The perfect bite pork spare ribs.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ron eb, May 27, 2014.

  1. ron eb

    ron eb Meat Mopper

    How do I get that perfect bite pork spare ribs and not fall off the bone?
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Lets assume a 225-235 chamber temp for you.

    If you are 3-2-1 wrapping and they are fall-off-the-bone, try experimenting with shorter wrap times but keep the rest the same.  If you need to add time to the end, you can.  If you need to shorten it, you can.  See threads on the "bend" test.

    If you are not wrapping at all, which is what I do, it is both a visual thing with drawback on the bone (about a half inch), and a "feel" thing with the bend test.  Roughy 5.5 to 6.5 hours at the same chamber temp, depending on the size of the rack.  I try to get racks that are all within .2 lbs of each other so they all finish at basically the same time.

    There is no "perfect" timing for the perfect bite.  There's a lot of time slop before you get to the fall off the bone stage.  Once you go over that point though to fall-off-the-bone, there's no recovery.  Still delicious, just a mouthful of meat.

    Experimenting is fun!
  3. ron eb

    ron eb Meat Mopper

    I am using the 321 method. So you think I should move some or all the time off 2 and move it over to the 3?

    Does the new 3 get smoke for the duration? it so, how do I get that nice mahogany color BBQPM show. Mine tend to turn almost black.
  4. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Since you are a 3-2-1'er the major part of the cooking is done at the 2, because you are braising the meat in the foil.  Shorten that foil time and move the time to the 3.  And yes, smoke for the duration of the 3+ unwrapped.
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
  5. Sometimes food will turn black from creasote if your not smoking on a hot fire. Whenever I add charcoal to my fire, it is lit in my chimney before putting it in the pit. I always get great color by doing this. I picked this tip up from this forum.

    Last edited: May 27, 2014
  6. ron eb

    ron eb Meat Mopper

    WOW, THAS SOME GOOD LOOKING Q. I think if I put a whole lit chimney in the coal pan of

    my brinkmann charcoal ECBish (with some mods to control temp) It would launch to the moon.

    I usually fill the pan with cowboy lump, top with some wood chunks and start it with some fuel cubes.

    The coals catch as others burn out. I want to take my Que to the next level.
  7. Thank You. I'm no expert that's for sure. I just started smoking around March of this year. I did a lot of reading on this website and got a lot of good advice and pep talks from members here. Biggest thing is practice. Try new tips and techniques you read about on this website. Lot of experience here. Here's a link that may help you.
  8. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    First off, stop thinking of the 3-2-1 method. Just get it right out of your head. (disclaimer, the 3-2-1 method is a perfectly fine starting point, but I think it leads folks to believe it's the only way)

    Start thinking in terms of what happens to your ribs during all of the cooking phases.

    #1: The smoking phase. This is where the ribs get their smoke flavor and that beautiful color. They will also partially cook and tenderize here.

    #2: The Braising phase. This is where the connective tissue in the meat does most of its breaking down and the ribs get really tender. THIS IS VERY EASY TO OVERDO!!

    #3: The Setup and/or sauce phase. This is where the ribs have a chance to firm up and the sauce has a chance to set. If you haven't overdone #2, this phase is really only about setting your glaze or sauce, since the meat won't need to firm back up because it hasn't been cooked to the point of falling apart.

    Now, I'm not a competitor, but I do love my ribs to have a firmer texture. Fall off the bone is WAAAY overdone for me. My method is pretty simple. I crank my heat to 275˚ and let the ribs smoke until the color and crust is about where I like it. Timing wise, anywhere form 2-3 hours, though I usually don't keep track. Next, for the braising phase, I'll wrap in foil with some acidic liquid. Yes, I add other flavors, but we're talking about texture here, so the really only important thing is having some sort of acidic liquid. This will help break down the connective tissue. I leave them in the foil for 45 minutes then I'll check. If they're not quite there, I'll let them go another 15 minutes. When they hit the tenderness I like (roughly the consistency of perfectly cooked pork tenderloin or a ribeye steak) I'll pull them out of the foil and glaze or sauce if I'm using it. Then onto the grate again for 10-15 minutes just to either set the sauce or let the surface moisture from the braising phase set up so they're not wet and slimy.

    And that's pretty much it.

    The 2 racks in the pictures were both a while ago, but both were right exactly the perfect texture for me. I certainly don't nail it every time, but it's fun trying!

    noboundaries likes this.
  9. ron eb

    ron eb Meat Mopper

    Nice Que View, that is what I am going for. Also after the 3 of the 3-2-1 things get kind of dark on the surface.

    I guess if I go down to 2 instead of 3 that would minimize that. I want to bite those ribs.
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I use two methods in my MES 40. In a hurry, I smoke at 275°F for 4 hours, no Foiling. They come out tender and Bite Through. However results vary by about 15-30 minutes each way based on the size of the rack. Or I have done 4-1-1 , my family likes the flavor my Foiling Juice recipe gives, at 225°F and got similar results.  If Mahogany color is your goal, I highly recommend adding Cherry chunks to your smoke. Works great.

    Yesterday I roasted two racks of St Louis cut ribs into Faux BBQ Ribs, the smoker at my Apt is dead. I rubbed the Ribs with a Rub that came in a gift set of 2 Rubs and 2 Sauces from Johnny Trigg, more on that later, White Sugar, out of Brown, and a heavy sprinkling of Hickory Smoke Powder.  I set the Oven for 275°F and let her roll. At 3 hours I checked the meat. The smaller thinner of the two racks passed the bend test, I picked it up with tongs from one end half way to the center. It bent 90° and the surface meat cracked and frayed. The second larger and thicker rack barely bent at all. The meat had not had a nice bark on it so I let them both ride for another hour. When I went to check them just before the 4 hour mark...It was too late!...Both racks were so over cooked the bones pulled out and the smaller of the 2 racks could not even be cut up. Even my very sharp knife shreaded the meat as I tried to cut through with a sawing motion. I thought about why they got done so fast and were falling apart when I have used that 275° temp and know it is usually 4 hours to perfect bite through. I determined the Oven is not well vented and there was a lot of moisture retention effectively Steaming the ribs into mush, well not that bad but you get the picture. There was also no significant Bark so I sprinkled extra White Sugar all over and caramelized it with my torch. The Mrs. thought they were great. They were ok but not the same as the real deal.

    As far as Johnny Triggs Rub and Sauce. My wife got it as a bonus for a large order she placed with Uline. So being from, " The Godfather of BBQ I figured it would be pretty great stuff.

    Well, there is NO WAY Mr. Trigg puts this Crap on his competition Q...The Championship Meat Rub was by far the Saltiest crap I have ever tasted! It blew Tony Chachere's salt content out of the water and that stuff is loaded with salt. I used just the lightest sprinkling having to bump the flavor with Garlic and Onion granules because the amount was so scant. My Wife still commented that the ribs were somewhat salty. The very coarse herbs and spices that I could identify were flavorful but the salt was ridiculous. The sauce was super generic. It was very thin and was just a basic blend containing ketchup, mustard, molasses, spices and a gallon of Liquid Smoke in an 18oz bottle. It can be doctored up but was not very good out of the bottle. I can't see why anyone would spend $25 to $40 from some distributors, to buy this stuff...JJ

    Last edited: May 27, 2014
  11. There you go Ron. Told you these guys were good!!! :sausage:

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