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ribs fit, but too tough

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  • Lunkhead
    Charter Member
    • Mar 2015
    • 8
    • J-Actionville, NC

    ribs fit, but too tough

    My search skills are weak. How do I find details of the toothpick test?
    My rookie attempt at St. Louis ribs was average, at best. Rendezvous rub was great. Smoke flavor was great. Color and bark were very good. Ribs were juicy and tough. Not horrible, but not right. I did not use the crutch. 5 hours at 225-250. I suppose asking how to tell when ribs are done is like asking what numbers to pick for the Powerball. Does tough ribs mean more smoking required? They were pulling away from the bones as I expected.
  • Huskee
    Pit Boss
    • May 2014
    • 14901
    • central MI, USA
    • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

      Want a free bottle of whiskey? Check out my link to Flaviar.com, you join with it, we both get a $50 bottle free.

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      • PBC
      • Grilla Silverbac pellet grill
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      • Fav other beer: DAB, Sam Adams regular, Third Shift amber or Coors Batch 19, Stella Artois
      • Fav cheap beers: Pabst, High Life, Hamm's & Stroh's
      • Most favorite beer: The one in your fridge
      • Wine: Red- big, bold, tannic & peppery- Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauv, Sangiovese, Syrah, etc
      • Whiskey: Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Blanton's, Old Forester 1870, Elijah Craig, Basil Hayden's. Neat please.
      • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.

      About me
      Real name: Aaron
      Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

      Occupation:
      • Healthcare- Licensed & Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for MidMichigan Health, a University of Michigan Health System.

    #2
    Yes, more time required. Give them 7 or 8 next time. Try the bend test on a full rack, it's explained in Meathead's last meal ribs recipe, there's a link to How To Tell When Ribs Are Ready somewhere in there. Once you get that perfect doneness, THEN stick a toothpick in several spots to see how the toothpick test should feel, that's your best bet to understand it.

    Comment

    • David Parrish
      Founding Member - Pit Boss Emeritus
      • May 2014
      • 5036
      • Charlotte, NC
        • Slow 'N Sear Kamado (SnSK)
        • Lots of grills that work with Slow 'N Sear
        • LOTS of digital thermometers (my fav)
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        • Favorite Beer - Fat Tire
        • Favorite Bourbon - Woodford Reserve
        • Favorite White Wine - Cakebread Chardonnay
        • Favorite Red Wine - Yes, Please
        • President/Owner - SnS Grills

      #3
      LH it sounds like they needed to cook longer. I believe this is the article you're looking for: http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_tech...hey_ready.html

      Comment


      • David Parrish
        David Parrish commented
        Editing a comment
        I did and I sent you a reply. Let me know if you didn't get it.

      • DWCowles
        DWCowles commented
        Editing a comment
        Pit Boss didn't get it

      • David Parrish
        David Parrish commented
        Editing a comment
        I checked and for whatever reason it didn't send. You should have it now.
    • Huskee
      Pit Boss
      • May 2014
      • 14901
      • central MI, USA
      • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

        Want a free bottle of whiskey? Check out my link to Flaviar.com, you join with it, we both get a $50 bottle free.

        Smokers / Grills
        • Yoder loaded Wichita offset smoker
        • PBC
        • Grilla Silverbac pellet grill
        • Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado (SnSK)
        • Dyna-Glo XL Premium dual chamber charcoal grill
        • Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium (copper)
        • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (black)
        • Weber Jumbo Joe Gold (18.5")
        • Weber Smokey Joe Silver (14.5")
        • Brinkmann cabinet charcoal smoker (repurposed)

        Thermometers
        • (3) Maverick XR-50: 4-probe Wireless Thermometers
        • (7) Maverick ET-732s
        • (1) Maverick ET-735 Bluetooth (in box)
        • (1) Smoke by ThermoWorks
        • (1) Signals by ThermoWorks
        • Thermapen MkII, orange
        • ThermoPop, yellow
        • ThermoWorks ChefAlarm
        • Morpilot 6-probe wireless
        • ThermoWorks Infrared IRK2
        • ThermoWorks fridge & freezer therms as well

        Accessories
        • Instant Pot 6qt
        • Anova Bluetooth SV
        • Kitchen Aide mixer & meat grinder attachment
        • Kindling Cracker King (XL)
        • BBQ Dragon
        • Weber full & half chimneys, Char-Broil Half Time chimney
        • Weber grill topper
        • Slow 'N Sear Original, XL, and SnS Charcoal Basket (for Jumbo Joe)
        • Drip 'N Griddle Pan, 22' Easy Spin Grate, and Elevated Cooking grate, by ABCbarbecue
        • Pittsburgh Digital Moisture Meter

