New member with a question! (ribs)

Started by uberformance, May 27, 2009, 04:33:52 PM

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Hello All,

I just treated myself to a dbs last week and had my first smoke today!  I would like to start by saying how pleased I was to discover this community and am amazing by the depth of knowledge and hospitality of the members.

The question I have is regarding the baby back ribs I smoked today.  The issue I encountered was that the ribs were not "fall off the bone tender," which for my personal preference is not a problem as I like my meat to have a little bite.  However, I am curious, if for nothing other then my own education what I may have done wrong or could try differently for next time.

I thought it might be easiest to write everything I did, so here goes!

The night before smoke day, I took my two racks of baby backs and started by removing the membrane.  Then I rubbed them down with a bit of ballpark yellow mustard then gave a good coating of my rub.  I sealed the ribs up and refrigerated overnight.

In the morning I took the ribs out while I preheated the dbs to 260F, so they could come up to room temp.  When the DBS was up to temp, I tossed the ribs in, and reset the temperature to 210F and set it for about 6.5hours.  I used a combination of apple wood and hickory and smoked for a total of 3h20min.

After the first 2 hours, I begin mopping the ribs ever 50min with my mop sauce (as quickly as possible as to not lose heat, and I also set a brick in the bottom of the DSB to help recovery).  With 1h to go, I brushed the ribs with my favorite bbq sauce.

Finally I FTC'd for about 45min.  They were dumbfoundingly good... a religious experience really, juicy, flavorful and tender... however, not "fall off the bone."

(So 3hr20min apple/hickory smoke. Total 7hr in the dbs at 210F, mopped every 50min)

Now I must confess that I do not yet have a Maverick thermometer or PID (both ordered online yesterday... but that dbs was just taunting me and I could not resist!)  So might it be possible that the ribs just needed more time?

Any comments/suggestion?

Many thanks and would just like to add that I cant remember when 400 bucks has made me this happy haha!


Smokin Soon

Glad you are happy with your setup. Probably the only thing missing from your rib cook is the "quality foil time". See 10.5's tutorial.


You also should leave the set temp up high for the box to recover after loading.  Using a maverick or other box temperature probe will help in monitoring the exact temperature the meat is experiencing.   For a couple racks of ribs, I usually have the box temp set to 260 deg for a couple of hour waiting for the box temp to come up to 210 deg.
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Habanero Smoker

If you like a little texture to your meat, as opposed to falling off the bone, then your ribs turned out alright. I like my ribs to have a little tug as you bite and pull the meat from the bone.



Ok I'll say it.  If you have fall off the bone ribs, the ribs are overcooked.  Contest judges are trained to check for doneness and overcooking.  Too tough and chewy - not cooked enough.  If bitten into from the side, the meat should come off the bone, at the bite, with a little resistance.  If the whole side of the rib comes off, it is overcooked.  You done your ribs perfectly - by the book!  And you mopped - I stand and salute you!

With all that being said, there are some people who are really delighted about fall off the bone tender and strive for it - and that's ok.  Just because KCBS says it should be so doesn't mean that that is what YOU should like!  The use of foil at the end for a little sauna treatment is probably the easiest way to get fall off the bone ribs without drying out the meat!

Oh, and remember, the first ribs are the only ones that cost $400 - the rest are free!
"A man that won't sleep with his meat don't care about his barbecue" Caneyscud

"If we're not supposed to eat animals, how come they're made out of meat?"


Thanks a lot for the input everyone! 
The tips about heat recover were great and I made sure to read 10.5s pictorial.  Also, many thanks Caneyscud for you comments, very informative and reaffirming!  I think for my preference, mopping is the way to go.