no foil for babybacks?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by smokin limey, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. Been doing the 2-2-1 for baby-backs. If anything, they are turning out TOO tender with the ribs just pulling out of the meat. Tastes great...but I want the meat sticking to the ribs (as it were!)

    Should I do less foil time? Is there a method with NO foil time at all?

    All done on a MES btw.

  2. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    How long and at what temp are you cooking your temps at???? If you are doing the 2-2-1 like you said it should be 5 hours? Mine are always tender but never fall off the bone in a bad way done. Mine are always tender but when you take a bite it usually just pulls off the bone only where you just bit into.
  3. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    try no foil and see how you like it. it's my preferred method for a lot of reasons.
  4. Just like it says 2 without - 2 with - 1 without. At 225 F

    Think I might try a whole 5 hours with no foil....should that firm them up a bit? Not too dry?
  5. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    definitely not too dry - most folks prefer some sort of mop, sop or baste during cooking (after the first half-hour or so to allow the rub to set) but it is not absolutely necessary.

    if you do use a mop, it is a good idea to have some kind of oil in there. some folks use olive oil, others use peanut or salad oil...some use butter.

    a great mop that has worked very well for me and seems to compliment pork well is 1 cup dr. pepper, 2/3 cup low sodium soy sauce and 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil. be sure to blend or shake well before each use.
  6. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I also shorten my foil time but on spares. I usually only leave them in the foil for 1 1/2 hours and then if I don't sauce them with BBQ sauce I only take them for the last time for about 45 minutes or lest depending on the pull back and the bend test too.
  7. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You might also try 2-1.5-1. That's what I do and I like a little "tug" as well.[​IMG]

  8. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Try stayin with the same 2-2-1 and lower your smoking temp. Smoke them at 200 - 210 instead of 225.
  9. zapper

    zapper Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Adjust the foil time or open the foil packet for about half of the time.

    If you have a smoker that holds or recovers the heat quickly from being open often then mopping often with less or no foil time is a good and really the traditional option.

    My problem is that I use a brinkmann electric that just reaches temp, looses temps fast with the lid off, is kind of a hassle to reach the lower racks and is slow to come back to temp. Soooooo. I foil a little later, 2.5-3+ depending on how things look. Then given an hour or so in foil depending on how things look I will finish them with the foil peeled back or dump them onto the cooking grates to toughen up or skin over. Sometimes though I don't dump them on the grill if they have gone too soft, moving them will just make them fall apart. I think that cooking them a little longer before foil helps toughen up the "Skin" or "Bark" and it re toughens faster after the foil time and back into the open heat

    Another thing that alot of folks do is finish up at higher temps on another grill or bump up the heat in the smoker

    For me personally? I would rather risk BBs or just about anything being too fall off the bone, than dry, burnt or cooked too fast tough. Sucking down good tastie ribs aint all bad.
  10. Glad I read this I am on my night off trying Ribs and did 3-2-1 for Baby Back Ribs... That could have ended up poorly
  11. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    321 221 111111 it would all be great if weather, meat, cookers, and other factors were all the same, unfortunately they are not all the same. Personally the first factor to me before I foil is how much pull back is there? If you are foiling when you have 1/2" of pull back on average then you may have waited too long to foil. I also do the bend test to see if the meat has become tender enough to flex. Sometimes I get decent bend before there is a lot of pull back, rare but it happens. So consider before being stuck to hard cook times try foiling at say 1/4" pull back on avg. and then foil. Once you have a good feel for how tender the meat needs to be before foiling you will then get consistent results.
  12. wmarkw

    wmarkw Smoking Fanatic

    Try no foil for about 5 to 6 hours. Apply sauce on the last hour.
  13. wmarkw

    wmarkw Smoking Fanatic

    I've been watching Pit Masters on TLC and I'm surprised many of them foil thier spares during competition. If the judges are looking for a good "tug" of meat from the rib, I would think the foil would make it way to tender.
  14. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just did 4 racks in my drum for a tad over 6 1/2 hours bare naked, no mop... Ribs came out great with just enough tug.
  15. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    for those who do choose to foil, deltadue just gave outstanding advice worth paying attention to.
  16. smokinal

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

    I used to foil my ribs all the time too, but they really have a better taste & texture if you just cook them for about 5 hours (6 for spares) and sauce them for the last hour. Just make sure your smoker doesn't get too hot. 215 to 225 seems to work for me. I also use 1/2 beer & 1/2 water in the water pan. This is just my opinion, I know a lot of guys swear by the 2-2-1 or 3-2-1 method. But just experiment 1 time with no foil & I think you will be surprised how tender the ribs will be.
  17. coyote

    coyote Master of the Pit

    lots of great answers here to sort through.
    some times you get pull back and some times not so much pull back.
    I think the ribs get all the smoke they need in 2 hours.
    spritzing every so offten (more offten then not) helps keep them moist.
    foiling them for a length of time helps break down the tissue and if left to long you will get pulled ribs (like pulled pork)
    leaving them on unfoiled to long with a low heat you will get pulled ribs (like pulled pork)
    I like them any way they come off the grill as long as they taste great. that comes from Rubs and sauces and the type of wood you will be using to impart the smoke flavor.
    But, my favorite is to have some tug from the bone.
    low temps you will have to cook a little longer then with higher temps.
    try it with the foil and with out. and as others have said start testing with the bend method. use yer tongs with a raw rack of ribs and do the same half way through the cook. see what it looks like. you do not want it tearing if you want tug from the bone.
    an accutrate fast read tempature taker is also very helpfull to know when you have reached safe cooking temps for the doneness of the product you are cooking.
    reading is very helpfull. and good if not great info is brought to you from this forum and all the helpfull members. But doing a lot of ribs on your smoker will bring you to a level that you in turn will be giving out help and advise here very soon.
    on the next batch of ribs not so long of a cooking time and not so long in the foil and if foiled just a light spritz before going into the foil so you will not get so much steam.
    good luck.
  18. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The bottom line is all of this is fantastic advice from folks who have put together some great ribs. You have to adjust to your smoker... your methods. Keep a log on your smokes as to what temp.. how long... when you foiled. wood used, etc, etc. Then if you want the ribs with more tug.. you go less time.. you want them to fall off the bone.. you go longer. Every smoker is different and every person smokes a little different. That's part of what makes this so much fun. 20 or 25 degrees smokin temp can make a huge difference in how your ribs turn out. My advice... keep a log /record of your smokes... and only change one thing at a time so you know what is actually making the difference for you.
  19. coyote

    coyote Master of the Pit

    I thought I would add a little more to help you get to the level you want.
    when buying ribs. some times and probaly most times they come in packs with more then one rib.
    I try to find ribs individualy packed. and purchase all my ribs so they all would be almost uniform in size and weight. That way they all turn out pretty much uniform off the smoker / grill.
    hope this further helps you with perfect ribs.[​IMG]lol.
  20. nwbhoss

    nwbhoss Smoking Fanatic

    I just finished a rack of spare ribs cooked at 230* with jeffs rib rub, no foil no mop, used apple and a mix of alder and mesquite chunks for TBS!!! I also made some of Jeffs BBQ sauce on the side for dipping. They turned out great!!!!!!! Turely the best ribs I have ever eaten. It took about 6 1/2 hours to get to 170* and worth every minute of it [​IMG]

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