        Beverages
        • Favorite summer beer: Leinenkugels Summer & Grapefruit Shandy, Hamm's, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
        • Fav other beer: DAB, Sam Adams regular, Third Shift amber or Coors Batch 19, Stella Artois
        • Fav cheap beers: Pabst, High Life, Hamm's & Stroh's
        • Most favorite beer: The one in your fridge
        • Wine: Red- big, bold, tannic & peppery- Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauv, Sangiovese, Syrah, etc
        • Whiskey: Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Blanton's, Old Forester 1870, Elijah Craig, Basil Hayden's. Neat please.
        • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.

        About me
        Real name: Aaron
        Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

        Occupation:
        • Healthcare- Licensed & Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for MidMichigan Health, a University of Michigan Health System.

      #4
      I never cook ribs less than 7 our 8 hrs, sometimes with thick baby backs it's 10-12, Meathead's times of 5 hours are for tiny racks is the conclusion I've come to. Even when I cook at 240-250 five hrs is never an option.

      Comment

      • FLBuckeye
        Founding Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 565
        • Florida
        • Brand new 26" Weber kettle. Three Weber 22.5"kettles, An 18" Weber kettle.

          Two WSM's, 18.5", one with an extra mid section

          Maverick ET 733 and 732. ThermoWorks RT600C Thermometer & Thermoworks MK4. Two PartyQ's

          Kingsford blue bag
          Royal Oak lump for searing

          Have competed in two BBQ comps and plan on more this year

          Huge fan of The Ohio State University.

        #5
        Just did four racks of baby backs this past Priday. Did not wrap. I had a rib rack that could hold 6 slabs. I rotated the slabs so that the same racks weren't close the whole cook. I wold say that the slabs were of average size. I cooked them on a Weber kettle with the Smokenator and the PartyQ. A constant 225. Had a water pan on the whole cook.
        They took right at five hours to pass the bend test. I sauced and put over the remnants of the charcoal to set the sauce. Turned out really well. Thought I got pics but apparently not. Did get pics of the brisket I did yesterday. Was my best brisket ever! Click image for larger version

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        Comment

        • Lunkhead
          Charter Member
          • Mar 2015
          • 8
          • J-Actionville, NC

          #6
          Thanks Pit Boss. That's the one.

          Comment

          • Ernest
            Founding Member
            • Jul 2014
            • 3184
            • Dallas, Texas
            • Pit Barrel Cooker AKA The Chicken Whisperer, WSM 14.5 AKA Smokey, WSM 22.5 AKA Big Worm, Weber Performer Platinum. KARUBECUE

            #7
            Lunkhead Toothpick the ribs in different spots and it should slide right in with very little to no resistance. When I do ribs I always plan for 8 hours. Some are done sooner some not. Meat quality and meatiness plays a role in that.

            Comment

            • Stevehtn
              Former Member
              • Sep 2014
              • 117
              • East TN

              #8
              +1 to all the time comments here, especially with St. Louis. As for telling when they're done, the toothpick test does somewhat work but to me it's far better to get to know when they bend and crack. The toothpick will feel the same (at least to me) on a wide variance of doneness. You can go from "just right" to "fall off the bone (ugh)" and the toothpick will feel about the same. You'll learn the more you cook.

              Comment

              • Mosca
                Charter Member
                • Oct 2014
                • 3301
                • PA
                • Large Big Green Egg, Weber Performer Deluxe, Weber Smokey Joe Silver, Maverick 732, DigiQ, and too much other stuff to mention.

                #9
                I don't think I've ever done ribs more than 6 hours. Baby backs get 2-2-1, regular ribs get 3-2-1, at 225. Ribs are the one thing, other than burgers and dogs, that always come out right for me.

                There are variables, though. Next time do the foil wrap. I've gotten used to it, I don't think twice any more. And one thing you wrote makes me pause:

                Ribs were juicy and tough.... They were pulling away from the bones as I expected.
                Usually tough ribs from undercooking will be juicy, but not pull away from the bone. And tough ribs from overcooking will pull away from the bone, but they won't be juicy. What you might have here is just a bad rack, the meat might not be high quality. I'm just guessing, of course; even if I were there, I'm not an expert on that stuff.

                I hope this helps.

                Comment

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