Best IT for baby backs?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by jteer, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. jteer

    jteer Fire Starter

    I am smoking some baby backs today. Since I normally use regular pork ribs or St. Louis style, I have always overcooked my baby backs to the point to where I can not even remove them from the grill or smoker without them falling apart.

    I read on here somewhere about cooking ribs by temp rather than time. I now cannot find that thread. So, what IT am I shooting for with these ribs to get almost to the point of FOTB but not falling apart?

    For these ribs, I removed the membrane, injected with some creole butter. Rubbed them down with some Jalapeno pepper jelly then with some rub I found at a local farmers market called Sweet Heat. Ribs have been sitting in the fridge overnight. I plan to fire up the smoker around 11am and smoke at 225 with some chicken breasts I have brining and some corn on the cob and some baking potatoes.
     
  2. hammer77

    hammer77 Fire Starter

    Check out SmokinAl's Perfect Ribs Everytime. Those were the best BB I ever turned out. The answers you seek are there.
     
  3. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper

    Lots of ways, there is no single solution. I smoke low around 180 for one hour then bump to 240. Spray with apple juice every 45 min starting hour #2. Somewhere between 4-5 hrs the meat pulls back and the bend test shows a slight break in the meat. This time varies as each piece of meat can be different. I've actually had some take closer to 5 1/2 hrs. When it occurs we sauce and pull 30 min later. We like a clean easy bite that takes no effort, bone comes away bare but the rest of the meat stays put.
     
  4. jteer

    jteer Fire Starter

    Thanks! I found it once I knew what to search for...I will follow that exactly and see how they turn out!
     
  5. jteer

    jteer Fire Starter

    140 already after 1 hour...seems really fast!
     
  6. jond36

    jond36 Meat Mopper

    That is a too quick if you started them cold. What are you cooking on?
     
  7. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Don't worry they will slow down. I usually don't even begin checking them for 3 hours.

    However I will say I had a rack that was done in three hours & never put them in the foil.

    What temp are you smoking them at?

    Al
     
  8. jteer

    jteer Fire Starter

    Keeping it at 225...
     
  9. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    You should be fine. I'm guessing it will be 165-170 at the 3 hour mark.

    Check it at the thickest rib.

    Al
     
  10. jteer

    jteer Fire Starter

    I have my probe stuck into it at the thickest part. Not sure what brand this one is, but it shows 10 degrees cooler than the built in one on the MES. The portable one agrees with my thermo pen thing I also have.
     
  11. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    If you have a Thermapen it would be the one to go by.

    It will be the most accurate.

    Al
     
  12. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Cooking ribs to an internal temp is problematic at best because of all the bones, temp probe too close to a bone and you will not get an accurate reading.

    I rely on the bend test while others use the "toothpick test" to test for doneness in ribs.

    The bend test-

     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2016
  13. jond36

    jond36 Meat Mopper

    As a reference, 190 to 195 gives an ability to to pull out a bone but if you take a bite the meat wont fall off. Thats the best way I can describe it. Al's article is a good read.

    The tooth pick and bend test are pretty good, but I think the probe is dummy proof for donenes. IMHO.
     
  14. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Sorry Cliff, but I have to disagree with your statement.

    If you have a thin tipped therm, such as a Thermapen, you can get very accurate readings between the bones.

    This will lead to very consistent results time after time.

    Al
     
  15. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Not everyone has or can afford a thermapen, me being one of them. And I am of the school of thought that we rely too much on technology and too little on our own senses and experience as cooks.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
  16. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Cliff, you said cooking ribs to temp is problematic.

    I merely stated it is not if you have a good instant read therm.

    If you don't need one to get the perfect temp, then that's great.

    Do you use a therm to cook your chicken or brisket or pork butt or do you use your own senses & experience for those too?

    Al
     
  17. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Yes I did and I stand by that because-

    I have never seen or read any consensus as to what the proper "done" temperature is. Indeed, given the number of posters that prefer "fall off the bone" ribs, there must be at least two proper temps to which ribs must be cooked to be considered done.

    And, yes, I do use a therm to check the IT of chicken always. Same goes for lean pork such as tenderloin and loin, however butts, brisket, sausage, burgers, steak seldom get checked by thermometer.

    FWIW I am cooking a rack of loin backs tomorrow so maybe I'll temp them when they pass the bend test just for grins[​IMG]
     
  18. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just use the toothpick test. Never checked the IT. Maybe I will try both to compare.
     
  19. jteer

    jteer Fire Starter

    I pulled the ribs at 170, wrapped in foil with some brown sugar and put back into the smoker and bumped the temp up to 240. The ribs went on around 1130 this morning and about 5pm, the IT was at around 198. I pulled them and they sat for about 45 minutes while waiting on the chicken breasts to finish. I cut them up and everyone LOVED them! The cook time was perfect, nice and tender without completely falling apart with one bite. Probably the best I have done.

    As for the chicken breasts, I brined them last night in a brine with kosher salt, brown sugar, a little of this and a little of that all mixed in and also injected with some creole butter.  I cooked them to an IT of 165 and they turned out perfect also! Tender and juicy. First time I have cooked breasts that you could easily cut the thickest part with a fork.

    To Al and everyone here who pitched in with tips, THANK YOU!!
     

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