Foil or no foil spare ribs??

Discussion in 'Grilling Pork' started by dzldawg, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. dzldawg

    dzldawg Fire Starter

    I am a total noob here, but I have smoked about ten racks of ribs so far on my mb pro dual smoker. The first four racks I smoked were without foil and were great! The last three racks I tried foiling, they were ok but just not as good as the first, thinking I did something wrong I tried again today foiling and adding some leftover strongbow apple cider and some water and I don't like how they're turning out so far. Any suggestions? I am using jeff's rub this time where I used szega rub? On the ones before, I also upgraded to a new bbq shop thermometer and it shows stable at 225-230 temp. Thanks for all your help!
  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I don't like foiled ribs. I never foil them.

    Cook them how you like them, no one says you HAVE to foil
    grillard likes this.
  3. dzldawg

    dzldawg Fire Starter

    Here's what I got so far. Letting them firm up on last hour of 3-2-1 technique. I am really thinking out going back and just smoking at 225-230 without foil for 4 hrs!
  4. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I never foil ribs any more. I cook them between 260 and 275*. I think that cooking a little faster gets them done a little quicker and they have a better finish. I also use Jeff's rub. in addition, I use Jeff's sauce on the ribs twice in the last 30 minutes.

    Good luck with your next 10 racks. Keep us posted, Joe
  5. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Would really need to know what it is about the foiled ribs that you don't like.
  6. dzldawg

    dzldawg Fire Starter

    They seem a little mushy, I smoked the first few racks great, they were good not falling off the bone but would pull off if you bit down close enough.
  7. dzldawg

    dzldawg Fire Starter

    Also with jeffs rub I used smoked paprika and not sure if that threw the taste off a little.
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    No need for Smoked Paprika on smoked meat. Yes the flavors may conflict. Foiling time accelerates the breakdown of connective tissue and tenderizes. Two hours in foil gets close to fall off the bone. Reduce the foil time if you want more bite. What you put in foil has a big flavor impact. You can use a variety of liquids and flavors. I use my Foiling Juice...

    After 2 hours or less in Foil, remove the ribs from the smoker, unwrap, saving any juices in the foil, and place back into the smoker for the final 1 hour, with smoke if you wish.This firms them up, creates a nice Bark and finishes the cooking process. You can add a glaze or sauce at this point if you like. The meat will be pretty close to fall off the bone and be extremely juicy, tender and flavorful...JJ

    Foiling Juice / Sweet Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce

    Foiling Juice

    For each Rack of Ribs Combine:

    1T Pork Rub, yours

    1/2 Stick Butter

    1/2C Cane Syrup... Dark Corn Syrup...or Honey

    1/4C Apple Cider...or Juice

    1T Molasses

    Optional: 2T Apple Cider Vinegar. Add 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more of a KC Glaze.

    Simmer until a syrupy consistency.

    Allow to cool for 5 minutes, pour over foiled Ribs and

    run your 2 hour phase of 3-2-1. For the last phase return

    the ribs to the smoker BUT reserve any Juice remaining

    in the Foil. Simmer the Juice over med/low heat to reduce to a saucy thickness. Glaze the Ribs for presentation or service.
  9. dzldawg

    dzldawg Fire Starter

    Thanks for the advice!!! I will definitely try it tomorrow!!
  10. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    The last two times I smoked ribs without foiling and I must say, I liked the end result.

    But then again, I haven't ate any ribs that I didn't like. Foil, no foil, water, no water, etc.

    Ribs are good eats!
    marfrickintinez, dzldawg and jjlnyc like this.
  11. smokinal

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

    Your ribs are mushy because they are overcooked. It sounds like you like your ribs at about 195 IT. Foil or no foil they will be what you want at that temp. The hard part is getting a therm that will measure between the bones accurately. A Thermapen works very well, but they are a little pricey. Check out "perfect ribs" in my signature line.

    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
  12. dave17a

    dave17a Smoking Fanatic

    Went back to my old ways after foiling. Doing ribs since the 80's. My friend, rub the night before. Spritz apple juice every hr.. add up 3-2-1 and done. Mix a little of your fav. sauce wiyh whats melted down in pan water down pour over right before cooking. Yummmy!
  13. mcloven1t

    mcloven1t Smoke Blower Group Lead

    Yea, this is one of those things where it's all PERSONAL PREFERENCE.

    I typically foil mine, but occasionally do it for anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hr.  Some do it for numerous hours, just all depends on your heat, rib size, n bla bla bla.

    This is just one of those things, that you can do the traditional "Trial By Fire"

    just keep smoking with different methods, until you find the one(s) you love.

    I've smoked several racks over the years and I'm just now dialing in my times and temps for my perfect, bite through ribs.
  14. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    How about next time you pass on the foil for half a rack then if you don't like them as much stick with your foil in the future.
  15. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Sounds like you prefer a little "bite" to your ribs like many here. The foiling just helps to get the falling off the bone ribs, which many of us also like 😁
    Cook em the way you like em. Like JP, I never met a rib I couldn't eat.....

  16. dzldawg

    dzldawg Fire Starter

    Thanks to everyone for their response! This is a great community!
    One of the greatest things is you get to try out all the different things and make your own! Thanks for your reply!
  17. dzldawg

    dzldawg Fire Starter

    I agree! I like them all! I am just enjoying the process and experimentations!
  18. damon555

    damon555 Smoking Fanatic

    The good thing about not foiling is that you can tell exactly when the ribs are smoked to your liking......Fall off the bone ribs are easy to do without foil.....just let them ride a little longer. I prefer them a little more firm....but some of my family members prefer them fall off the bone. When you foil it's a guessing game as to how long to leave them wrapped up. Every rack is different and requires more or less time in the foil.

    But as I said before......people like to mess around with the meat on the smoker. If that's your thing then have at me....As for me? I prefer to go about my business and just let them sit in the smoker until they are done to my liking. It's a very simple procedure that has been complicated to the extent of confusion. 
    chad e likes this.
  19. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    You're right, Damon. Basically it all boils down to Patience, like everything else we smoke.....
  20. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    With 3 girls and their significant other's, it's 2 to 3 Racks any time I make them. I frequently do with/without foil and everybody gets what they like...JJ

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