Baby back ribs help

Discussion in 'Pork' started by pwoller, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. pwoller

    pwoller Fire Starter

    I'm in the last hour of baby back ribs, 2-2-1 method. The ribs dont seem tender at all. I have been smoking them at 225 degrees this whole time. Should I refoil them for another hour or just finish them until they pull back and then let them rest?
  2. white cloud

    white cloud Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    shouldn't of even foiled till you got a pull back at least.
  3. pwoller

    pwoller Fire Starter

    I had the 1/4 inch pullback per the instructions when I foiled them for 2 hours. Now after an hour without foil the pull back is not near an inch and the ribs dont seem tender.
  4. white cloud

    white cloud Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    did you add additional liquid when foiling
  5. pwoller

    pwoller Fire Starter

    Yeap a splash of apple juice.
  6. white cloud

    white cloud Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Must just be the meat then. Just be patient.
  7. pwoller

    pwoller Fire Starter

    They werent the best looking ribs but they were the last 2 racks they had. So should I just keep cooking till they pull back an inch?
  8. white cloud

    white cloud Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hope they turn out well for ya.
  9. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I used a method at the restaurant and that was to poke your index finger between the bones. If it penetrates easily they are done.
    Good luck!
  10. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Grab them in the middle of the rack with a pair of tongs and lift them. If they bend a lot and the meat starts to pull away from the bone, they're good to go.

    An inch of pullback seems like an awful lot to me.

    In the future, it won't hurt for you to smoke them at 240° or so.

    Also make sure your measuring the smoker temp at the grate level with a reliable thermometer. If you are using the installed stock dial thermo, who knows what the smoker temp really is.

    Good luck.

  11. pwoller

    pwoller Fire Starter

    I have been using 2 thermometers and I was getting alot of swing during the foil time. I wonder if they werent at a high enough temp during foil to tender up. I pulled them off and the are resting. I'll let you know how they turn out.[​IMG]
  12. pwoller

    pwoller Fire Starter

    They turned out alright but they weren't fall off the bone. Getting a bit discouraged cause my friend makes them by boiling, baking then grilling and they are way more tender then the ones that I have done using the 221 or 321 method.
  13. alx

    alx Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have cooked literaly thousands of ribs over years.Every smoker is different.You may need to bump you average temp to 235-245 steady temp.Also try foiling meat side down-i dont use juice just the juice from rib will be alot of liquid after 20 minutes.I do add honey,brown sugar etc to meat side.

    If your temp gets to 250 degree and you foil that long and dont have fall off bone ribs-check thermo.My digital was reading 96 degree inside house 3 days ago-it was 76 in house- and i changed baterries........
  14. pwoller

    pwoller Fire Starter

    Thanks for the advise. One question, is the point of foiling them so they boil in their juices or the apple juice?
  15. alx

    alx Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you use juice-I have found in old days 2-3 tablespoons enough-say 4 ounces.Too much juice may inhibit the steaming/braising at lower temps...

    If i do my method-its in the pork section down page a bit under my 3/layered trimmed spares-no need for juice.I stopped using juice because they were too mushy for comps.

    I believe foiling without juice-the foil is gonna really bring temp up of meat in foil-steam,braise them-is all i found i need for ribs as tender as i want....You may have to make them too fall off bone before you adjust.

    Keep at it.It can be DONE....
  16. mikey

    mikey Smoking Fanatic

    I've kind of been following your saga, and it appears that you seem focused on tenderness. You had mentioned earlier that "they turned out alright". Just out of curiosity, how'd they taste?
  17. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you foil and the ribs don't have the needed pull back 1/4 " to 1/2" (at the time of foiling) suggesting that the temp was too low or they didn't cook long enough at the temp you were cooking at. Then you will need the moisture to steam the ribs while they are foiled. Not adding any liquid is just going to take longer to cook and you still won't be done using a 2-2-1 method. My smoker 225 for 2-3 hours and I foil, if I had to open the hatch 2 or 3 times then it might be more time. So I'm saying it is a combination of stuff, temp, time, doneness, and the ability to be flexible and adjust when things are not working according to plan.

    Regarding foiling and liquid, think braising, when you braise the liquids you add can bring a lot of flavor and the main purpose is to break down the tougher connective tissues on tougher cuts of meat as the meat steams. Braising is for tougher cuts of meat. You don't have to use apple juice, people do it to offset the spicy rubs. I've done beer, the water in my drip pan with some onion & garlic, wine, etc.

    Regarding fall off the bone tender, a lot of people think that is over cooked. The desired doneness is tender so the meat isn't falling off the bones until you tear it and then it tears clean leaving no bits on the bone. Its a fine line but you will know the difference once you taste it.

    This site might give you the tips you need, its a good resource.
  18. pwoller

    pwoller Fire Starter

    They were just ok. Nothing special. I didn't really prep them like I ussually do.
  19. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hmm . . . that will make them tender all right, but I thnk you will find that with a little practice you can produce just as tender AND much more flavorful and better tasting ribs using the 2-2-1 method.

    Ribs are a little tricky to get the hang of. There are lots of little steps involved but when you start getting the hang of it, it will seem like second nature. Plus you get to eat your practice racks.[​IMG]

  20. pwoller

    pwoller Fire Starter

    I reheated some of them today and they really tasted pretty good. I think that after 6 hours of smoking I expected too much. They were very good. Not fall off the bone but still good.

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