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Help! Rib Tips Tough

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    Help! Rib Tips Tough

    I attempted smoking rib tips for the second time yesterday, and it did not turn out well. I smoked it on Webber Kettle with an SNS at about 250. I smoked it for about 3.5 hours before adding sauce and smoking for another hour. I thought they were tender, but I was wrong. They were way too tough. Do any of you have any tips on how to know if rib tips are done? I find it difficult with so much cartilage. I already know that my $15 webber not so instant read thermometer needs an upgrade. Thank you everyone!

    #2
    I recently trimmed some spares down to Saint Louis cut, and cooked the rib tips separately. The spares took a little over 5 hours, unwrapped - maybe 6. For the rib tips, I was on an elevated Hover grill above the main cooking grate, so it was running a little hotter. I cooked them naked for 2 hours, wrapped in foil for 2 hours, then sauced and let go unwrapped for another 30 minutes. They were a great "cooks treat". I ate them for lunch for two days (2 sets of rib tips from 2 slabs of spares). They really did not take much less time than the ribs themselves, but I think could be tough if I had not done the foil crutch for at least an hour or two.

    What are you using to monitor the temperature of your grill? The most important tools in my cooking arsenal are my Thermapen (a Thermopop is great too) for an instant read, but the second most important is my Smoke, which lets me monitor actual grate level cooking temperatures. You cannot go by the dome thermometer on your kettle - I've found that it is 75-100 degrees hotter on that than the actual cooking grate temperature. Before I had a good dual probe thermometer, I was going by that dome thermometer on the kettle, and things like ribs were not as tender as expected, because I was actually undercooking them.

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    • J-Melt
      J-Melt commented
      Editing a comment
      I use the Maverick ET-733 for monitoring grate level temps. I refused to even try low and slow until I had a good probe.

      I will definitely try wrapping with foil next time and see how that changes things.

    #3
    I got past that problem by cooking ribs until the ribs are done. Ribs are fully cooked at 165' internal, but tender-done at 190'-205'. Check out MeatHeads's last meal ribs, great guide.

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