Is My Barbecue Ready Yet? – Cooking Ribs

June 26, 2008 by  

Click Author Nickname for Bio > homebbq

ribsBy Kevin Bevington

There are different ways to cook, and determine doneness in your BBQ ribs, and we are going to break those down into the 2 types.

St Louis Spare Ribs – St Louis Spare Ribs can be one of the most difficult meats to cook and to get done accurately. Many of the ways you would determine doneness, take some time and experience to identify and master. But first, we will cover a good process to use, which will take you real close to being done, and then you can apply a couple of simple techniques to determine doneness.

You should cook ribs at a temperature of 250 – 275 degrees F. Place your ribs in the smoker bone side down, and cook them for 2 hours, or until they get a real nice color. Then wrap the ribs in heavy duty aluminum foil, still leaving the bone side down. Then cook for them for 1 hour wrapped.

Then open the foil (do not take them out of the foil), and cook for an additional 1 to 2 hours, depending on the following factors; physical size and weight of the ribs, and airflow through the cooker. The larger, or heavier the slab of ribs are, the longer they will take. Also, the more air flow through your cooker, the less time they will take.

So, until you have a good feel for your smoker use the following techniques to determine the doneness of the ribs.

After about 30 minutes with the foil opened, place your hand (in heat a resistant glove of course) underneath the foil, in the center of the slab, and lift. The slab should bend easily, and begin to crack in the thickest part of the slab. If you see both of these characteristics, then the ribs are done. If you only see one, or the other, then they are not done, and need more time to cook.

A good way to learn this technique, and verify that you your ribs are done, is take an instant read thermometer, and check the temperature in the thickest part of the slab. This should read approximately 194 – 196 degrees F.

Remove the ribs from the cooker, and place them in a warmed environment until you are ready to cut them. With Ribs, they are best cut and served as quickly as you can, after you remove them from the cooker.

Baby Back Ribs – On baby back ribs, we use the very same technique. Cook for 2 hours, then wrap in heavy duty aluminum foil. Leave wrapped for 1 hour, then open the foil, and let cook for an additional 15 minutes to 1 hour, or until done. You can use the very same doneness techniques discussed above.

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One Response to “Is My Barbecue Ready Yet? – Cooking Ribs”

  1. Trailboss60 on March 3rd, 2011 11:23 am

    Thanks Kevin, I have cooked ribs for years with varying degrees of success, after I followed your advice my ribs consistently are better than anything that can be found at any local restaurant.

    Ditto on your brisket recipe!

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