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

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  • smokenoob
    replied
    I never had much luck with meaty baby backs and the bend test. I temp a meaty rib at about 202F and it usually takes 6 hours at 225F on my pellet pooper. I know ya don’t temp wibs but what do I know, I’m a noob!

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  • HawkerXP
    commented on 's reply
    I don't use temp on wibs. Probe tender between the bones and a little pull back are my "look for" items. On the PBC 3 hours is about normal.

  • patcrail
    replied
    So, all that said, they were pretty damned good, just more “tooth” than they should have had. I will keep trying with all of your advice, but I am definitely switching to spares/St Louis cut, because I just can’t get my head right with taking loin meat that high... if I want loin, I’ll buy loin or chops.... I want that nice, greasy, juicy rib experience. Plus, I’ll never find myself doubting if I’m overcooking them at 150, lol! Thanks!

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  • patcrail
    replied
    Thanks all! I’ve calmed down now, lol 😂. They weren’t bad, but definitely weren’t what they should have been. I think I made several mistakes: first was panicking when they cracked on the bend test at the first check, at 3 hrs as recommended. They were extremely meaty, and I picked them up from the short end, so there was a lot of weight on the other end.
    Second mistake: should have (wanted to) use spares or St Louis cut because, honestly, trying to mix long slow high cooks with loin meat just doesn’t feel right, but these were on sale.
    Third mistake: I should have at least trimmed the big hunk of loin meat off of the long end, reducing the weight on that end AND letting it cook faster/more even, so the rack may we’ll have been ready before 7 hours total.
    Fourth mistake: I panicked, pure and simple, as soon as the bend test showed done at an obviously low temp. I should have chilled and wondered why.
    Final mistake: I started them too late, and because I left way too much meat on the bone, by the time I was 7 hours in and wanting to carry all the way up to 200+, the wife said enough, and I pulled them for a late dinner. I can’t blame her, it was after 8:00, but about her hour or two would probably have been perfect.

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  • patcrail
    commented on 's reply
    HawkerXP it was a 22” Weber with SNS, at 225.... I think I just panicked when I saw cracking like Meathead shows when they were under 150.... I probably should have ignored that, but it was 3 hours in, when he says to start checking, so part of me thought maybe they were ready, but part of me thought the temp was way too low (I used a Thermopro & checked everywhere)

  • Parkin
    replied
    I ran into the same thing a few weeks back. Really big, meaty BBR. Cooked at 225-235 on a Bronco Drum. Took over 6 1/2 hours and I probably could have gone longer. They came out really good and juicy. The crack test didn't work for those slabs. There was a noticeable fight from the toothpick up until the 6 hour mark, then it gave way like butter, but still didn't crack.

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  • Steve R.
    commented on 's reply
    jfmorris I usually just end up with some paper thin scraps. I don't do stir fry or anything of that nature, but it gets grilled and becomes some mighty fine treats for the dogs!

  • Montyfam5
    replied
    Try the 3-2-1 method works every time with me. Good Luck!
    Prep the ribs by removing the membranes and applying your rib rub.

    Place ribs bone-side down in smoker at 225 F /110 C and cook for three hours.

    Remove ribs from the smoker and wrap tightly in aluminum foil to form an airtight seal. Return to the smoker bone-side up and smoke for two hours.

    Unwrap the ribs and return to the smoker bone-side down for one more hour.
    Apply sauce to ribs (if you want) during the last 20 to 30 minutes of the cooking time. Make sure that the cooking temperature is below 265 F /130 C to prevent burning, and apply the sauce in several thin layers.
    Last edited by Montyfam5; August 3, 2020, 10:06 AM.

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  • jfmorris
    commented on 's reply
    Don't throw it away, just put it elsewhere on the grill or cook it by itself, and pull once THAT meat reaches 140 to 145, and eat it like a pork chop.

  • SirWeezey
    replied
    Had the same experience my first cook with back ribs but I pulled them at 4:30 to lukewarm reception.
    Agree that the last meal ribs approach doesn’t work with back ribs, but there’s a ton of info in the Pit that should help - specifically the step by step that Troutman provided and has multiple mentions already.

    sorry I can’t add more than to commiserate!

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  • patcrail
    commented on 's reply
    jfmorris Weber 22” with SNS. And yes, 225 the whole way

  • Steve R.
    replied
    Next time (if there is a next time) you get those "extra meaty" baby backs, don't shy away from just trimming off a good bit of that thick loin meat they like to leave on there to boost the weight and the price. I hate to throw away perfectly edible meat, but I hate tough, dry ribs even more.

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  • jfmorris
    commented on 's reply
    You still haven’t told us what you are cooking these on, and was it at 225?

  • jfmorris
    commented on 's reply
    This is good advice - follow it next time. I did the 3-2-1 method for many years with spares, or 2-2-1 with baby/loin back ribs.
    Last edited by jfmorris; August 2, 2020, 11:21 PM.

  • jfmorris
    commented on 's reply
    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.

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