Tough ribs on an ECB?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by chainsmoker, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. chainsmoker

    chainsmoker Newbie

    Hey everyone,

    We tried smoking ribs for the first time on our new Brinkmann Electric. The ribs taste fine but the meat is very tough...(the bone came away from the meat clean, but the meat itself was very stiff)

    Before buying a smoker we would stick the ribs in the oven (tightly wrapped in foil) for 2 1/2 hours at 275, then place them on the grill for about 20 minutes. That method worked great, but I wanted to try smoking instead of baking...

    This time, I let the smoker warm up for about 20 minutes, then placed the ribs on and let them sit for about 2 1/2 hours before finishing them on the grill...the water pan was full and I didn't open the lid at all during the 2 1/2 hours. Did we leave the ribs on for too long or did we take them off too early or what?

    Any help here would be greatly appreciated.
  2. homebrew & bbq

    homebrew & bbq Smoking Fanatic

    Welcome to SMF, ChainSmoker! When you get a chance, head over to Roll Call and introduce yourself.

    As far as your rib questions, 2 /12 hours doesn't sound long enough for the typical rib smoke. You didn't mention whether you were cooking spare ribs or baby backs because that will make a difference on your time.

    The "standard" that lots of folks around here use is the 3-2-1 method for spare ribs. That's a total of roughly 6 hours in the smoker. There's a description of the method here:

    For baby backs the times need to be adjusted to something like 2-1.5-1.
  3. flyin'illini

    flyin'illini Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I am sure others will be along with a lot more experience than I have but I will share mine so far.

    Here's a link for the 3-2-1 method that Jeff has on the site (I assumed they were spares). From what I have read on the SMF the '2' (when foiled) produces the tender factor.

    I have only used this method one time on my ECB electric and the ribs fell off the bone with the meat being very tender. I think I can do a lot better but it seemed like a nice start.

    good luck
  4. desertlites

    desertlites Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    yup it's best to do a little homework before takeing the rib test! Ya roll call would me a good place to start.thats is if you wanna be part of the class! good luck next time. and ya what ^ said. 3-2-1
  5. chainsmoker

    chainsmoker Newbie

    The ribs were baby back (my wife's preference).

    I guess I somehow managed to overlook the 3-2-1 method when I looked around this forum last week. One question for now, though...does the apple juice have a major effect on the flavor or is it mostly for tenderness? I like the flavor of apple, but what if we don't want that particular flavor in the ribs?

    (I'll try to make a better introduction at the Roll Call before the day is over, if things settle down later)

    Thanks again!

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