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Beef Ribs are killing me


mliebs
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Over the last 6 months I've tried a couple 4 bone beef ribs and they turned out dry.  I thought I had these going pretty well but it looks like some of the fat didn't break down like I planned and the meaty portions turned out a little dry.  Granted my Great Dane thought they were outstanding but I still thought they were dry.  I started unwrapped for about 4 hours and then wrapped them until they hit 200.  After they hit 200 I took them out of the foil and brought them back up to 204 so I could get the bark hardened up again.  After that I went ahead and wrapped them again and put them in a cooler for about an hour. 

 

They were definitely probe tender and when I started slicing them I thought oh yeah this is it, but they started to dry out almost immediately.  The overall taste was impressive but they were kind of dry.  At the end I decided to chop up 3 ribs and vacuum seal them for sandwiches or maybe a baked potato topping.  Anyway, I'm thinking I should have just kept them wrapped until they hit 204 and then threw them in the cooler but I'm not sure. 

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Part of the problem may have been putting them in the cooler at 204.  They would continue to cook at that temp in a cooler.  Perhaps put them in a cooler (if you must) at 200 and see if that helps.  Not having ever done them on my KJ, I am only guessing though.  I use my pellet pooper on it's lowest setting for like 3-4 hours then up it to 300 for the run to the finish line.  Start probing for tenderness at the 5-6 hour mark.  Good luck.

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They look stupendous! 

I love beef ribs but my wife won't even try them. Grrrrrrrr! 

When I do them they're rarely perfect but usually taste really good. 

I don't do them often or frequently enough to offer advice. 

I feel like I typically don't wrap them at all. 

Good Luck! 

 

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You are correct that the fat did not breakdown and that IS where your moisture is. Fat rendering is mostly a product of time. Or, the proper balance of time and temp. Also curious, the ends of the ribs also look like they've been exposed to direct fire. I'm not a fan of wrapping but that's just me...

 

Starting points are: 1) the temp I'm cooking at? 2) Where I'm buying the beef ribs? 3) What grade of beef they are?

 

 

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Let me give you two tips about beef ribs (my FAVORITE of the bbq meats):

 

1.  Do not depend on a temperature to know when they are done.  They will OFTEN hit a temperature you THINK is good well before they are finished cooking to the proper tenderness.

 

2.  Do not focus on BARK when it comes to ribs.  This is not a butt or a brisket.  BARK is NOT the primary feature of any BBQ meat.  It's an accessory.  Focus on the MEAT first.  If the bark is awesome, that's just a bonus.  

 

I don't care much at all about bark on ribs.  I like to cook my ribs like that for about 3 hours in the smoke at 250°F and then I like to either wrap them or put them in a dutch oven with a braising liquid (50/50 guinness and beef stock is awesome.)  Let them hang out in there until they are like jello.  I don't rest ribs.  Ribs ain't butts or brisket.  Did I say that already?  :)  They are ready to serve when they come out of the foil or out of the braise.  I have cooked enough ribs to know that I need about 5 hours on average.  I plan my dinner to be served about 5 hours after I put the ribs on the grill.  If I need an extra 20 or 30 minutes, its no big deal.

 

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I appreciate the input.  I might give these another try next week with the suggestions and see how they go.  I'm getting ready to put a pork butt on in about an hour so hopefully this one goes a little better.  Thanks again for the help.

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I agree with Burger Meister and John.  I had issues getting ribs to be good and it was time.  I thought they would cook faster than they did.  When I treated it like a brisket from a time perspective I got amazing results.  I wrap mine with some beef broth and leave it wrapped until I pill them off.  BM mentioned overcooking and I agree so that is one change I would do and also, I'm with John on resting the meat.  I rest mine for about 5 min, like a steak. 

 

The thing with beef ribs is that the "moisture" has a high fat % which is why they are so rich.  As a result, you don't get the dump of liquid, its embedded in the meat.  That is my very unscientific explanation on why the rest (imo) is less relevant. 

 

But...it could have been the cow too.  In any case, I'd try those adjustments and make sure everything is probe tender

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16 minutes ago, UTVol said:

 

 

But...it could have been the cow too.  In any case, I'd try those adjustments and make sure everything is probe tender

 

I agree FULLY with this.  I have had meat that just wasn't good meat no matter how it was cooked.   It ain't all gonna be good every time.  Starting with a known source of excellent beef is always a bonus.  

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