Smoking my Ribs

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mtr2178

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Original poster
May 5, 2017
3
3
Question on smoking ribs…. I typically put my St. Louis ribs in with just salt and pepper. 3 hours, then a bath, and a final coat of BBQ sauce and sear on grill for some crust. The other night, I put a good dose of dry rub on prior. Did a 2.5 hour smoke, bath, then sear. Ribs had good consistency- stayed on bone, but easily to bite. But I feel I didn’t get quite the flavor I usually get. I wonder if the thicket coat of dry rub hinders the smoke penetration. Any thoughts?
 
Question on smoking ribs…. I typically put my St. Louis ribs in with just salt and pepper. 3 hours, then a bath, and a final coat of BBQ sauce and sear on grill for some crust. The other night, I put a good dose of dry rub on prior. Did a 2.5 hour smoke, bath, then sear. Ribs had good consistency- stayed on bone, but easily to bite. But I feel I didn’t get quite the flavor I usually get. I wonder if the thicket coat of dry rub hinders the smoke penetration. Any thoughts?
What kind of smoker? Same one as before? Smoke source?
 
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What temp are you smoking them at? And what do you mean by bath? 2.5-3 hours seems a little short depending on temp or not wrapping. I am like you though i use a rub but over the years have kept it more simple
 
What temp are you smoking them at? And what do you mean by bath? 2.5-3 hours seems a little short depending on temp or not wrapping. I am like you though i use a rub but over the years have kept it more simple
I used to leave them in over 3 hours on smoke, but have watched some recent vids where the 3-2-1 is overcooking, and I do want a bit of bite in the ribs. 2.5 hours smoke. Then in foil with apple juice, bbq sauce, wet steam bath for about 30-45 mins. Ribs were good texture/bite. Not sloppy… not chewy. Just didn’t seem to have the full flavor I usually got.
 
I used to leave them in over 3 hours on smoke, but have watched some recent vids where the 3-2-1 is overcooking, and I do want a bit of bite in the ribs. 2.5 hours smoke. Then in foil with apple juice, bbq sauce, wet steam bath for about 30-45 mins. Ribs were good texture/bite. Not sloppy… not chewy. Just didn’t seem to have the full flavor I usually got.
I "ruined" a slab of St Louis on new years day. By ruined, I mean they were fall off the bone. Tasted fine, but could barely cut them without pulling meat off the bone. After years, I had finally weined myself of wrapping, but for some reason that day my judgement was cloudy and i decided to wrap them. (I think it was the candy I ate New Years morning). Typically I dry rub the night before (pretty heavy with my own rub. (Bsugar, smoke paprika, onion powder, cayenne) I get my WSM to 237 and put them in for about 4 hours. I spritz with appl juice/ vinegar mix, after the bark starts setting, check them for bend in another hour, the mop with sauce. Up until new years day thats always worked for me. pull them around 190 internal. These are prior ribs done
right


right ribs fixed 2.jpg
 
I used to leave them in over 3 hours on smoke, but have watched some recent vids where the 3-2-1 is overcooking, and I do want a bit of bite in the ribs. 2.5 hours smoke. Then in foil with apple juice, bbq sauce, wet steam bath for about 30-45 mins. Ribs were good texture/bite. Not sloppy… not chewy. Just didn’t seem to have the full flavor I usually got.

Got ya I wasn’t sure if that’s what you meant by bath. But I agree I think for how I like them too 3-2-1 is too long for BB’s and STL ribs. I also stopped wrapping like fxsales1959 fxsales1959 said. I Just let them ride.
 
321 is for FOTB spares, cooking temp at 225 to 250*. Try cutting the 2(foil part of the equation) down to one hour, and increasing either the 3 or 1 part. If using BBQ sauce put it on at the very end maybe 15 to 20 min. You only want to set the sauce. 195* is a good internal temp for ribs or the bend test can be used. Good luck on your next attempt, and let us know how it turns out.

Chris
 
Thanks for starting this thread. I hate to jump in and screw things up but, it seems like an appropriate place.

I’m in what seems like a rib funk myself. I usually make excellent ribs. Depending on my mood, I’ll do the standard 3-2-1 cook at anywhere between 250-270-ish for FOTB or 2.5-1.5-0.5 for a little more bite, or whatever trips my trigger. I never have bad ribs....well maybe I have the taste of a Cretin, but that beside the point. 😁

I recently grabbed a couple racks of cheap spareribs and decided to try a “Memphis Dry” style, which turned out less than stellar. They were done, but just tough. Well I thawed the second rack yesterday and decided to make up for it and do the standard 3-2-1 at 250. The result was just as bad. I used Killer Hogs AP Seasoning wish a light dusting of Rub (last time I used this combo it was great) over hickory splits and Cowboy Natural Lump. I struggled to even get to 250 degrees and maintain it. The temps were in the upper 40s with at least a 10 mph wind out of the northeast and higher gusts and steady rain. That wasn’t a big deal as I used to make great ribs on my gas upright at 225-230 degree smoke.

so, let me ask you: is there such a thing as getting a bad rack of ribs that you just can’t get tender? These had all the prerequisite fat. Granted, I’m used to doing primarily St Louis cut racks these days, but I started out on full-sized racks of spares and they’ve always turned out about the same. I’ve been using my offset wood burned for almost two years now, and never had two consecutive racks turn into beef jerky like this before. But, after 2 hours wrapped with something vinegary, I figured that would get anything tender.

Do bad ribs exist?
 
I "ruined" a slab of St Louis on new years day. By ruined, I mean they were fall off the bone. Tasted fine, but could barely cut them without pulling meat off the bone. After years, I had finally weined myself of wrapping, but for some reason that day my judgement was cloudy and i decided to wrap them. (I think it was the candy I ate New Years morning). Typically I dry rub the night before (pretty heavy with my own rub. (Bsugar, smoke paprika, onion powder, cayenne) I get my WSM to 237 and put them in for about 4 hours. I spritz with appl juice/ vinegar mix, after the bark starts setting, check them for bend in another hour, the mop with sauce. Up until new years day thats always worked for me. pull them around 190 internal. These are prior ribs done
right


right View attachment 684843
FOTB sounds perfect to me!
 
over hickory splits and Cowboy Natural Lump.
Wish I could say I had an answer to your question, but i just finished my first ever smoke today! Honestly, I have a question for you. When I was looking for what lump I wanted to use in my new stickburner, I read a bunch of folks saying Cowboy lump tends to be very "sparky" and not a good variety of sizes. Would you agree with that or how has it been for you?

Bonus pic of first smoke!
 

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Wish I could say I had an answer to your question, but i just finished my first ever smoke today! Honestly, I have a question for you. When I was looking for what lump I wanted to use in my new stickburner, I read a bunch of folks saying Cowboy lump tends to be very "sparky" and not a good variety of sizes. Would you agree with that or how has it been for you?

Bonus pic of first smoke!
Yes, it sparks quite a bit. I don’t do much natural lump, but I have a few bags of different brands I’m trying to use up. Every brand I have (Cowboy, B&B, Royal Oak) are all non-uniform in size. I think that’s just the nature of lump charcoal, and the main reason I don’t use it much. Someone gave me a bag of B&B Mesquite Lump that I was pretty happy with. It seemed to be somewhat more uniform in chunk size, but still, I (IMO) think they all have the same drawback. I think my dislike for lump is the fact that I prefer to light my coals with a chimney on the side burner of my gas grill, then carry it over to my offset. Of course the small pieces of hot coal leave a trail of embers wherever I walk with it from falling through the chimney.
 
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