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Rib bend & toothpick test?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I made baby back ribs for the second time yesterday. Used the 3-2-1 method. They came out juicy and tasty but the downfall was I think they were overcooked. I know ribs are suppose to fall off the bone but mine slid off way to much to the point when I started cutting them they just fell apart and the meat wasn't even sticking to the bone and just was messy and sliding off. Idk if the 3-2-1 method at about 235-250 for 6 hours is to long. It did seem when I took them off to rest when I picked them up they bent a whole lot basically making a U shape I don't think it's suppose to be that bendy. I'm thinking about maybe trying a 2-2-1 method or 3-2-.5 . I put the ribs meat side down on brown sugar,honey and apple butter in foil and wrapped them and turned out juicy when all was done and I used the au jus from the foul to drip on the ribs at the end, which was great. But curious what the toothpick and bend test method is so I don't have falling apart ribs again.

Here are the pics

post #2 of 4
Toothpick test is simple.... Cook ribs til toothpick slides in between ribs with no resistance !

Bend test....

post #3 of 4
2-2-1 for baby backs 3-2-1 for spares. You probably cooked to long
post #4 of 4
Keep in mind that the 2-2-1 and 3-2-1 are loose guidelines and based on running your smoker at 225. So your six hour cook time at higher temps and then foiling with liquid (braising) is why you ended up with the texture you did.

If you plan on trying the 2-2-1 for BB ribs make sure your smoker temp is 225-230. After the first two hours test the ribs with a toothpick, and bend test. Foil, try one rack with no liquid at all and one with very little liquid in the foil. Say 1/4 cup at most. Run in foil for 2. Once again when you remove from foil do bend and toothpick tests. Put back on smoker for last hour. Now the changes. If when you test each time and find that they are closer to being done adjust the next steps by a 1/2 hour so 2-1.5-1 or 2-1.5-.5, etc.

I prefer to cook pork ribs without foiling. I do use the 3-2-1 method for beef rand bs as I feel that the braising phase is key to tender beef ribs.
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