• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Ribs wrap or unwrapped that is the question.

binnesman

Meat Mopper
SMF Premier Member
163
186
Joined May 23, 2021
I have always wrapped my ribs. I cook till I get the color I am looking for then wrap for about a 1.5 hours. I do a brown sugar honey and butter in the wrap, then sauce till sauce sets 15 to 20 min. I smoke on a Camp Chef pellet smoker, cooking at 225 heavy smoke setting 10 on my smoker. The ribs come out extremely tender prefer them with more of a bite but the wife likes them fall off the bone. Happy WIFE happy life. Doing ribs on Tuesday for my dad and was considering doing them unwrapped to see if I get a bit more smoke on them and the awesome bark texture. Never did them unwrapped was wondering what you all like to do and prefer? The picture is from a previous smoke method described above.
 

Attachments

DRKsmoking

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
1,427
958
Joined Jan 27, 2021
I do a both 3-2-1, 2-2-1, I have never done not wrapped yet. But soon to try.
You will get lots of answers . I'm a newbie so not that many rib smokes yet

David
 

ravenclan

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
717
391
Joined Sep 8, 2009
I don't wrap but I also smoke my ribs a little longer then most people. My buddy wraps his ribs and to me really no difference but the time and cost to wrap the ribs.
 

JC in GB

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
2,737
1,779
Joined Sep 28, 2018
I have done ribs both ways. In my charcoal smoker, I prefer not to wrap.

That is also for pork shoulder and brisket. I only wrap if I want to push through the stall faster.

JC :emoji_cat:
 

JLeonard

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
3,286
2,303
Joined Apr 17, 2020
I've gone to the no wrap group. We just like them that way. It's really to the preference of you and your family.

Jim
 

schlotz

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
1,325
617
Joined Jan 13, 2015
Haven't wrapped for years! Also can't say we're in the FOTB category either. Some are, and hey if that's what you like, go for it. IMO FOTB equates to overcooking which diminishes the flavor of the pork itself. Peak flavor comes from a clean and easy bite through rib. JMTC
 

sandyut

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
3,395
2,571
Joined Feb 18, 2015
I don’t wrap anything. I cook ribs at 250 till done
 

thirdeye

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
2,583
2,988
Joined Dec 1, 2019
Doing ribs on Tuesday for my dad and was considering doing them unwrapped to see if I get a bit more smoke on them and the awesome bark texture. Never did them unwrapped was wondering what you all like to do and prefer?
8HDGVmI.jpg
I've wrapped a few ribs... :emoji_astonished: . I cooked these ↑↑↑ for a surprise birthday party for a guy's wife, and he specifically wanted FOTB spare ribs with a sweet sticky sauce, which I can cook. Foil delivered exactly what they wanted. I finished them about 30 minutes early because the guests were hiding in the garage and basement.

At home I prefer to use foil as a tool, not a rule. Foil can tenderize and keep ribs moist, but I don't use any of the 'numbers' methods like 3-2-1, 2-2-1 etc., and other than competition style ribs I just put liquids and maybe some finishing rub in the foil. For me a 30 or 45 minute wrap step might give me the tenderness I'm after because I'm cooking by feel, and I like a slight tug, not FOTB. Often I don't even decide on using a wrap step or not until I poke them about 2 hours into the cook.
usGksLA.jpg
 

zwiller

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
2,810
1,348
Joined Nov 16, 2016
I wrap ribs but only after they reach 195F IT and are cooled down. :emoji_laughing: IMO ribs MUST be smoked in advance and later seared on the grill. Crucial for the flavor. I aim for a rib that can be eaten with fork and knife but not pulled pork. Just before FOTB.
 

SmokinAl

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
48,354
8,708
Joined Jun 22, 2009
I like my ribs at an IT of 195, just bite thru, but not fall off the bone, my wife & Grandson like FOTB ribs, so I take them to 200-205. Don’t foil anymore, but do mop every 45 minutes or so with a mix of Apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, & BBQ sauce.
Just pull my ribs off about a half hour before my wife’s. So everybody is happy.
Al
 

thirdeye

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
2,583
2,988
Joined Dec 1, 2019
I wrap ribs but only after they reach 195F IT and are cooled down. :emoji_laughing: IMO ribs MUST be smoked in advance and later seared on the grill. Crucial for the flavor. I aim for a rib that can be eaten with fork and knife but not pulled pork. Just before FOTB.
You know.... a lot of BBQ joints do just that. I read an article about one of the iconic BBQ joints in Texas that wraps ribs in clear plastic for holding in the walk-in. Then use a higher temp pit to heat them up for service.

