• 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.

Spare rib help

Lambo-az

Newbie
20
12
Joined Oct 11, 2020
Hey ya'll.

I am fairly new to smoking, and have decided on mastering the basics before I got crazy on both meat and smokers. I have a Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite XL Pellet smoker. Moved on from a dyna glo Electric that sucked.

Anyhow, last couple of racks I have done have been my best and 90% where I want them. Juicy, flavourful, perfect smoke ring. Only 1 issue, I can't seem to get the fat really rendered out. I did the classic 3-2-1 @ 225

I did a rack 3 days ago and they were as perfect as I've made, but the fat was still hanging on. Not a ton, but more than I'd like. So I did another rack yesterday and upped the temp a bit hoping to render it out, and they were way overdone even though I reduced cook times to compensate. I did 2-1-1 @ 275

So am I being nit picky and fat is part of eating ribs, or is there something I can do to get them that last 10%?
 

mike243

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
2,344
890
Joined Feb 25, 2018
I would try cooking them a little longer , you could also turn the temp up a notch but the lower the temp the more smoke, all meat is different breeds and have different amounts of fat and spares are not normally trimmed heavy, welcome to the site
 

mbassom

Fire Starter
SMF Premier Member
43
22
Joined Sep 2, 2020
Try experimenting with 2-3-1 maybe. Or using a butter injection go for 4-1-1.
 

kruizer

Master of the Pit
2,169
839
Joined Sep 7, 2015
Fat is a natural part of the animal and you can trim exterior fat but there is still interior fat that will render some but not all. Fat is part of the flavor experience and you can't exclude it. Enjoy the ride.
 

joetee

Fire Starter
SMF Premier Member
63
37
Joined May 25, 2017
I finally mastered my ribs. I've learned to stop wraping during the cook. Sure it takes longer. Maybe 7 hrs. I also don't worry about inside temp. I start doing the bend test at about 5 hrs. When the bark cracks, they are bite off the bone cleanly done.
Sometimes I'll flip them over a couple times for uniform color if needed starting around 3 hrs.
Trim any excess fat before the cook.
I also stopped adding sauce during the cook. I serve it on the side.
 

Attachments

Sowsage

Master of the Pit
★ Lifetime Premier ★
3,242
3,003
Joined Oct 18, 2017
I'm with smokerjim smokerjim . if your doing spares or St.louis cut ribs they will have a lot more fatty mouth feel to them. The baby backs are much leaner and much shorter cook times.
 

TuckersBarbeque

Smoke Blower
SMF Premier Member
93
68
Joined Oct 29, 2020
Assuming St. Louis... I'd look at how you are trimming them first. There are different fat types, hard and soft. The soft will render beautifully, so you are likely dealing with the harder stuff.
Using a super sharp knife, try removing the harder fat from the outside, and definitely remove the membrane underneath.
Regarding the cook method, the 3-2-1 is a tried and true. Lately however, I've been doing just a 3-2, and wrapping in butcher paper with some sauce and ribs faced down for the last 2 hrs and calling it done. It works very well at rendering it all down.
Other folks here are also correct in maybe extending your cook. That's another alternative.
 

zwiller

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
2,271
922
Joined Nov 16, 2016
3-2-1 is a good technique and gets you in the ballpark or in your case 90% there. IMO the extra 10% is either learning the bend or measuring IT. I can't fit whole spares in my MES so no bend test for me and I do IT. I like 200F. That being said, IMO the key to spares is grilling them after the smoke. I smoke a few days in advance and then sauce and sear to serve.
 

schlotz

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
1,106
424
Joined Jan 13, 2015
No question you can get great St Louis ribs using 3-2-1 but they also can be just as great without wrapping and in fact I haven't wrapped ribs in years. Trim them, pull off the back membrane, apply salt, then your favorite rub(s), let em' sit for 40 min and then into the smoker at 240º. I tend to spray them with apple juice about every hour starting after 2 hours. Start checking for doneness around 5hrs via bend-break and toothpick. As it's been already said, every piece of meat can be different therefore doneness time varies.
 

Lambo-az

Newbie
20
12
Joined Oct 11, 2020
I've wanted to try not wrapping at all, but for some reason I'm hesitant. I always feel like they will be dry. I KNOW that's not the case if I do right and spritz, but maybe it's time I tried and see if that helps. Thanks!
 

sandyut

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
2,379
1,642
Joined Feb 18, 2015
No question you can get great St Louis ribs using 3-2-1 but they also can be just as great without wrapping and in fact I haven't wrapped ribs in years.
Same - I just leave them alone for the entire cook. bend test and IT is what I use to determine doneness.
 

zwiller

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
2,271
922
Joined Nov 16, 2016
I've wanted to try not wrapping at all, but for some reason I'm hesitant. I always feel like they will be dry. I KNOW that's not the case if I do right and spritz, but maybe it's time I tried and see if that helps. Thanks!
I remember thinking that too but that is now a long time ago. No wrap here as well. Wrapping during the smoke just speeds up the cook and does not introduce moisture into the meat. Neither does spritzing, mopping, etc. Moist meat is actually the product of breaking down the collagen in the meat and that is controlled by heat and time. In the case of ribs, once you around 190F or so you should be OK. 205F is where FOTB (fall off the bone) is. Under 190F and it is not done enough and will be chewy and people mistake this as dry but that is not the case. This concept applies to most smoked cooking and once you embrace it becomes much clearer what your job is (pull at proper IT). Only other thing I will add is like you I smoked ribs exslusively for years for the same reason and but I really wish I would have moved to PP (pulled pork). So many reasons that I (and family) prefer PP. Easier, cheaper, much better yield, versatile, tastes better but that took me a little work to dial in. There are way better writeups here but this is how I do mine: https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/butt-halved-success.298552/
 

Lambo-az

Newbie
20
12
Joined Oct 11, 2020
I have done a few pulled pork, but I made the rookie mistake of planning on them being done at a certain time, as we had company. The pork didnt agree. So I ended up pulling early. It was ok, not great. The second one was ok too, but I think that was a poor piece of meat. Maybe I need to venture back into the PP again sooner than later.

Thanks for the writeup, I am gonna try that!
 

joetee

Fire Starter
SMF Premier Member
63
37
Joined May 25, 2017
I've wanted to try not wrapping at all, but for some reason I'm hesitant. I always feel like they will be dry. I KNOW that's not the case if I do right and spritz, but maybe it's time I tried and see if that helps. Thanks!
Spritzing won't change the internal moisture. It only helps prevent external burning or drying. Choose your pit temp. Somewhere between 225 and 270. Check for doneness with the bend test. When it cracks they are done.
 

SmokinAl

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
46,297
7,281
Joined Jun 22, 2009
Check this out!
Al
 

HalfSmoked

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
9,294
2,676
Joined Jun 11, 2015
Yup I'm another no wrap guy. Been lucky I guess most of mine have been great. I don't worry about a smoke ring its just for looks. If you are doing pork butts for pp you have to get the IT up to 200 or more.

Warren
 

1MoreFord

Smoke Blower
107
43
Joined Jan 4, 2020
When baking most recipes are close to gospel. They are more formulas than recipes.

Otherwise recipes are roadmap suggestions with multiple possibilities.

With BBQ is it is not done until it is done. Doesn't matter; chicken, ribs, butts, or briskets.

Cook it longer or faster to your satisfaction.
 

HalfSmoked

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
9,294
2,676
Joined Jun 11, 2015
Thanks for the like joetee it is appreciated.

Warren
 

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.