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Need help! First ribs, temp questions (baby back)

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    Need help! First ribs, temp questions (baby back)

    Help! I’ve never done pork ribs, and am trying Meathead’s Last Meal ribs with a rack of fairly meaty baby backs. It’s been 3 hours, and they only probe about 145-150, depending on where I probe. Meathead says don’t go by temp, BUT they are already starting to crack with the bend test... I absolutely don’t want them to come out tough, or my wife will want to boil them from here out!
    need advice: do baby backs get done at 150, or should I ignore the bend test and go for longer & higher temp?

    #2
    Ignore temp. Check to see if it’s probe tender. If you can stick your probe or a toothpick in and out with no resistance, it’s done.

    Comment


    • patcrail
      patcrail commented
      Editing a comment
      shify thanks... ok, just really nervous cause even Meathead (elsewhere) says they’re “done” at 145 but “ready” over 200, and this meat is nowhere close to that!

    #3
    Running at 225F cooker temp, expect the extra meaty loin back ribs to take about 5 hours, give or take.

    If dinner is soon, up the temp of the cooker to 275F, or crutch the ribs by wrapping in foil tightly for an hour, then take back out of the foil to finish up and set the bark again (the foil will soften the bark).

    Comment


    • patcrail
      patcrail commented
      Editing a comment
      And they were cracking on the bend test at 3 hrs, 145 IT

    • LA Pork Butt
      LA Pork Butt commented
      Editing a comment
      patcrail Not seeing how they are cracking it is hard to answer that question. Another thing to look for is shrinking back from the bone end. I agree with jfmorris. Expect them to take 5 hours, and expect spare ribs to take 6 hours.

    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      The bend test doesn’t really work on thick ribs like these - even when about done. Cracking in the surface is not the same as breaking in half, which is what I see with the bend test on spares or straight baby backs without the loin meat.

    #4
    1st get rid of your wife. We don't boil ribs! Next listen to what has been suggested.

    Comment


    • patcrail
      patcrail commented
      Editing a comment
      Problem is they’re misunderstanding my questions... I don’t care if they take all night...why do they pass the bend test after 3 hours at 145?

    #5
    jfmorris , I’m not trying to rush these, it’s exactly the opposite: they cracked on the bend test at 145-150 IT after 3 hours... I just can’t believe they were done that low, but I don’t know.... I wrapped, and they’re 5-1/2 hrs in at 180, pulling now —- I hope I didn’t kill them

    Comment


      #6
      So, weird as hell—- I did the “bend test” at 3 hr in.... cracked about 2/3 across, so I panicked, cause the meat was under 150 consistently... took a leap of faith, wrapped at 4 hrs in (150 ish), pulled out 5 hrs (one hour wrap), were 170... WHAT’S WEIRD IS that they responded completely different to the bend test: stiffer as a whole, had to bounce to get a small crack, whereas at 145 (3 hours, no crutch), they cracked 2/3 or more, and bent much more than now.... so, did I over-cook them by going beyond the first successful “bend test” at 145, or was that way too early, they’re going through a tough stage now and beginning to tenderize more? This gets frustrating! If I had two slabs, I’d have pulled one early to see if the long cook is BS

      Comment


      • mnavarre
        mnavarre commented
        Editing a comment
        Yep, that's the difference between "done" and "ready". At 145 they're done, but not tender, you still need to render all the fat and connective tissue. If they're only 170-180 they ain't done yet.

      #7
      Is the meat pulling back from the bone?

      Post a pic!


      Also, easiest way to tell if they're done is to cut one or three off the end and eats them
      Last edited by BFlynn; August 2, 2020, 05:19 PM.

      Comment


      • patcrail
        patcrail commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah, it’s finally pulling back on half of it (the thin half), it’s at 180 now in the hottest part, now no crack in the bend test, but they flop over with no resistance.... were probe tender 20 deg ago, just tried a piece that fell off when saucing, it was tough as shoe leather

      #8
      6-1/2 hours now on 1 baby back, finally wrapped between hour 5 & 6, highest temp was 180.... had zero bone pullback at 145-150 (3 hours, and had a nice crack in the bend test).... went ahead and cooked longer cause that was too damned low, wrapped after 5 hours for one hour (pulled at 6), still no meat anywhere is hotter than 180, most 170... and now it barely bends at all and doesn’t crack
      Attached Files
      Last edited by patcrail; August 2, 2020, 05:39 PM.

      Comment


        #9
        The one piece I tried so far was the toughest, driest, chewiest piece of pork I’ve ever had! I gotta believe that the recipes for baby backs & spare ribs are so intermixed that the baby backs are getting waaaaay overcooked. If I’m wrong, please tell me how mine got so damned chewy at 180, when probed tender & bent at 150

        Comment


          #10
          Saddest part it I’ve been telling the ol lady that boiling ribs was just wrong, just trust me... followed the “last meal” recipe, but that was obviously written for spares, not baby backs... DONT FOLLOW IT, or you’ll end up with dried up tough ass pork chops on the bone

          Comment


            #11
            Those look pretty done to me. With that thick loin meat on the thick end, I wouldn't expect to see bones poking out.

            ​​​​​​

            Comment


              #12
              Just relax. First off, it’s hard to imagine baby backs being tough as shoe leather at any temp. Second, they will turn out well if taken to around 200 degrees. The meat will have pulled back from the bones about 1/2”-1”, which is how I usually tell when they’re done. The bend test is meaningless on extra meaty baby backs. If you overcook them, they will fall apart...but will still be delicious.

              Comment


                #13
                Sorry the cook went wrong. I don’t do baby backs much anymore, prefer spares, but last time I did some it too around 7 hours at 225. I learned to start early, be patient, don’t open the lid except to spritz every couple of hours. Part of the problem may have been opening the lid too many times causing the pit temps to vary a lot. Get a 6 pack and sit back. Try again before giving in to boiling, please

                Comment


                • patcrail
                  patcrail commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I’ll never boil, lol.... and I’ll try it again, but I’m about done with baby backs, they seem like a big cross between a hot & fast cook (loins/chops), & a low & slow (Ribs)....
                  and BTW, I didn’t open the lid at all other than adding a wood chunk at 1 hour, then doing the bend test at hour 3

                #14
                I'm wondering if the weight of the attached loin meat was enough to make them crack early...

                Comment


                • patcrail
                  patcrail commented
                  Editing a comment
                  May have been, good point. There was a good 3/4-1 inch of loin meat on the thick end

                #15
                Thanks, everyone, I’ve calmed down. I pulled them after about 7 hours , enough to let the sauce set. They were “ok”, but nothing like what I was hoping for. However, that was my first attempt at pork ribs. If I did baby backs again, I guess I’d do two racks, and pull one off after 3 hours or so when it cracks on the bend test at 145-150... it is loin meat, after all. I’d let the other one go all the way up around 200, till it started to bend again, then I’d know. Just bizarre how it passes every test (probe tender, crack, ets) at 145 ,IT, which is the short end of the recipes here, (3 hrs), but if you try to take them closer to 200, even wrapping, it adds hours, and they don’t bend & crack any more... it was about a 7 hour cook for a 2.7 lb rack of baby backs, and would have taken another hour or two to get to 203, so I can only assume the recipes are crossed up... I may be wrong, but these were butter tender by probe at 145 after 3 hours, and the rest of the cook just seemed to be trying to chase that tenderness again

                Comment

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