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Ribs on Brinkman

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey folks,
Question about ribs on my ECB, modifications listed in my sig below....

I'm still new to this. I've made St. Louis ribs twice now, with tasty results. My wife is one of those that thinks rib meat should be falling off the bone when eaten. Mine have been pretty tender and tasty, but not falling off the bone.

So far, I have not used the 3-2-1 method. The reason is because my ribs are close to 180* after about 3 1/2 hrs. I pull them off and let them rest for 10 min after they hit 175*/180* I'm afraid all that extra time wrapped, and then again unwrapped will over cook them. OR is wrapping them and cooking to a higher tempurature the trick?

On my Brinkman, I've got a calibrated thermometer. I'm getting pretty good at tempurature regulation. (Which really means I know how much charcoal to start with biggrin.gif) I can pretty much keep it between 225*/250*.

So, how do I make them fall off the bone without ruining them?
post #2 of 11
the best ribs i ever made with my ECB were not from the 321 method, but they were very good with a "tug" rather than falling off the bone.

if you want to make mamma happy, uee the 321 method as described by jeff's directions and she will love ya for it. falling off the bone tender and if tht's what you're looking for then that's how to do it!
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
If I'm already up to 165-170* after 3 hours, won't the next 3 hrs, in and out of foil be too much?
post #4 of 11
steve - that does sound a little warm for three hours. what temps are you gettting?

i would suggest sticking to the method but only foiling for 1 hour, then another 45 minutes to an hour without foil. i would also suggest letting temp of smoker go down to maybe 225 or possibly even a little lowere.

i haven't been in your situation, so that;s just a guess, bud - give it a try and it should be OK. one thing is for sure, they are not going to dry out in that foil ;)

what i described above is what i would do, if someone chimes in with better, more experienced advice, take it, but otherwise give it a try and then report on results. yours seems to cook pretty fast, maybe next time do 2-2-1?
post #5 of 11
How are you determining the internal temp of the ribs? Are you using a calibrated meat therm? Wrapping them with a little apple jucie or some other liquid won't dry the ribs out, it's like a basting procedure.
post #6 of 11
Foiling with liquid is the answer if you want fall off the bone, at that time you are braising. Good luck.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have an instant read digital meat thermometer. It's a few years old, but when I stick it in boiling water it reads "211.8*" Can't argue with that. I stick the thermometer into a meaty section between 2 ribs. I try to be carefull and angle it so that it's in the center of the meat (thickness wise) so that it's not too close to the surface.

Like I said, my ribs taste great. I'm just gun shy to go so much longer than I have been, for fear of ruining the meat.

Based on what everyone here is saying, I think I'll shoot for slightly lower smoking tempurature, and foil the ribs around 155*. (Sound like a plan??)
post #8 of 11
I've never checked the temp on my ribs. I've cooked them between 5 and 6 hours foiled and unfoiled. I've had them fallin off the bone and I've had them with some tug to them. They have all turned out great. I would suggest droppin that temp and try the 3-2-1 method. I think the ribs are one of the best things to slow the temp down on. At least if you try the 3-2-1 it gives you an idea of where your at with your cooker and you can adjust to fallin off the bone or a tug or two.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well, I may have been a little remiss in my details. I have a thermometer I checked the calibration of, installed in the upper part of my Brinkman lid. Going by that has gotten me better results than the "warm-ideal-hot" thermometer it came with. But truth be told, I don't know for sure what the tempurature is at the grid. Since heat rises, I assume it's a little lower than what the thermometer says. I'm getting pretty good at keeping it between 225-250. But it probably spends more time near 250, than it does at 225. A dual-probe, wireless smoking thermometer is on my birthday list for next month. biggrin.gif
post #10 of 11
Ribs are about the only thing that you don't cook by temp. You need to go by look and feel, but first you need to know what you are looking for and feeling for.biggrin.gif To get that, go 3-2-1 for spares and 2-2-1 for babybacks, but measure the smoker temp at the grate. You will get falling off the bone tender ribs.

What you are looking for in the first phase is good pull back of meat on the ends of bone - about 1/8" to 1/4". After they have been in the foil for awhile, open them up and pick them up with tongs. If they bend at a 45 degree angle and the meat starts to pull away from the bone, that's long enough. Then you can take 'em out of the foil and put them back on the smoker to firm up and glaze them with sauce if you want.

And, no, you won't dry out the meat by taking it above 180. Most people cook pork shoulders (butts) and briskets to 195 - 200 and the meat is very juicy.

Hope this helps.

post #11 of 11
240-250 degrees at the grate is probably the best temperature for ribs to cook at to get the best flavor possible.

225 will work, but my own opinion is the closer to 250, the better. just remember to know the temperature where the meat is. you can get one of those little standing oven thermomenters (about the size of an eisenhower dollar in a little tin fram that folds back to make a stand) for almost free at whatever-mart. use this as your guide.

another thing you can do is drill a small (dime-sized or a little bigger) hole at each grill level, insert a cork of a size that will plug the hole and another cork that has an instant-read-probe-sized hole in it in the other hole and use that to check the temps at grill level. simply plug the hole with the thermomenter/cork for one hole and use the un-drilled cork in the other witch corks to check the level at the other grill level.
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