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First time in a long time my ribs came out dry. They were tender and with good bark texture and great taste but dry. The only thing I did different, I usually dry brine with salt the day before but this time I used Head Country rub, which has salt so I didn't brine. The only time I wrapped with foil midway through the cook, it seemed to give the bark a soft texture I didn't care for so I never tried foil wrapping again.  I check doneness by picking the rib up with tongs and see if the bark breaks. If it does I apply BBQ sauce and leave them on until that caramelizes, about 30 minutes. Usually wrap in foil and towels 1 to 2 hours or until ready to eat. I didn't do that either this time, ran out of time so we pulled them off and dug in.

 

I'm not a big fan of "fall of the bone' ribs but moisture, good firm bark and tenderness is a must.

 

Suggestions needed.

  

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Perhaps the ribs didn't get enough time to 'rest'  after they were removed from the grill.  I always tent meat under aluminum foil for at least 20 minutes after removing from the grill.  Any meat straight off the grill always comes out dry for me.   I don't brine because of a reduced salt diet.

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You mentioned that your ribs were tender, but dry. If they were tender, undercooked is not the issue, but likely over cooked. Timing on ribs, or any other protein is only a rough guess, never an exact science. If you have a formula that normally works for you, stick with that, but maybe get in the habit of at least checking on them about an hour ahead of normal done time. 

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3 hours ago, 5698k said:

You mentioned that your ribs were tender, but dry. If they were tender, undercooked is not the issue, but likely over cooked. Timing on ribs, or any other protein is only a rough guess, never an exact science. If you have a formula that normally works for you, stick with that, but maybe get in the habit of at least checking on them about an hour ahead of normal done time. 

To his point, every price of meat is different.  They have different fat levels, different “tightness” to them... so they all cook slightly different.  Great point 569.  Hope you don’t mind me piggy backing off your comment.

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Just now checking back in, thanks for the responses. I originally posted the ribs cooked for 4 hrs. I just checked the Fireboard session and looks like actual time on was 6 hrs :-o I can tell by the graph I first started checking them at 3:00, went on at 12:30. Checked again at 3:45 and then every 30 minutes until 6:00 when they finally broke from the bend test. Applied sauce and removed them 30 minutes later.

 

The bend test has always seemed to work for me. Up until one finally broke, I could hold less than half of it with tongs and the other half would barley bow. Is this the correct way to do it?

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I typically go with the bend test as well as the toothpick test between the bones. I did spare ribs on Sunday and it was my first set of spares in a while since I usually get baby backs. While I figured it may be a 6 hour cook, it turned out to be a 5 hour cook after checking with a toothpick. Had I went the full six hours I imagine they would have dried out a bit, though they would have still been tender. Each piece of meat is different and honestly on long cooks the amount of fat, connective tissue, etc can change cook times considerably. In my experience it's best to start checking the meat an hour or so you believe it will be done on rib cooks. 

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