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Enough (Rib) Crack?

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    Enough (Rib) Crack?

    These were my first pork spare ribs. They were delicious, but I need your input...was this enough of a crack or should I have let them cook more?

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    Last edited by fuzzydaddy; July 4, 2015, 09:19 PM.

    That's about where the first ones I did the other night were. I bounced and they cracked, however, watching the videos they should crack upon lifting? We made sliders on hawian rolls today and they were delicious


      Well "enough" and "should" are completely subjective based on if *you* liked the end result, or if you're at a competition getting judged. Personally fuzzydaddy, I would want a little bit more of a crack, BUT...that doesn't mean I am right. To me, those ribs are darn close, and the overall size and weight plays into it too. Those ribs being full spares may be heavier and therefore crack more than what trimmed STLs would've, and if so they may not be as done as you'd think. I've eaten plenty just like it, and when I complain that I should've let 'em go another 30 mins my wife gives me strange looks and says they're fine (and it's 7:30pm lol). But seeing your shots of the bones in the other post, they weren't quite a clean bone. So, from a KCBS judging standpoint, they may be a pinch underdone. However, they weren't really underdone...if that makes any sense?


        fuzzydaddy. We all are trying to hone/refine our skills through sharing on AR. I'm no rib expert I've only smoked about 100 racks.

        However... If I viewed those ribs on my BGE my first inclination would be that the meat had not shrunk away from the end of the bone enough yet. Then the crack in the surface you got on the bend test was not enough for me to pull them.

        Over cooking? Or under cooking? is the question. It's a delicate balance. I personally would lean to SLIGHTLY over cooked than SLIGHTLY under cooked.

        On the bend test... I want my ribs to ALMOST break in half but... Not pull apart.

        That's just my method. Not sure if I'm correct.

        But those are some tasty looking ribs... Mmmm
        Last edited by Breadhead; July 5, 2015, 01:39 AM.


          My wife and I both have dental problems, so we prefer ribs that are slightly over-cooked compared to competition standards, we want the meat to pull away very easily from the bone. I look for a fair amount of exposed bone, as mentioned by Breadhead, and wrap as well with butter and molasses for a couple of hours to keep the moisture in. A rack of SLR will typically take me 6 or 7 hours on my COS running at about 250 or so.

          As others have mentioned, a lot of it depends on if you were happy with the result. That said, if it didn't come away clean from the bone, you could have gone a bit longer. I'll say this much, if I were to pick up a rack of ribs as close to the end as your pic shows they would almost break apart if they were done by our standards.

          But above all, get your flavor where you want it, people can forgive slightly under- or over-cooked ribs, but they won't eat even perfectly cooked ribs if they taste like crap.


            I appreciate everyone's perspectives - they definitely help! I have also cooked (only) 2 racks of baby backs and was expecting more of a crack and shrinkage from the bone-end. The bones in another post were at about 6 hours and they were not "done" but my belly sure enjoyed the snack. I pulled these at 7 hours because major storms were approaching. Family thought they were perfect, but next time I will plan on maybe 8-9 hours. Man this is fun as even though these were not where I wanted them to be, the eating' was great and I get to try again and again!


            • Powersmoke_80
              Powersmoke_80 commented
              Editing a comment
              Nice job fuzzy d, the main thing is the family thought they were perfect and you had fun doing it!

            • Breadhead
              Breadhead commented
              Editing a comment
              fuzzydaddy. Ribs on my BGE usually take about 7 hours. I elevate them above the felt line. I smoke them between 225° and 240°. The only thing I watch for for the first 5 or 6 hours is the shrinkage of the meat on the bone and bark development. Usually after 6.5 hours if I'm going to sauce them I start that process.

              The weight of the rack makes a difference. Skinny 2lb racks take less time. 3lb Racks will take all of the 7 hours and maybe a little more.

              Ribs are always fun and easy. You've about got it nailed. Any food your family and friends say is perfectt, take a bow. Job well done.

            It is fun isn't it? The more you do you'll learn what works for you and your family, and you'll be giving advice to someone else soon enough.


              I don't trim the very end so there is usually a small bone there at the bottom, when I think they are done I slice that off and eat it. The bottom is usually pretty burnt from hanging right by the coals, but I know based on that bite how the rest of the rack is just from experience. I do that and toothpick, which is the main way I tell, because after you do those 50-100 times you get pretty good at associating that bite or toothpick feel with how you like them.



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