Baby backs done too fast!

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Original poster
Jul 9, 2006
Hello everyone,
New to the forum and new to smoking. Appreciate all the help anyone can give me.

Let me start by telling you that I am attempting to smoke baby back ribs with a charcoal smoker. I use briquettes of charcoal and hickory wood chunks(I usually chop the large chunks apart). I also use a dry rub three hours before they are put on the smoker. I take the membrane out from under the ribs also.

My problem is that the meat is getting done way too fast. I beleive the problem is that maybe too much charcoal. Or maybe that I am using too much hickory wood. I usually use about 3 chunks(about 3 inch square blocks) of hickory I used less charcoal/hickory the last time and still the ribs were at 160 degrees at about two hours. I would like to smoke the ribs longer than this to achieve the tenderness.

Any suggestions?

What kind of smoker are you using? Offset, ECB...?

How much charcoal are you using?

What temp is your smoker running?

Tell us that and we can probably help you :D .
I am using a ECB, the new ones with the air vents in the charcoal pan. I use about 30 briquettes or I fill the charcoal pan about half full. Do not know exact temperture of the smoker...only temperture gauge is on the smoker....but that's's always reads "Ideal".....

I always put baby backs on top of the water pan(lower rack) when I cooked them on ECB's. If you cook spareribs put them on top cause they can take the heat, but baby backs are so thin they will cook way to quick.
Ok, thanks for the tip. I was smoking on the top rack..I will try the bottom next time
Go to a kitchen supply store, or your local grocery store, and purchase an oven thermometer. This can be placed on the rack you are cooking on. If you have remote thermometers, then place a probe into a potato and put on the cook grate.

Baby Backs will cook faster than spares, but you must know the cooking temp for anything you are cooking if you plan to repeat your sucessful cooks. Also looking at the thermometers give you something to do, so you don't keep opening the cooker to play with the meat.

Wrap them in HeavyDuty foil, spraying alot of your mop sauce before sealing. Seal the packet TIGHT, no leaks. Let cook for about 1.0 to 1.5 hours to make tender. Be VERY careful when removing from the foil, THERE IS GOING TO BE SOME JUICE.
Welcome to SMF, stb. I still use an ECB on occation and I place my baby backs on the lower rack also. I use 1 starter chimney full of briquettes (approx. 20-25) along with 4-5 chunks (2 in. X 3 in. pieces). You might want to replace the cheap thermo. with a replacement thermo that shows you the temp in degrees.
Thanks to everyone for the advice...I think you all have convinced me that I need a thermo. any suggestions? Interested in the remote kind, are they worth it?
I use the Nu-Temp with two remotes. A great tool, and I can hardly imagine smoking without it. The base will accept signals from up to three remotes, and has both high and low alarms.
STB, check out the "Themometer" thread in the Smoking Supplies and Equipment section. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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