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Ribs: A Bit on the Dry Side - Why?

pianov

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I love baby back pork ribs cooked on my smoker. But they always tend to come out a bit dry. They are good, but I sure wish I could make them come out a bit more moist. I smoke on a wood-fired masonry smoker with very good temperature control. I usually smoke them between 200 and 230 degrees for about five hours. Sometimes I do not wrap them and just leave them on the grates for the entire five hours. A number of times I have tried the 2-2-1 instructions Jeff has written - I did that just the other day - 220 to 240 degrees for five hours with a two-hour wrap. Good, but a bit dry.

Anything I can try doing that I am not doing? Thanks!
 

Rings Я Us

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Hmm.. wood masonry smoker, and type of probe for temps you use? You use liquids? Water dish? What kind of ribs?
 

radio

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Is your temp readings from a thermometer on the smoker, or are you using a remote probe type to check temps? My first thought is that where the ribs are cooking in the smoker may have hotter temps than your thermometer is reading. Next, when you foil the ribs, add a bit of apple juice, just enough for moisture, but not so much the ribs are swimming in it
 

pianov

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Rings and radio asked: "Hmm.. wood masonry smoker, and type of probe for temps you use? You use liquids? Water dish? What kind of ribs?"

Baby back pork ribs. Two separate digital probes with remote monitoring (Maverick thingee), plus a high-quality aftermarket analog gauge on the cook-box door - I'm pretty sure my temps are good. Liquids? Yes, I had a water pan plus my pot of beans bubbling away. And yeah, I put a little splash of water and apple juice in the foil pans with foil covers for the two hour foiled cook.

So this is why I am confused - I think I'm doing the proper things - I just don't know what else to try!
 

SmokinAl

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Well my answer is the ribs themselves.
Lately when you buy BB's they come with a thick piece of the loin attached to the rib.
Normally you would smoke a loin to about 140-145 degrees & it's done. Take it any higher & it starts to dry out.
Now the rib meat on the other hand needs to go to 195-205 before it's tender & juicy. So the reason your ribs are dry is because the loin meat on them is overcooked. For this very reason I have switched to STL's instead of my beloved BB's.
I think if you do the same you will be happy with your ribs.
Al
 

pianov

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Thanks SmokinAl. That makes some sense. I did notice that the driest piece was also the thickest, most meaty piece. I'll give St. Louis style a go next time. Thanks.
 

gmc2003

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My only suggestion would be to foil them for a couple of hours in some apple juice, butter, and brown sugar.

Chris

P.S If you want to easily quote someone just click the +Quote link in the lower left hand corner of the post you want to quote. Then just add if to your post.
 

okie362

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Well my answer is the ribs themselves.
Lately when you buy BB's they come with a thick piece of the loin attached to the rib.
Normally you would smoke a loin to about 140-145 degrees & it's done. Take it any higher & it starts to dry out.
Now the rib meat on the other hand needs to go to 195-205 before it's tender & juicy. So the reason your ribs are dry is because the loin meat on them is overcooked. For this very reason I have switched to STL's instead of my beloved BB's.
I think if you do the same you will be happy with your ribs.
Al
I think Al has your answer. I've noticed the same thing here.

Market pork in general has changed over the years. Much leaner (dry) than I remember it being years ago.
 

phil129

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I think Al has your answer. I've noticed the same thing here.

Market pork in general has changed over the years. Much leaner (dry) than I remember it being years ago.
I feel you may be correct. Its been a while since I had done any BB but smoked a rack the other day. Cooked @225 and foiled and still came out dry. I just stumbled across Al's method and will have to give it a try with the STL.
 

TomKnollRFV

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Al might be onto some thing, last BBs I bought were not that great. Might explain the bizarre way the bone structure was if they weren't even cut properly and then shoved into packs..
 

Bearcarver

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Yup---Everything you did seemed right on, to me.

So I have to go with what "Al" said.
I quit buying BabyBacks years ago, because they were too expensive around here, and I never had the problem with my Pork Spares, whether left whole or trimmed to St Louis.

Bear
 

RiversideSm0ker

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I’ve cooked more than my fair share of B.B. ribs lately and have nothing but delicious and tender results the me and again using the 2-2-1 method. Maybe it’s just your source of meat. I buy the three packs of Smithfield brand from Sam’ Club and they just turn out great. I would try a different source of meat before changing the method or abandoning the type of ribs altogether.

George
 

TomKnollRFV

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It occured to me that you might have had what I had a bit ago. Are you sure the juice isn't leaking out of the ribs when you foil them up? I had that happen last time on a rack. Had to double wrap. <To be fair I'm pretty darn done with foiling all together. it's alot of work and I don't see much benefit>
 

pianov

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My only suggestion would be to foil them for a couple of hours in some apple juice, butter, and brown sugar.

Chris

P.S If you want to easily quote someone just click the +Quote link in the lower left hand corner of the post you want to quote. Then just add if to your post.
Hey, look at that - I quoted you! Thanks for the tip - don't know why I didn't see that......
 

pianov

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I’ve cooked more than my fair share of B.B. ribs lately and have nothing but delicious and tender results the me and again using the 2-2-1 method. Maybe it’s just your source of meat. I buy the three packs of Smithfield brand from Sam’ Club and they just turn out great. I would try a different source of meat before changing the method or abandoning the type of ribs altogether.

George
I think I am using the same brand as you - I buy mine at Costco.
 

pianov

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It occured to me that you might have had what I had a bit ago. Are you sure the juice isn't leaking out of the ribs when you foil them up? I had that happen last time on a rack. Had to double wrap. <To be fair I'm pretty darn done with foiling all together. it's alot of work and I don't see much benefit>
No juice leaking at all. I place the ribs into a foil baking pan and then cover it with foil - just a ton of juice in the pan after two hours wrapped up. I wonder if it is better to not use a pan, but rather wrap them tightly in foil - my thinking is that if wrapped tightly in foil, the ribs might tend to remain immersed in their own juice. I my pans, the juice comes out of the rib into the pan and the rib is not really immersed at all in the juice. Maybe wrapping them would help keep some of the juice in the rib. Any thoughts on that?
 

pianov

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<To be fair I'm pretty darn done with foiling all together. it's alot of work and I don't see much benefit>
In truth, most of the time I smoke my baby-back ribs I do not foil. Because they haven't been as juicy lately as I would like, I tried foiling this last time. Maybe I'll go back to no foil. I'll also try the other type of ribs - the bigger ones.
 

TomKnollRFV

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I tightly wrap in foil; less liquid needed, creates more of a steam effect. That is essentially what the foiling does as I understand..steams it a bit.
 

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