Ugh...why won't my country style ribs get tender??

  • 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.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Original poster
Jan 30, 2014
So I'm driving myself nuts after so many times of having unsuccessful attempts at getting tender country style ribs. Since it's winter I'm baking them in the oven. My most recent attempt was about 4lbs of 6 pieces of country style ribs. I put a dry rub on them and wrap 3 pieces in foil together. I baked covered in foil for 2 hours at 225 degrees. I took them out put some BBQ sauce on them uncovered and baked for another 45 minutes at about 275. The parts right next to the bone were tender, but they were pretty tough and no where near the "pick at them with a fork" tender that I hear people talk about. What in the hell am I doing wrong here? I slow cooked at a low temp, but again, no luck. Someone, anyone, please provide some information on this. I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks so much!
Around here country style ribs are sometimes spares and other time they are pieces of butt.
The Butt ones are better grilled, or smoked for a little while and then hit with higher heat quick cook. Most of them seem to not have a lot of fat to keep them moist. I usually will cook them to about 130° at a lower temp and then finish them at a higher temp to an internal of 150° Have never tried them in foil.
Hello butie.  Welcome.  I see this is your first post.  Please take some time and swing over to Roll Call and introduce yourself so that we may give you a proper "Hello".  All info you can provide us with such as smoker type, location and so on will help us answer any questions you may have.  As for your question:  Here is my opinion for what it is worth.  Others will have different advice.  This is only my opinion:  Did you remove the "silverskin"?  The membrane on the ribs.  That would be my suggestion with no further info.

BTW.  I have checked the laws and it is legal to use your smoker in the snow.  
  Good luck.  Welcome.  Keep smokin!

Welcome to SMF.  Try using the 3-2-1 method and see how you like them.
I cook country style ribs in the oven in beef broth covered for 3-31/2 hours at 275°. Make sure they are at least half covered in broth. Once  cooked, drain all the broth and put more rub on them and bbq sauce if you wish. Put them back in the oven uncovered for the sauce to stick to the ribs. You will have fall off the bones ribs. Welcome too by the way..........
I think you nailed it in your post - "I put a dry rub on them and wrap 3 pieces in foil together."  If your not putting some kind of liquid in that foil, they will turn out as you describe in your post.  I would use some apple juice (80%) mixed with some apple Cider Vinegar (20%) along with your rub.
Last edited:
We do ours in a drum smoker, in fact I am doing some right now. We mustard them, dry rub them, then I put them in for two hours at 250. I turn them after one hour, and coat them in bbq sauce and wrap them after two hours. Then it's another hour at 275 or so and let them rest for thirty minutes or so. They are fall apart tender at that point. I have heard the 3-2-1 method and all of that but if I cooked them that long they would be cinders. The Barrel Smoker cooks a little bit quicker or mine does. We use apple or pecan wood with the charcoal. 

Might be that you are wrapping first instead of last. Thats the only thing I see that you are really doing differently. I think the mustard helps to break down the binders in the meat. There is a fancy name for that but I can't think of it. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Hot Threads