Pork Spare Ribs smoked

June 17, 2016 – Ribs had thawed in the refer and pre-seasoned with Four Seasons.

June 18, Saturday20160618_130421

8:00 am – Sprinkled evenly My Rub kicked up to 2t of Cayenne. Smeared Mustard Moisturizer for Pork on top of the rub as forgot to add it first. This may be the way that works best as the rub was well blended in as opposed to sitting on top.

1:00 pm- Ambient Temp is 86°. Put into pre-warmed MES at 250. Good smoke from AMNZTS until removed. TS was loaded 50% with small apple chips and 50% hickory pellets. Added the chips then pellets then shook. Repeated until full.

6:30 – Put into oven at 275.

1:00 pm – Put on the top rack of the pre-warmed MES over the two small bone-in loins. See separate post of the loins. MES was pre-warmed to 250. It had coasted up from 230 to 260 when I opened the door and inserted the ribs and the two small bone-in pork loins.

4:15 pm – 3.25 hours later removed and wrapped in foil and put back in smoker still at 250.

5:30 – Unwrapped and returned to MES.

6:30 – Wanted to eat but they only dropped about 30° in the bend test. Sliced and served. Very chewy with ok taste. Meat did not pull off bone like it should so must not be cooked enough. Bark was hot (spicy) and a bit tough. All as could be anticipated with so little bend in the bend test.

Next time – 3-2-1 would have thought it done at 7 pm even though pulled it 30 minutes early. But, 30 minutes would not have been enough to get it done. Outer top bark was dry. Should have been moped when wrapped and unwrapped and continued until done. Also, as it was on the top rack and the thermo was on the third rack maybe the top was not as hot. [Later tests found the top rack is 15-20 degrees cooler that box or third rack]  Also as the exit port is in the corner the ribs acted like a baffle and the hot air ran along their bottom to the port and the top of the slab where the meat is did not see much heat. Don’t cook big things on the top grate.

Wednesday – Mary re-heated them wrapped to 250 in the convection oven for one hour then for another hour at 275. They were falling off the bone and had a good flavor.


  1. Found at the SMF an analysis of a similar problem. The advice from several experts was “foiled ribs need the liquid!! Place them meat side down, add a little apple juice, butter, brown sugar.” Mary’s reheating in the foil likely did the same thing due to condensate and juices that had collected inside the foil before reheating. My “Next Time” above would have worked as the mopping at foiling would have added liquid.
  2. SmokinAl – “use butter, raw sugar, some pork rub & about 1/4 cup of water in the foil”. See his step by step here and his going to 195° IT.
  3. Think about when wrapping meat-side-down wrap it so when unwrapping it can be left in the open wrap with its juices for the final hour in the smoke. Could use shallow pans and foil over the top as the wrap. With meat side up the shallow pan will reduce smoke exposure to the bone side so it will not be as much loss of smoke affect.
  4. Process using ideas based on SmokinAls post could be:
    1. Pull membrane, slather with yellow mustard, rub with Stubb’s then plastic wrap to set for 4 hours or so.
    2. Smoke for 3 hours at 225°. IT should be in the 160’s and then the cook time while wrapped is about an hour to get to the mid 190s.
    3. Wrap in foil with butter, some more pork rub, mist with ACV & about 1/4 cup of water poured over the ribs that are meat side down.
    4. Smoke for one hour and check IT as target is 195.
    5. Sauce and let rest. Meat should not fall off the bone but pull easily when bitten.
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