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Both ends of baby back ribs dry and tough


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The last 2 times that I smoked baby back ribs the ends have been dry and tough. The middle 2/3's have been perfect. Any suggestions? My only thoughts are that I am either cooking them too long or the ends are getting more heat because they over hand the heat deflector.

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There are many others with much more knowledgeable on rib cooks than I am and will probably give much better advice, but if the ends are over hanging the heat deflector then they are taking direct heat and therefore will cook faster and dry our while middle is cooking. You may want to try putting foil over the ends to keep them from over cooking.

Also welcome to the forum. Lots of great people and advice here.

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Temp? Time? Kamado model? Foil? No foil? Glaze? How meaty? :)

Right off the bat, baby back ribs need much less time than spare ribs. Even 2-2-1 is sometimes too much, let alone 3-2-1.

And what the other folks said; sounds like direct heat is hitting the ends.

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Have you tried using a rib rack or trying the coil method? Otherwise you'll need to wrap the ends in foil or cut the racks to fit only on the grate.

There's also more heat in the back of the kamado, and off to the right a bit. The airflow concentrates some in that direction; air enters at the bottom and travels along the bottom of the bowl and up.

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I'd suggest that's a little too long a cooktime for bbback ribs. Reduce by 1 to 1.5 hrs depending on meatiness of ribs, cut in half too.

^^^ this.the ends of your racks are likely leaner and a bit thinner than the middle and they are over-cooking. You can cut them off sooner to save them but it's unlikely that foiling just the tips will extend the cooking time/prevent over-cooking in just those places

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Take a look at the 13" x 17" ribs / brisket stone by Ceramic Grill Store. I love mine, and have never had tough or burnt rib ends in all the years I have been using it. Fine piece of gear IMO. I consistently use this long stone anytime I cook ribs, brisket, on any large cut of meat. Even used it for a Thanksgiving Turkey cook.  Shorten your overall cook time and use one of these.  I think your issue will vanish like smoke in the wind. 

 

http://ceramicgrillstore.com/13-x-17-oval-ceramic-stone-large/

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My baby backs usually turn out amazing when I only cook 2 racks flat on my classis using the 3-2-1'ish method! But, last time I did them I put 5 racks on and they didn't dry out but they never got tender.  How many racks are you cooking at once? 

I got this from Robert...when cooking babybacks, go indirect for 4 hours, unfoiled at 275 degrees. I've used that method countless times now and they have always come out perfectly!

Next time I am going to try this.

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