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Temp checking ribs?

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  • Mosca
    Charter Member
    • Oct 2014
    • 3382
    • PA
    • Large Big Green Egg, Weber Performer Deluxe, Weber Smokey Joe Silver, Maverick 732, DigiQ, and too much other stuff to mention.

    Temp checking ribs?

    More and more posts are mentioning checking the temperature of their ribs. Is this a thing now?

    I tried it on my last cook (250*), and my ribs were at 200* in 2 1/2 hours. But they were definitely not done then.

    Again, is this a thing now? Not being a Luddite, and not trying to make a point about my supposed expertise, but I’ve always just let those suckers go until I can’t wait any longer, at which point I check them and they’re all mahogany and glistening. It’s circular, but they’re done when they’re done.

    What am I missing here?
  • ecowper
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 3271
    • Maple Valley, WA
    • Grill = Hasty-Bake Gourmet Dual Finish
      Smoke = Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5"

      Thermometer = FireBoard FBX11 with 2 ambient and 6 meat probes
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      Favorite cook = Tri-Tip for the grill, whole packer brisket for the smoker
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      Favorite whisky = Lagavulin 16 year old single malt

      Best Cookbooks - Meathead's "The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", Chris Lilly's "Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book", Aaron Franklin's "Franklin BBQ"


      Eric Cowperthwaite aka ecowper

    #2
    I don’t temp check either. With the thin meat and lots of bones, it seems to me that you are never going to get much of an accurate reading anyhow. Color and bend test tells the story.

    Comment

    • Jerod Broussard
      Moderator
      • Jun 2014
      • 9745
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      #3
      I prefer a bend test, however, if I have the racks cut in half and standing in a rib rack, I just insert the thermometer probe to test tenderness. Most times the temp is anywhere from 205-210 internal at tenderness, which is PLENTY TENDER.

      Comment


      • Mosca
        Mosca commented
        Editing a comment
        I don’t even bend test them. I just look at them and think, “Yeah, those are done,” or, “Nope, a little bit more.”
    • bbqLuv
      Club Member
      • Jan 2020
      • 410
      • Milwaukie OR

      #4
      Temp cook ribs? Hot and Fast, low and slow, bark or no bark, sauced or naked, I am so confussed. So many ways and so little time. Never the less, they are done when they can put a smile on the faces of friends and family.

      Comment


      • Jfrosty27
        Jfrosty27 commented
        Editing a comment
        No kidding. So many approaches. And all can work equally well if practiced. Just do them the way you’re most comfortable. And they’re done when they’re done.
    • RonB
      Club Member
      • Apr 2016
      • 12721
      • Near Richmond VA
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      #5
      I never temped ribs until Covid came along. Gotta be safe...

      Comment


      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        Easy, Cowboy!

      • HouseHomey
        HouseHomey commented
        Editing a comment
        Smart arse and a funny one too. 😃
    • Polarbear777
      Club Member
      • Sep 2016
      • 1693

      #6
      Temperature doesn’t easily tell you when they are done but when running Wi-Fi probes, it does tell you when it is time to start checking, but you could still be 30-80 minutes out.

      Comment

      • Mr. Bones
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        #7
        Definitely NOT 'a thing', in my Hood!!! Ain't never gonna be one, neither.

        Toothpick works jus fine.

        Comment


        • Polarbear777
          Polarbear777 commented
          Editing a comment
          Wait, the toothpick is for after you sample the end one right?

        • ecowper
          ecowper commented
          Editing a comment
          Polarbear777 well, once I’ve sample each end bone, I might consider a toothpick

        • Mr. Bones
          Mr. Bones commented
          Editing a comment
          Mebbe...

          Ain't givin up alla my Lifelong BBQ secrets, in one Swell Foop!
      • zzdocxx
        Club Member
        • Jun 2020
        • 144

        #8
        And how is this bend test performed, pray tell ? ? ?

        Any and all please feel free to chime in.

        Comment


        • zzdocxx
          zzdocxx commented
          Editing a comment
          OK I get it, I was wondering if the rib bones themselves had to bend . . .

        • Rod
          Rod commented
          Editing a comment
          zzdocxx If you're cooking extra thick baby backs the bend test won't work. By the time it wants to crack, they are way over done.

