat is fickle. It sounds like the tough ribs just needed some more time.  Then again, if they are loin end aka baby backs, you may have cooked them too long.  3-2-1 is a little long for baby backs.


These were full rib length slabs with lots of meat on the loin end and not the short, cut down typical baby backs.  I made sure my friend got the two tender racks and I kept the two tough ones.

He pays me well for smoking for him and his family, plus I get to be the only person allowed to hunt his 40 acres that is covered in deer and turkey:banana_smiley:

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by westby View Post
 

They didn't happen to be the two racks of ribs in the middle of your rib rack did they?  If so, maybe a rotation is needed mid-smoke besides just turning the rack 180.


Beat me to it, the fact that he's using an offset. I would almost guarantee the tough ones were in the center.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SQWIB View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by westby View Post
 

They didn't happen to be the two racks of ribs in the middle of your rib rack did they?  If so, maybe a rotation is needed mid-smoke besides just turning the rack 180.


Beat me to it, the fact that he's using an offset. I would almost guarantee the tough ones were in the center.


Could be.  I've only used the rack twice and that didn't happen the first time.  I skipped a space for every slab, so there was plenty of room between the slabs.  My CC temps are pretty even, so it really shouldn't be an issue, especially as I refoiled the two tough racks and cooked an additional 45 minutes, then unfoiled and laid them flat on the grate in the CC for another 45 minutes or so, then an hour rest.

I cut up and process my own deer meat every season, so I'm well aware of how the animals age and processing methods can have a very big impact on the quality of the meat

post #12 of 13

I guess I've been lucky, as I have never had a rack of ribs that failed to get tender using 3-2-1 or the 2-2-1 method.  I always watch them during the last hour for the typical "pull back" indicating they are done.

 

Richard

post #13 of 13

I always watch for the pull back first then the bend test, time is always just a ballpark to go by, when they pass the bend test they are tender, two racks can be the same size and one may take another hour or so, Bonz

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