The elusive BB back rib (for me, anyway)

Discussion in 'Pork' started by wklkjn, Sep 11, 2016.

  1. wklkjn

    wklkjn Smoke Blower

    Here we go again.

    I smoked ribs at my son's house a few weeks ago with fantastic results.

    So yesterday, I'm talking it up with my wife, convincing her that I am  a pitmaster now (in my own mind).


    Did everything the same as last time.

    I left the back 'membrane' on the ribs to keep moisture in (well it worked the last time).

    Smoked them at 225 to 240 for 2 hours.

    Then wrapped in foil with 4 ounces of apple juice in each foil wrapping.

    Each rib was wrapped individually.

    Left in foil for 2 hours.

    Bones looked pulled back so I took them out,

    I cut off 2 bones for a taste test.

    Fall of the bone, just like we like them!!!

    Then I screwed the whole thing up.  Again.

    I put them back on in the smoker, slathered the meat side with sauce.

    I left them in to - as you say - firm up the meat.

    I swear, I left them in for no more than 20/25 minutes.

    Even as I was removing them I knew i had ruined them.

    To exaggerate a little, they were very hard.

    But I had just tested 2 of them no more than half an hour ago.

    And now, they have sauce on them.

    The back 'skin/membrane' was so hard and thick, it was impossible to pull the bones apart.

    And the meat did not pull off the bone clean.

    I wish I knew what I was doing wrong.

    I have a feeling that I'm overthinking this whole thing, making it more like a science experiement than cooking.

    I follow every step to the letter, I read all the posts, and I always say "ok, now  I know what to do!".

    Then, I buy another $40 or $50 piece of meat and get amature results (probably because I am one!)

    I've got a brisket on right now, cooking it two ways (in a pan with liquid, and on the grill).

    I started it at 6am today so  I've got plenty of time.

    My questions for today are:

    Is it too late to take the remaining ribs out of the fridge and put them back in the smoker to tenderize them?  Maybe in a covered aluminum pan with some apple juice in it?

    Do I have a chance in hell of getting the brisket done correctly?

    There's a garage sale today on our street, should I sell my smoker?  (just kidding).

    Oh, one more thing.  I know you guys that have been smoking for 30+ years are laughing your ass off at my emails, probably mumbling "rookie" under your breath as you read.  I know this takes time to learn.  And I appreciate that you always help me.  That's why I try and put a little humor in my emails.  Just to keep it in perspective.


    Here's what the ribs look like from yesterday:

    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    If your ribs were just like you like them, then why put them back on the smoker?

    Just eat them.

    Or I like to sauce them & put them on a hot grill for a couple of minutes to caramelize the sauce & burn the membrane off.

    With a little practice you will have your perfect ribs.

    Good luck with the brisket!

  3. okie362

    okie362 Smoking Fanatic

    I've learned over the years that baking a cake requires precision.  Savory cooking requires an inquisitive personality, an adventurous spirit, a sense of humor and of  On occasion, a thick skin and the ability to persevere through failure come in quite handy as well.

    Have fun with it, keep good notes from which to learn.  It will usually be edible ( have had some that weren't).
  4. cksteele

    cksteele Smoking Fanatic

    ribs have a very narrow window for doneness  just 15-20 min more can ruin them.  if you know the ribs are generally done in lets say  4 hours dont  sauce them at the 4 hour mark  sauce  them at  the 3 :45  mark then cook them till the 4 hour mark  that  extra 25 min  you're putting them on is whats doing it 
  5. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Don't put them back on the smoker. They will just get overdone and dry. At your 225-240* I would not use the foil. Just smoke them naked for 3-1/2 to 4 hours until they have a fairly good bend. Then sauce/glaze twice for 15 minutes each time. If you can get your smoker to 250-275*, you can get them done in 3 to 3-1/2 hours + the sauce time. Cooking faster will help with the overall moisture of the finished ribs. Also, remove the membrane. It will allow more smoke to penetrate the bone side and make for a more tender rack of ribs.

    This works for me and always gives me a good result on my ribs. Good luck, Joe. :grilling_smilie:
  6. lovethemeats

    lovethemeats Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Practice makes a good smoker. We all had bad smokes when starting out. You learn what to do. But first you should do is calm down. Reading and doing is two different things. Your skill will grow as you move on. I usually put my ribs in the broiler to caramelize the bbq sauce on them at the end. Do it on the bbq to. Depends whats going on at the time. Very good insight within the site. Develop your style of the smoke. It will come. Love of doing it should not be hampered by one bad one. Its all a learning experience. When you get more comfortable with smoking. The question becomes what's next that I haven't done. And one more thing. Calm down and drink a beer and always remove the membrane from it. The reasons should have been clear as you went thru asking questions from these good people here. We don't make fun of a new person new to the smoke. Even the guys with 30+ years experience. From what I always got from everyone was good answers. They are great teachers of the art. Never think anything less.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
  7. wklkjn

    wklkjn Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the advice.  I always appreciate it.

    By the way, I put the 2 ribs on the plate in a small foil tray with a little apple juice the next day and put back in the smoker to warm them up.  I sealed the tray with foil.

    About a half hour later, they were nice and hot, an as I suspected, they moistened up and were better than the first day. 

    Nice come-back!

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