New to Traeger

ctufieldops

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Hi all, I'm new to Trager and have cooked a few times on it to get familiar cooking with pellets. Used to smoke with a Weber Smokey Mountain kettle, which I loved. Question to all, the last two times I cooked Baby Backs on the Silverton 620 they came out tough and not "fall off the bone". I followed the Traeger 3-2-1 rule for ribs and failed at producing the perfect rib. My 3-2-1 cook was more like a 4-4-1 and could not get the internal temps up to 205. What am I doing wrong?? The 185 start temp for 3 hours seems too low, should I bump that temp to 250 for the first 3 hours?? Thanks ahead of time for all answers.
SK
 

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RayClem

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The 3-2-1 is only a guideline. You really need to cook based on internal temperatures until you know your grill and your proteins.

I cook unwrapped at 225 F actual temperature at grate level until the internal temperature reaches about 265-270F 165-170 F (correction, sorry) That will take around 3 hours, but cook based on temperature, not time.

I then wrap in foil, adding butter, brown sugar, and apple juice. It goes back on the grill until the temperature reaches 200-205F. If you are in a hurry, you can bump up the grill temp to 275 F, but leaving it at 225 F will insure the ribs are cooked long enough to be tender.

When you unwrap the ribs, steam will escape and the temperature will plummet. Thus, make sure you get up to your desired final temperature before unwrapping. Then sauce your ribs and put them back on the grill until the sauce has set.

I understand that in competition cooking, if ribs end up fall off the bone, they are considered overcooked and points are deducted, but if you and your family prefer them that way, then overcooking is fine.
 
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ctufieldops

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Thanks to all and yes I agree 185 is a horrible (n)place to start a cook. Don't know why Trager recommend this start temp. On my Weber I went 250 for the entire cook and they came out perfect. Will try again this weekend with another rack until I perfect the cook. I don't want to waste $100.00 on a full packer until I understand the grill.:)
 

RayClem

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Thanks to all and yes I agree 185 is a horrible (n)place to start a cook. Don't know why Trager recommend this start temp. On my Weber I went 250 for the entire cook and they came out perfect. Will try again this weekend with another rack until I perfect the cook. I don't want to waste $100.00 on a full packer until I understand the grill.:)

Remember that Traeger temperatures are rarely accurate. If your start with a cook temp of 185F and your actual temperature is even lower than that, it could take many hours to cook your ribs. If you set a temperature of 185 and your temperature is actually 210 F, you might be OK. I would never trust temperatures in a Traeger recipe as you do not know whether those temperatures are based on an accurate thermometer or the Traeger thermometers which are often inaccurate.

The Traeger recipes are probably fine outside the recommended temperatures.
Another good source of recipes is the Hey Grill, Hey web site, they recommend an initial temperature of 180-200F (as measured by and accurate thermometer) with a boost in temperature after wrapping.
 
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ctufieldops

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Remember that Traeger temperatures are rarely accurate. If your start with a cook temp of 185F and your actual temperature is even lower than that, it could take many hours to cook your ribs. If you set a temperature of 185 and your temperature is actually 210 F, you might be OK. I would never trust temperatures in a Traeger recipe as you do not know whether those temperatures are based on an accurate thermometer or the Traeger thermometers which are often inaccurate.

The Traeger recipes are probably fine outside the recommended temperatures.
Another good source of recipes is the Hey Grill, Hey web site, they recommend an initial temperature of 180-200F (as measured by and accurate thermometer) with a boost in temperature after wrapping.
Yeah, I'm learning this the hard way. Fortunately I still have my ThermoWorks Smoke Long Range Remote Thermometer, will be using this going forward. Thanks for the reply. :cool:
 

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