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Fire Starter
Original poster
Feb 8, 2006
Jeez! I thought smokin some ribs would be fairly easy considering the resourses taken from this site. Wrong! Im still in the middle of smoking them, BUT its been 4 and a half hours since I even needed to stick them in foil....WHAT?

Lets start with this..............Im using pork spare ribs (2 slabs) each weighing about 4 one half pounds each, pretty damm big. I used a rib rub made up from this site plus a little premade store bought for more mileage with a mustard base for sticking. Ok, I tried to keep the temp at about 230 give and take a little, but did it consistantly. After about three hours (and a temp gauge throbed in a rib) later, I tried to pull the middle rib apart to see if the meat would slowly pull away from the bone and oh my God, not even close. The inner temp was reading about 120 (given the fact that it was hard to find a meaty part without a bone in near distance) and red blood coming out. Obviously the was no tearing of meat coming from the bone. Maybe I put too much rub on????? Anyway, I smoked up until 4 hours and 15 minutes and said screw it, Im putting them in aluminum foil bone side up with a little apple cidar poured on top and put them back in the smoker bone side up.

Well, thats where I am at this point now, but it doesnt seem to be working out like ive been reading.
Ill let ya all know how these confused little ribs turn out. Hell, maybe Ive created something great, NOT!!!!!
again a little late to help here but... To me it sounds like you doing just fine... Next time try 'em w/o the foil... For me, spares of that size take about 6 or so hours at 235° (w/o foil) to tender up... If time is a critical issue, you can bump the pit temp up to 250° or a bit more with no ill effects on the meat...

JamesB is right,give them some time,like he said.Ive let them go as long as eight hours but they will be very tender when your done.Keep a good slather of juice on them and they wont dry out.I smoke on charcole and wood.You cant always keep the temps quite right sometimes but with enough time you will be happy with the end result.
I cooked 2 slabs of spares yesterday and the took about 7-1/2 hours to cook at 225*. Didn't use any foil on these but I have used the 3-2-1 method quite a bit in the past.

i used the 3 2 1 method provided with the help of the friendly peeps @ and did it @ 220 for the 6 hours and they were the most tender ribs i ever did, i also used a gas smoker so the temp stayed right at 220 and this is a pick of those ribs, and yes that is a bone from the ribs that fell out as i cut them. next time im going to try with bbq sauce

Rockie, don't let it get you down. First off, what type of thermometer are you using to monitor your smoke box temp. Most stock temp. gauges are not very accurate. My door thermometer on my GOSM can be off +/- 15 degrees especially in cold weather. Use a digital unit that will allow you to monitor the chamber temp. When I do ribs, I only use the smoker probe and just watch for the meat to pull back to expose the bone. When that happens then it's ribs into the foil.

The 3-2-1 Method is not an exact science but rather a guide. I've foiled ribs at 2 1/2 hours and some at 3 1/2 hours.
Yeah, ok. The ribs turned out just ok. I think I pulled them too soon even though the inner temp was at 170. The top part of the meat was good, but it was hard to pull the ribs apart. there was even some part of the ribs that were (I dont know really how to describe this) sorta dry pasty in spots. Kinda like the fat didnt break down all the way and tacky like. I dont know, but it wasnt very appealing.

On the thermometer for the chamber.....I did a boil water test on it and as soon as the water started to boil I put the therm. in the water and it moved right past 220 upwards of 240???? I thought it should read 220 at boiling point.

Well, next time I will cook those ribs as long as it takes to get a rib to pull away from a bone a little then put them in foil.
Thanks guys.
rockie, The boiling water test for thermometer works great if you're at sea level where water boils at 212 degrees. The higher the altitude you go the lower boiling point water will have. That is why on my instant read thermometers I like to use the freezing water method. Fill a glass with crushed ice and the fill the glass with cold water. Let the glass sit for 5-6 minutes then insert the thermo. probe into the glass-do not let the probe rest on the bottom of the glass or touch the sides. If the thermometer is calibrated properly the reading should show 32 degrees.. Most dial type probes have ansdustment nut on the back so that you can adjust the needle. Most digital instant read thermos. have been factory set so you can't adjust them. However, there are more expensive digital instant reads that you can adjust by turning a screw-again they are pricey-$15-$40 for the good ones. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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