Tough ribs

Bill, I have a problem and need your advice, on my ribs. Using pork spare ribs, brinning them for 2 hrs. in a salt and sugar solution, rubbing them with brown sugar over night, apply rub and smoke at 225 for three hours, then putting them in an aluminum and covering them for another three hours, and they still come out a little tough, what am I doing wrong. I use a Cook Shack Amerque smoker, 4ozs of wood, a combination of apple, oak, and hickory. I only apply the rub just before smoking, so as not to dry the meat out, but would also like the ribs to be jucier, and yes more tender
Thanks, Jerry

3 thoughts on “Tough ribs

  1. Jerry:

    Here are some things to try…

    1) Sounds like you may not quite be cooking at 225. Check your smoker temp with a separate probe thermometer. Those thermometers in the door are not always accurate.

    2) I would cook around 230 and use the 3-1-1 method. Smoke, foil, glaze. In the foil put honey, brown sugar, and squeeze butter meat side down and seal tight. That’s almost always good enough for fall off the bone ribs.

    3) Forget all that brining and sugar overnight. That will cure your meat and give you an off taste.

    4) Keep the door closed as much as possible or you will let all the heat out.


  2. Bill, Thanks for the info, the Amerique has a digital thermometer, but I know that means nothing, and am going to buy an industrial grade thermometer drill a hole in the back of the smoker and place the probe right along side the smoker probe. In your 3-1-1 method what times are you talking about.
    Thanks, Jerry

  3. Jerry:

    3 hours smoke
    1 hour in foil
    1 hour glaze

    It would be better to get a temp probe on a wire so you can put the probe right next to the meat. What good is a probe that is near the wall or somewhere where your meat is not? Temps can vary as much as 100 deg either way in just a foot or two. We sell some at or you can get them at Wal-Mart.


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