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The Bend Test For Ribs

  1. Many new BBQers post questions on rib cooking methods, one of the most common is "How do I tell when ribs are done?"

    Perhaps the most used method is the bend test. Simply pick up the rack of ribs from one end with tongs, with the end of the tongs at about the 5th or 6th rib in(slightly less than 1/2 way). If the ribs bend at a 45° angle or more they are done. 


    Ribs done like this will not be "fall of the bone", if that is your preference keep on cooking past this point until they reach that stage.

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  1. daddio53
    Well, I am a single guy and I generally cut my slabs in half since I'm only cooking for myself. So will this test apply if the slab is only a half slab? I know that trying to get a good temp using a thermometer is likely not going to work. So is there some other test I can use to check for doneness? Thanks to all of you who take the time to make smoking enjoyable for those who are new at it. I've used a gas grill for over 30 years and now that I've retired and have a lot of time for this, I plan to become pretty good at it. Let's smoke something.
  2. oldschoolbbq
    I would like to add a bit if I may.
    When checking your Ribs,look at them,there will be a bit of sweating or weeping; it glistens a little. This a good idea your Ribs are done. When this is noticed, do the bend test for confirmation of doneness.At this point they will have that tug or resistance to biting and not fall off the bone.
    I do not foil my Ribs, they stay in an unopened smoker until I smell what seems like a sweet Bacon smell in the smoke,then I do my checks.
    If your temp. hasn't gone past the 250*f point,then they should be good to go.I am a true believer in the No Peeky rule;I realize some do not have more than one smoker and it is hard to leave the lid shut, but you must open it to check on your progress of other things in the smoker.This is O.K.,it just leads to a bit longer cook.
  3. john e goodwin
    I have heard of several different ways to check for doneness; however, this seems to be fool proof.