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Help smoking ribs


Joined Nov 28, 2016
Hey guys. I have the 30" masterbuilt electric smoker. I have tried smoking ribs 2 times this week using the 3-2-1 method but both times its not fall of bone. I filled the water tray with apple cider mix with water wile smoking. Yesterday the last leg when I pulled the ribs off I stuck a temp in the ribs and the meat was only at 169d. I was smoking at 225d. The ribs taste good but I can't get fall of bone. Am I over cooking them or way under cooking them? Should I turn it up to 240 using the 3-2-1?? I know the meat should be around 180-190? Thank you guys

joe black

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Jan 25, 2015
I smoke ribs at 250-275*. I don't use a time method. I check for doneness with a bend test. I grip a rack of ribs with tongs at about 1/3 of the length. The remainder of the rack should bend down to almost 90*. You can tug on the bones to get a further test. If they are really loose, the meat should be fall off the bone (FOTB). I really don't care fore FOTB as the meat has a tendency to be overdone and mushy. I also don't ever foil my ribs as that also makes them mushy IMO.

chef jimmyj

Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
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Joined May 12, 2011
You can increase your time in foil or stay with 3-2-1 and bump the temp to 250. Make sure your therm measuring smoker temp is accurate. The MES display may say it is 225 and actually be 200 at the rack and measured with a separate therm...JJ
Last edited:


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
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Joined Jun 22, 2009
I see you checked the meat temp for doneness.

For FOTB ribs that temp needs to be 200-205.

It doesn't matter what method you use to get there.


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