Pork spareribs

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bbq dreams

Newbie
Original poster
May 30, 2017
29
29
Wildomar California
Hi everyone. After a hiatus in smoking ,(went though a house remodel and have a 2 1/2 yo daughter) I started smoking again, this time with a pellet smoker. I tried spareribs today 321 method set initially at 250, that was my target temp. The first 30 min my temp at grate level was between 220 and 240, so I raised my temp to 270 at the controller so my grate temp could be at the target 250. After an hour seems like the grate temp caught up to the controller temp at which point I brought it down to 250. I just assumed that the meat was affecting my grate probes.

Anyways my main issue was when I unwrapped at 5 hours (3 unwrapped and 2 wrapped) the ribs were almost falling apart. I left them unwrapped for another 30 minutes hoping they will firm up. Some of the fat was not completely rendered which makes me think they needed more time but at the same time they were falling apart. The bark was kinda tough and chewy but the inside was fall off the bone. Any ideas

Btw I cook ribs in the ove at 250 with the 321 method and always come out perfect.
 
Pellet smokers have high temp swings when the auger is dropping pellets vs when they aren't. With that said the dial on the lid is definitely not giving you a correct temp. Neither will the digital readout on the grill. Get you a secondary probe setup that you can put at grate level to monitor the temp. I guarantee you were cooking at a higher temp than you thought you were. Also pellet smokers cook convection style since they have a fan. You may need to modify your 321 method to compensate
 
Pellet smokers have high temp swings when the auger is dropping pellets vs when they aren't. With that said the dial on the lid is definitely not giving you a correct temp. Neither will the digital readout on the grill. Get you a secondary probe setup that you can put at grate level to monitor the temp. I guarantee you were cooking at a higher temp than you thought you were. Also pellet smokers cook convection style since they have a fan. You may need to modify your 321 method to compensate
Thank you. Just to clarify what do you suggest when modifying the 321 method? I do agree I cooked at higher temp. I will try setting my controller at a lower temp. Btw I had 2 additional probes at grate level besides the dome thermometer and the rtd probe.
 
Thank you. Just to clarify what do you suggest when modifying the 321 method? I do agree I cooked at higher temp. I will try setting my controller at a lower temp. Btw I had 2 additional probes at grate level besides the dome thermometer and the rtd probe.
I don't wrap ribs very often anymore and when I do I use butcher paper so our results will be different. When I suggested modifying I'd start with the wrapped step by decreasing it since the ribs you did were too fall apart for you. 321 and 221 are only guidelines. Like SmokinEdge SmokinEdge mentioned cooking like that shouldn't be your goal but instead a learning tool to help you out at the learning stages. Can that be the method you use always? Sure. But you may need to modify to your liking. Pork Ribs for me are perfect around 195 IT with an instant read thermometer
 
Hi everyone. After a hiatus in smoking ,(went though a house remodel and have a 2 1/2 yo daughter) I started smoking again, this time with a pellet smoker. I tried spareribs today 321 method set initially at 250, that was my target temp. The first 30 min my temp at grate level was between 220 and 240, so I raised my temp to 270 at the controller so my grate temp could be at the target 250. After an hour seems like the grate temp caught up to the controller temp at which point I brought it down to 250. I just assumed that the meat was affecting my grate probes.

Anyways my main issue was when I unwrapped at 5 hours (3 unwrapped and 2 wrapped) the ribs were almost falling apart. I left them unwrapped for another 30 minutes hoping they will firm up. Some of the fat was not completely rendered which makes me think they needed more time but at the same time they were falling apart. The bark was kinda tough and chewy but the inside was fall off the bone. Any ideas

Btw I cook ribs in the ove at 250 with the 321 method and always come out perfect.
Thank you. Just to clarify what do you suggest when modifying the 321 method? I do agree I cooked at higher temp. I will try setting my controller at a lower temp. Btw I had 2 additional probes at grate level besides the dome thermometer and the rtd probe.
I suggest throwing that out as a hard fast rule. (321) or whatever. This is a guide as TNJAKE TNJAKE has said. Cook how you want but pull when the probe thermal is what you want.
Always cook by internal temperature! Never by time,,,, ever!
 
Take the advise Jake and Edge gave you, and here's a bit more. I never wrap, I like the bark and smoke flavor. Get a grate level probe with another that goes in the meat, I like the TP-20 from Therrmoworks. Start toothpick probing when your rack reaches a IT of about 190º, look for it to probe like a toothpick into a jar of peanut butter, then pull, rest a few minutes, and eat. If you pull the rack at 200º IT or over and wrap them in foil expect some FOTB, still edible, but not what you are shooting for. RAY
 
Take the advise Jake and Edge gave you, and here's a bit more. I never wrap, I like the bark and smoke flavor. Get a grate level probe with another that goes in the meat, I like the TP-20 from Therrmoworks. Start toothpick probing when your rack reaches a IT of about 190º, look for it to probe like a toothpick into a jar of peanut butter, then pull, rest a few minutes, and eat. If you pull the rack at 200º IT or over and wrap them in foil expect some FOTB, still edible, but not what you are shooting for. RAY
Thank you, and also jake and edge. I will cook based on IT. I very much appreciate all of you taking your time to help me out. Just 1 more question. Do you think the tough and dry exterior was caused by high heat?
 
As usual great advice. Like mentioned above a pellet grill is like a convection oven. When I do ribs 321 I set the controller at 225. Seems to work well on my particular Set up.
 
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I do ribs by IT, it doesn’t matter whether you wrap, spritz, mop, or do nothing. When the IT hits 195 they are done the way we like them. If you like FOTB ribs, then you may want to take them to 200-205.
Al
 
321, 221 are both meant to have a pit temp of 225*. I personally don't temp ribs. I use the bend test to tell when my ribs are done. Hasn't failed me yet.

Chris
 
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