1. Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Fall of the Bone Spare Ribs

Discussion in 'Pork' started by tlhiv, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. tlhiv

    tlhiv Smoke Blower

    Hi folks,

    I feel like that in order to be a TRUE barbecue guru, I should enjoy all forms of barbecue.  I have been quite successful at my smoking skills when it comes to the larger cuts of meat (e.g., Boston butts and beef brisket).  However, for some strange reason, I have never seemed to be a huge fan of pork ribs.  It's not that I don't like them, it's just that they have never been something that has excited me like butts and brisket do.

    I think that perhaps the primary reason for my lack of interest in ribs is that I'm not a big fan of working hard when I eat.  I don't mind the hard work in preparing my food, but when it's time to eat, it's time to eat.  That being said, I'm not sure I have ever had ribs that "fall off the bone".  Every rib that I have ever eaten seems to require more work than I am willing to put forth, and thus I believe that is probably the primary reason for my lack of interest in ribs.

    I am planning to smoke 2 slabs of ribs tomorrow in order to MAKE myself get excited about them.  In the past, I have been able to smoke ribs that others rave over, but they just didn't impress me.  I usually remove the membrane from St. Louis style cut spare ribs, apply a rub the day before, and smoke the ribs using the 3-2-1 method at about 225-250F.  I have yet to produce any ribs that are "falling off the bone".  So, I would like to inquire about any tips that you experts can provide for me.  I know that for "competition" ribs, they are not supposed to fall off the bone (i.e., I know they should have a little tug to them), but I'm not looking for competition ribs -- I'm wanting ribs that make me want to come back for more.

    So, I am putting the ball in the court of the experts.

    Thanks in advance,

    Troy Henderson
  2. deannc

    deannc Master of the Pit

    Sounds like you've got a plan that should result is some very fall off the bone ribs.  If you go 2 hours in foil at 225*, you'll have bones falling out when you go to put the ribs back in the smoker for the last hour.  Personally I like to only go about 1 1/4 hours in the foil, but that's just me.

    Make sure you charge up them camera batteries and post some Qview!  [​IMG]
  3. pineywoods

    pineywoods SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    Are you adding any liquid when you put them into the foil?
  4. tlhiv

    tlhiv Smoke Blower

    I'm pretty sure I have in the past, but I will make sure to liberally spritz them with apple juice tomorrow when they hit the foil.
  5. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Pour the apple juice into the foil . A couple of ounces . when they come out the foil they should be fall off the bone The last hour on the grate is to firm them up again.
  6. bamaboy

    bamaboy Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Ditto on the liquid,I have even spritzed with a 50/50 mix of apple cider and apple juice.Dont knock it its good to us,gives the meat a slight twang.
  7. bob1961

    bob1961 Smoking Fanatic

    i did/do spares with the 3.5-2.5 method and BB with the 3-3 for fall off the bone goodness........bob

  8. Last weekend I discovered that I was out of apple juice when I was ready to foil spareribs. I used about 8 ounces of Dr. Pepper instead. Worked great!!!!!
  9. tlhiv

    tlhiv Smoke Blower

    Ok folks.  Here's the first round of pics.  They were taken last night after I finished rubbing them down.  They got plastic wrapped and placed in the icebox until a few minutes ago when they went in the smoker.  More will come later (perhaps when i take them out to foil and then again when they're done).


  10. tlhiv

    tlhiv Smoke Blower

    I don't normally like opening my smoker door, but I had to add more fuel in the firebox, so I took a quick peak just for all of y'all.

  11. burksmoke

    burksmoke Smoke Blower OTBS Member

    Sounds like a good plan.  The apple juice idea is good, sometimes I smear a little grape jelly on them at the foiling stage.  Trust me it works.  lol

  12. Falling apart after two hours in the foil has been my experience too, that is, after I learned to leave them alone for the first two hours. They get spritzed once at the hour mark.

    This was with BB's not spares, haven't tried spares yet. Good luck. Looking forward to seeing the results.  
  13. tlhiv

    tlhiv Smoke Blower

    I didn't take any pics when I foiled them, but I will take one when I take them out for the final hour.  That smoker smells good (as it always does) with the burning oak and pecan.
  14. tlhiv

    tlhiv Smoke Blower

    Well after 5¼ hours (3¼ hours + 2 hours in the foil), the ribs are basically done.  They are already falling off the bone. [​IMG]   They're back in the smoker (out of the foil) for another ¾ hour to try to firm them up.  I'm really anxious to try these.  Here's the pic after 5¼ hours.  It's hard to see details, but I'll try to take some more pics once I bring them in before and after cutting.

  15. distre

    distre Smoke Blower

    tlhiv, those are some mighty tasty looking ribs you have there. I'm with you love the smell of that oak and pecan smoking. Are they ready yet...  Come on now we are waiting.. I'm hungry now. And all I was going to do today was smoke some cheese, I took some brisket I cooked out of the freezer, had to hide that quick the day I smoked it, but now I'm thinking about ribs. Good Job. [​IMG]
  16. deannc

    deannc Master of the Pit

    Looking great so far!  Can't wait to hear how delicious they are.
  17. tlhiv

    tlhiv Smoke Blower

    Well folks, all in all I would say that it was a success.  The ribs were indeed falling apart.  They were quite tasty.  My only complaint is that I may have put a little too much rub on them.  Next time, I will just dust them.  I rubbed them like I do butts and briskets (which is very liberally).  The flavor, taste, and tenderness were amazing though.  Here is the finished product.




  18. Those look great! [​IMG]
  19. deannc

    deannc Master of the Pit

    Those do look good!  

    It's all about dialing in to what you like. Some like a heavy rub and some of us don't.  [​IMG]

    I too learned I preferred mine with just a dusting of rub and lately, even though I have preferred dry, I've been working on dialing in a finishing glaze. 

    Great smoke and congrats!  [​IMG]
  20. distre

    distre Smoke Blower

    Great Job. You should learn something every time you smoke, even if it is to change something or do exactly the same way. Those look really good. I think the Dust you talked about will put them over the top for your taste. Remember to cook to your taste unless your cooking for someone else then???????????[​IMG]