Ribs at 275º

Hogan

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I’ve encountered a dichotomy and invite others to add to the confusion.
Came across two rib recipes I’d like to try, both from respected pitmasters in the BBQ world.

Recipe A calls for Baby Backs smoked at 275º for two and a half hours, then wrapped in foil and cook further for one and a half to two hours. Then set the sauce a further 10 minutes.

Recipe B calls for St. Louis cut racks smoked t 275º for two hours, then wrapped in foil and cooked another one hour. Set the sauce a further ten minutes.

Both recipes cook throughout at the same temp, and claim the meat will be done to an internal temp of 203º in (Recipe A) 4 1/2 hr, and for Recipe B, in 3 hrs.
Something’s not right. I lean towards the longer time of Recipe A. Anyone got any thought on why the time variation. (There’s a 33% spread between the two recipes.)
 
What were they both cooked on? makes a big diff

But my last STL ribs didn't take I think 3 1/2 hours, less meat than the baby backs, a lot less meat
 
What were they both cooked on? makes a big diff

But my last STL ribs didn't take I think 3 1/2 hours, less meat than the baby backs, a lot less meat
A was on a Traeger, B in a drum.
I usually do my St Lou ribs at 225-250; they take around 5 hr and are VG. Haven't done baby backs for years, ever since I discovered the Olymel St Lou ribs at Costco.
 
A was on a Traeger, B in a drum.
I usually do my St Lou ribs at 225-250; they take around 5 hr and are VG. Haven't done baby backs for years, ever since I discovered the Olymel St Lou ribs at Costco.
Well, thanks to Traeger, a steady 225° is even possible. In everyone of my side box smokers, ribs were almost always done no lower then 250 and spiked at times to 325, Old smokers are a challenge but one I did for a long long time. I've owned almost every wood/coal side box 'type' there is, you would NEVER EVER talk 'precise recipe results' on an old smoker, it always had many variables, but still was great tasting BBQ.
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Remember that recipes are simply guidelines to help plan your meal. Never rely on any recipe to determine when the cook is done. Always use a reliable (read 3rd party) thermometer to check temperature to determine when the cook is ready to pull from the grill. Of course, with some types of cooks, there are other signs you can observe to determine when the cook is complete. For example, ribmeisters can tell by the way the ribs bend and by looking at the pull back of the meat around the bones when the ribs are ready. They do not need a thermometer. But until you (and your guests) consider yourself to be a ribmeister, use a thermometer.
 
I like starting very low for the first hour. My Traeger generates more smoke at a lower temp - I don't have the "supper smoke" option. These were just a tad over cooked for my taste - I don't want the fall-off-the-bone ribs, which these were; they were nice and juicy thought. Next time I'd trim back the wrapped & glazing cooking times, so the entire cook-time is closer to 5 hours and not 6.

Noon: Start at 180 for an hour
1:00 PM Then bump to 200 for an hour
2:00 PM Then bump to 225 for an hour
3:30 PM IT = ~170, Wrap w/brown sugar and butter, bump to 250
4:45-5:00 PM IT over 200, Glaze unwrapped for 30-60 min
6:00 PM - Off the grill & resting !

PS: A prior cook was much simpler:
Cooking temp: 250° for 4-4.5 hours, then a wrap for 30 mins, then a foil boat for 30 minutes with the slightest coat of Malcoms "The BBQ Sauce".

-PH
 
My 22 also does not have Supersmoke, so I picked up a couple of smoke tubes. However, I've had no luck with burning pellets in them, so use chips instead. Works well; I get about 3-4 hr of smoke out a tube which is more than enough for most cooks.
Every cook is an adventure, so I'll try 275° on baby backs this time around and see how that works out. This cook is on Thursday, so I'll file an update Friday.
Thanks everyone.
 
My 22 also does not have Supersmoke, so I picked up a couple of smoke tubes. However, I've had no luck with burning pellets in them, so use chips instead. Works well; I get about 3-4 hr of smoke out a tube which is more than enough for most cooks.
Every cook is an adventure, so I'll try 275° on baby backs this time around and see how that works out. This cook is on Thursday, so I'll file an update Friday.
Thanks everyone.

You might want to try a mixture of wood pellets and wood chips in your smoke tube.
 
You might want to try a mixture of wood pellets and wood chips in your smoke tube.
the chips keep the pellets lit. My chip pellet mix burns complete every time. My recent PP had 2 tubes overnight... nothing but pure ashes in the morning
 
Ray and Slim: Thanks, will give mixing a try.
 
 
My 22 also does not have Supersmoke, so I picked up a couple of smoke tubes. However, I've had no luck with burning pellets in them, so use chips instead. Works well; I get about 3-4 hr of smoke out a tube which is more than enough for most cooks.
Every cook is an adventure, so I'll try 275° on baby backs this time around and see how that works out. This cook is on Thursday, so I'll file an update Friday.
Thanks everyone.
My Pro 780 doesn’t have super smoke either but what I do, super smoke can’t. I have an extendable smoke tube and two big smoke boxes that I drilled holes on the sides, front, back and bottom. It already had holes on the lids, they are made for charcoal grills. I mix pellets, wood chips and wood chunks in the boxes, I layer the same in my smoke tube. You have to let them burn about 10 minutes, blow them out and put them in the Traeger. I use hickory and oak. I cut it in 1 inch cubes on my band saw, burns really good and great smoke flavor. It doesn’t make any difference what pellets I use, I get my smoke flavor from my tube and boxes.
 

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Well, so much for the pro’s recipes.Cooked two racks of baby backs at 275 for 2 1/2 hr to an IT of 170, then wrapped for a further 2 to an IT of 201. Still moist but flavourless and overcooked. Came apart like pulled pork. Major disappointment.

On the plus side, the mixture of pellets and chips in the smoke tube worked beautifully.
 
Well, so much for the pro’s recipes.Cooked two racks of baby backs at 275 for 2 1/2 hr to an IT of 170, then wrapped for a further 2 to an IT of 201. Still moist but flavourless and overcooked. Came apart like pulled pork. Major disappointment.

On the plus side, the mixture of pellets and chips in the smoke tube worked beautifully.

Cooking ribs at 275 for 2 1/2 hours is too long. While the temp might have been 170 at that point, you have already dried out the meat. At 275 you are not going to generate a lot of smoke flavor. Next time, try cutting the temp back to 225 and cook for 2 1/2 - 3 hours until the internal temp is around 165. That will give you a lot more flavor and will also make for a juicier texture.

Did you spritz the ribs while you were cooking them? I typically spritz every 1./2 hour. I use a mixture of 1/3 water, 1/3 apple cider vinegar, and 1/3 apple juice, but you can use anything your want, including beer. If you like bourbon flavor, you might add a shot of your favorite bourbon to the "cocktail" used for spritzing. The spritz will add humidity to the outside of the ribs and keep them from being dry.

Also, when you wrapped the ribe, did you add any liquid to the packet. I usually add some of the liquid I use for spritzing.

Also remember that Alberta is rather high in elevation. Although Calgary is not as high as Lake Louise, it is still high enough that water boils at 205F rather than 212F at sea level. Thus, you will have to adjust your cook just as you would when baking a cake in the oven. Your ribs might be done somewhere between 195-200F.

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Next time, try cutting the temp back to 225 and cook for 2 1/2 - 3 hours until the internal temp is around 165. That will give you a lot more flavor and will also make for a juicier texture.
That's been my go-to for the past number of years. In this case I got sucked into "following the pro's". Big mistake.
 

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