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Traeger Help

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Got a Traeger this week and got it all set up. Decided to try ribs for the first time. I've been smoking meats for several years however I have no experience with a pellet fed smoker. The temp seems to fluctuate like crazy. I decided to follow Traeger's basic 3-2-1 method for ribs. The smoke setting just has me so confused. I've never smoked anything at 180 degrees which is the target temp for the smoke setting however again it fluctuates all over the place. So 3 hours on smoke wrap the ribs with apple juice 2 hours on 225 unwrap 1 hour back on at 225. They looked amazing but they were far from tender. Not sure if I should have kept them wrapped longer or what. In my MES40 I've always smoked them at 225 for 4 hours wrapped them for roughly 1 to 1.5 hours and they are amazing. Any tips on the fluctuation of temp or the smoke setting would be great.
post #2 of 4
Your ribs were likely simply under cooked. The 3-2-1 method is really only a rough guide...you have to cook ribs until they're tender, which could take more or less than 6 total hours depending on variables. Yes, more time in the foil stage would definitely have made them more tender.

The temp swings in that Traeger are fairly common. It's mostly due to the controller. One school of thought is just don't sweat the temp swings...Traegers are designed to cook at an average cook temp, so some marginal temp swings are expected. If the the temp swings are too great for you, you could always upgrade to a PID controller and get much better and more consistent temp control, but keep in mind that PID controlled grills don't usually make as much smoke as analog controlled rigs like those Tragers, so it's a trade off.

Red
post #3 of 4

So I just did my first ribs with Traeger and followed one of their recipes.  5  hours on smoke,  sauced and wrapped in foil for 1 hour at 350,  rest 20 minutes.  While they were good,  still lacking in being tender and juicy.  I'm reading the above and thinking 4 hours smoke,  sauce and 2 hours wrapped in foil. I'm doing baby backs, is there any other suggestions to get falling off the bone juicy ribs? 

 

I used Traeger pellets but I have just ordered some wood pellets for the next try also. 

 

Thanks in advance for assistance

post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ordinary Guy View Post

So I just did my first ribs with Traeger and followed one of their recipes.  5  hours on smoke,  sauced and wrapped in foil for 1 hour at 350,  rest 20 minutes.  While they were good,  still lacking in being tender and juicy.  I'm reading the above and thinking 4 hours smoke,  sauce and 2 hours wrapped in foil. I'm doing baby backs, is there any other suggestions to get falling off the bone juicy ribs? 

I used Traeger pellets but I have just ordered some wood pellets for the next try also. 

Thanks in advance for assistance

First, I'd get a reliable & accurate therm to track your temps if ya don't already have one... Just going off what you have stated, I think IMO they were undercooked ! Undercooked ribs will lack the tenderness & juiciness ! Some will actually think they are overcooked, but ribs have a bunch of connective tissues that need rendered & broken down to get the tenderness & juiciness !
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