        • HouseHomey
          HouseHomey commented
          Editing a comment
          What Rod said. 👆 Bonsey ain’t gonna steer you wrong either.
      • Steve R.
        Club Member
        • Jul 2016
        • 2325
        • Elizabethtown, KY
        • Current line-up of cookers: Weber 26" kettle w/ SnS and BBQ Guru adapter; Weber Smokey Mountain 22" w/ Guru adapter.

        #9
        I check the temp with a Thermapen, parallel to the bones. This just tells me when to do the bend test or probe. Ribs are just another piece of meat, so I don't really approach it any differently than I would any other meat that I would cook low and slow.

        Comment

        • gdsim1
          Club Member
          • Jan 2017
          • 181
          • KC MO
          • Tryin' not to light my beard on fire east of KC MO. Pit Barrel Cooker for smokin', Char-Griller for grillin' and the cutest little no-name instant read thermometer you've ever seen to keep me from screwin' up!

          #10
          Great timing on this Mosca, I’m trying this today for the first time.

          Will try to remember to report back on results.

          Can’t remember if it was fzxdoc or IowaGirl who put the idea in my head a while back, but I figured I’d give it a shot.
          Last edited by gdsim1; August 23, 2020, 05:35 PM.

          Comment


          • gdsim1
            gdsim1 commented
            Editing a comment
            (For science’s sake, I used the FireBoard with the probe coming into the end of the rack, perpendicular to the bones as they lay flat. Probe was close to but not touching the bones, with the tip over the bone with the thickest loin mean on the rack of baby backs.)

          • HouseHomey
            HouseHomey commented
            Editing a comment
            For science purposes only..... how many beers deep?

          • gdsim1
            gdsim1 commented
            Editing a comment
            Stone sober HouseHomey
        • FireMan
          Charter Member
          • Jul 2015
          • 7682
          • Bottom of Winnebago

          #11
          Ol Bonesy uses tooth picks, ok with me. Ecowpower uses bent puppies, ok with me. Wibs is Wibs & they should be treated like Wibs. The next thing ya know somebody’s gonna bring out the space between yer thumb & finger. That’s when we pull the fire hose out & give em full pressure. Yup, stretch that line & give it to em. It’s not complicated.

          Comment


          • Mr. Bones
            Mr. Bones commented
            Editing a comment
            I'm jus an Ol Country Boy, an Cook...

            Fer more than 50 years runnin...

            That bein said, as our esteemed Colleague, Brother, an Pit Dignitary FireMan has pointed out; I've never felt me no need, or even compulsion to consult NASA bout no racka Wibs

          • ecowper
            ecowper commented
            Editing a comment
            my puppies like to be bent
        • Dewesq55
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          #12
          I do cook ribs to temp. I insert a probe from my Fireboard as close to in the middle, in both directions, as I can between about the 5th and 6th rib on the thicker end. When it hits 185° F I pull them off into a pan and check with a Thermapen. If they are less than 185°F in a few places, I will adjust the position of the probe until the reported temp drops then put them back in the smoker until they hit 185°F again. Then I pull them and sauce and grill off on the gasser over a low fire - 2 coats of sauce on each side - and call them good. Since I do the sauce and grill thing after the smoker, if I wait until they pass the bend test in the smoker, they will be overcooked after sauce/grill, so I sort of have to temp them. I know it seems like a lot of bother, but I'm used to doing it that way.
          Last edited by Dewesq55; August 23, 2020, 05:48 PM.

          Comment


          • Mr. Bones
            Mr. Bones commented
            Editing a comment
            If it achieves th ribs that yer desirin, then I Fully Endorse yer methodology., My Brother!
            I'd be honoured to fling a fang into one yer ribs...

          • HouseHomey
            HouseHomey commented
            Editing a comment
            +1

          • zzdocxx
            zzdocxx commented
            Editing a comment
            Interesting, thanks.
        • jfmorris
          Club Member
          • Nov 2017
          • 3032
          • Huntsville, Alabama
          • Jim Morris

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          #13
          I've never temped ribs in more than 30 years. It's one of the few things I cook to time, give or take 20-30 minutes.

          Comment


          • FireMan
            FireMan commented
            Editing a comment
            Never! 👍👍
        • HawkerXP
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          #14
          Just give um a poke with a stick. (toothpick)

          Comment

          • Spinaker
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            #15
            I always check mine with the Thermapen. I take them off at about 185 F. I like a little pull off the bone.

            Comment

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