Ribs hung in a drum get that 'sizzle' action going on similar to searing.
 

browneyesvictim

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
2,644
1,109
Joined Aug 16, 2016
My ribs roll in the smoke to get the color and smoke flavor I want, then the wrap for a braise period is important for a couple of reasons to me.
1. They will never dry out this way. They seen to cook more evenly also
2. Don't require opening the cooker to spritz or mop
3. Cook faster
4. Renders fat and collagen that I can collect back out of the foil for REAL BBQ sauce
5. The foil is convenient for me to keep them in. I re-wrap them to save them for later if not eaten immediately
 

GonnaSmoke

Master of the Pit
1,070
1,697
Joined Sep 19, 2018
I have always wrapped my ribs...The ribs come out extremely tender prefer them with more of a bite but the wife likes them fall off the bone. Happy WIFE happy life. Doing ribs on Tuesday for my dad and was considering doing them unwrapped to see if I get a bit more smoke on them and the awesome bark texture. Never did them unwrapped was wondering what you all like to do and prefer? The picture is from a previous smoke method described above.
I'm in the unwrapped camp, but an easy solution for you would be to smoke 2 or more racks, wrap one for the wife's FOTB and leave the other unwrapped.
 

zwiller

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
2,810
1,348
Joined Nov 16, 2016
You know.... a lot of BBQ joints do just that. I read an article about one of the iconic BBQ joints in Texas that wraps ribs in clear plastic for holding in the walk-in. Then use a higher temp pit to heat them up for service.

Ribs hung in a drum get that 'sizzle' action going on similar to searing.
I can see some purists cringe but it's how we like them. I smoked ribs for a looong time before I figured it out by accident. One time the ribs were not done in time and was getting late so I parked them in the fridge. Heated them up next day on the grill and the rest was history! Later I had a friend that worked at local fave rib joint tell me they did this too.
 

bbqbrett

Master of the Pit
1,483
447
Joined Jan 17, 2013
I normally wrap. Got used to doing that way years ago when I did a couple of comps. Don't get them to FOTB but try to get them to where you can get a nice bite out of them. The people I cook for besides myself seem to like them that way so I keep cooking them that way.
 

Dutch

Smoking Guru
Staff member
Administrator
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
OTBS Admin
Group Lead
7,125
436
Joined Jul 7, 2005
I have always wrapped my ribs. I cook till I get the color I am looking for then wrap for about a 1.5 hours. I do a brown sugar honey and butter in the wrap, then sauce till sauce sets 15 to 20 min. I smoke on a Camp Chef pellet smoker, cooking at 225 heavy smoke setting 10 on my smoker. The ribs come out extremely tender prefer them with more of a bite but the wife likes them fall off the bone. Happy WIFE happy life. Doing ribs on Tuesday for my dad and was considering doing them unwrapped to see if I get a bit more smoke on them and the awesome bark texture. Never did them unwrapped was wondering what you all like to do and prefer? The picture is from a previous smoke method described above.
I have on occasion wrap my ribs, but mostly smoke them unwrapped these days. Some have made the switch from aluminum foil to pink butchers wrap. It still allows retained moisture to speed up the cook but has less impact on the bark formation.
YMMV
 

HalfSmoked

Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
11,042
3,469
Joined Jun 11, 2015
I'm in the no wrap group when I started there was no such thing as wrapping anything and I don't.

Warren
 

tallbm

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
5,461
2,511
Joined Dec 30, 2016
I don't wrap my ribs, brisket, or pork butts. I find the flavor to be far superior to wrapped in foil. Never paper wrapped anything so can't speak to that.

I use SmokinAl's method but I go to 198F IT of the ribs. I'm a weirdo in the fact that when my ribs come out I then put on gloves and pull all the bones out of them. From that point on I can fork and knife them without having to worry about bones hahaha.

I also don't put any sugar in my rubs so I smoke at 275F and since ribs don't care about the temp... but sugar does care and will burn. My sweetness comes from sauce at the table. Mine come out so good they don't need sauce but I love sauce and feel all ribs should be sauced or eaten in something wet (beans) lol.
 

Latest posts

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.