Tonight I tried them at 200-225 for 5 hours unwrapped then wrapped for
an hour at about 300. When I cut into them, even the end-most rib
bone, the juices appeared pink/red. Is that really the blood color or
is that some other effect I'm seeing? I was afraid to eat them and
wrapped them back up and have them sitting on the smoker at about 225
and will leave them there all night, for as long as the fire burns,
because it's time for bed and I can't stay up all night checking them.
My big concern is that I was taught to look for "clear" juices and
these appeared pink even after a total of FIVE hours at approximately
200-225 degrees or so and then an hour at almost 300 degrees.
Anyway, I'd appreciate any thoughts or knowledge on this. Thank you.
If you go to Kamado.com to their forums, recipes, and look for the
1-2-3 method, that is what hubby uses. I know the first hour is
uncovered, and think the next 2 are in foil, then 3 sealed tightly
wrapped up in towels in a cooler to sweat/tenderize, but check it to
be sure. Loads of recipes there that will work on any cooker in which
you can control the temp.
I can't imagine how those ribs could NOT have been done after that
much time cooking esp on 300. Good Luck. Nanzi
??? Cooking the ribs in foil???? Why steam the ribs?
I suggest forgoing the foil, cooking at about 250 for 5 or so hours
till the meat pulls back and shows about 1/2" of bone or so or when
picked up in the middle it cracks/breaks. Any red you'll see won't
look anything like raw meat, that's for sure.
When I cook ribs, I use a probe thermometer to test for the temperature.
I use it on a number of points, not only the thickest, but also some
of the thinner parts, shooting for a temp of about 170f. I've found
that in the thicker end of the ribs, even 170f leaves a pinkish cast to
the meat and sometimes there is a pinkish juice. I attribute the juice
color more to the paprika in my rub than blood, but really don't care.
BTW- when I cook ribs, I prefer to cut off the first 4 bones on the
thick end, doing the remaining ribs in one rack. In my own technique, I
insert the probes for temperature into the long rack (thinner ribs) and
ignore the big ends. The ribs are done, usually, in about 6 hours, and
I then remove the racks and give attention to the bigger 4-bone end
pieces. I insert the probes into the biggest meat area and stick them
back in the smoker until they're also done- usually in another hour or
so. That way, my ribs are pretty uniform in doneness, without the
compromise between overdone small ends and underdone big ends.
Dry rub them with salt, pepper, onion powder and paprika.
Start the smoker. Once the smoke starts, I put the ribs on at around
250f. Then I watch the smoke and when it stops, refill. I try to do
this once or twice, depending on how long it smokes (just started using
chunks instead of chips, so that means only one refill instead of 3, and
a LOT more smoke).
Then I don't even LOOK at them for at least 5 hours (except to monitor
the temp of the smoker). Then I check them every hour after that.
What I look for is that the meat is pulled back about 1/2" on the bone,
and when I grab them with tongs and lift them in the middle and bounce
them, the meat cracks/falls away from the bone.
So far each time has taken about 7 hours. I like em a little extra
tender so they melt in your mouth. :)
As I learned quickly (from this board and others).. they're done when
they're done. No special time limit. No thermometer probes, etc. But
I always start them expecting 7 hours. That way around 4-5 I start
sippin beer and checking them every hour or so. :) I used a temp probe
the first time and took them off at 170 (after only 4 hours). They were
chewy, had lots of fat and connective tissue.. ugh... yuck. 2.5 more
hours and they were 1000 times better.
Another key factor I've seen is the skin on the bottom turns a dark
yellow and becomes crispy (and easily is pulled off). Another sign they
are most likely done.
The term "clear juices:" refers to usually to poultry . It was a way of
verifying the Chicken etc was cooked completely. When dealing with pork or beef
etc the benchmark is the temperature of the meat. Your best guide is a instant
read thermometer. The only concern with pork WAS Trichinosis which today is
extremely rare and usually comes from game and not from commercial products.
Herr is what the cdc says.
How can I prevent trichinellosis?
a.. Cook meat products until the juices run clear or to an internal
temperature of 170 o F.
b.. Freeze pork less than 6 inches thick for 20 days at 5 o F to kill any
c.. Cook wild game meat thoroughly. Freezing wild game meats, unlike freezing
pork products, even for long periods of time, may not effectively kill all
d.. Cook all meat fed to pigs or other wild animals.
e.. Do not allow hogs to eat uncooked carcasses of other animals, including
rats, which may be infected with trichinellosis.
f.. Clean meat grinders thoroughly if you prepare your own ground meats.
g.. Curing (salting), drying, smoking, or microwaving meat does not
consistently kill infective worms.
Agree. Loose the foil, throw 'em on and forget about 'em for
4-5 hours. When then break when bent, they're done.
Pork won't have a whole lot of red IME, even raw. After several hours on the
smoker I think you're seeing the smoke ring, a red band that penetrates the
meat to a depth of maybe ź-inch.
Do a google search for:
"smoke ring" ribs
And see what pops up.
> ??? Cooking the ribs in foil???? Why steam the ribs?
> I suggest forgoing the foil, cooking at about 250 for 5 or so hours
> till the meat pulls back and shows about 1/2" of bone or so or when
> picked up in the middle it cracks/breaks. Any red you'll see won't
> look anything like raw meat, that's for sure.
I totally agree except I cook mine in the 300-325 range. When they've
pulled back and crack, it's time to eat.
> Tonight I tried them at 200-225 for 5 hours unwrapped then wrapped for
> an hour at about 300. When I cut into them, even the end-most rib
> bone, the juices appeared pink/red. Is that really the blood color or
> is that some other effect I'm seeing? I was afraid to eat them and
> wrapped them back up and have them sitting on the smoker at about 225
> and will leave them there all night, for as long as the fire burns,
> because it's time for bed and I can't stay up all night checking them.
> My big concern is that I was taught to look for "clear" juices and
> these appeared pink even after a total of FIVE hours at approximately
> 200-225 degrees or so and then an hour at almost 300 degrees.
> Anyway, I'd appreciate any thoughts or knowledge on this. Thank you.
Pink juices are not blood in pork, beef, or any meat. All the blood is
removed in the slaughterhouse. Pink juices are myoglobin, a protein.
At about 140F internal temp meat begins to turn pink as the myoglobin
begins to change. As the temperature rises and the myoglobin changes,
the juices go from pink to clear, and the meat turns tan. If your
temps are right, these ribs are done. My rule of thumb: St. Louis cut
ribs: 5-6 hours at 225F, baby backs 3 hours at 225F.
For more on the thermodynamics of rib cooking go to
For more on how to tell if the ribs are ready, go to
Craig "Meathead" Goldwyn
> Do a google search for:
> "smoke ring" ribs
> And see what pops up.
Here's a good picture of a smoke ring:
Craig "Meathead" Goldwyn
Most of the top competition barbecue cooks put their ribs in foil near
the end of the cook, a technique called "The Texas Crutch" for about
an hour. They don't steam too much, but they do gain moisture and
tenderness. Do it for much longer and the meat will get mushy. They
put a little sauce or apple juice in the foil. Then they take the slab
out and put it back in dry heat to firm up the surface. For more on
the Texas Crutch:
Craig "Meathead" Goldwyn
anything reheated must go to 165` for 15 seconds,then can be held at a
minimum of 135`.
Nanzi, thank you for your reply. I will look that up. Yeah, the ribs
should have been carbon dust by the end of 6 hours. :) But, fear of
food poisoning isn't necessarily a bad thing. :)
Thank you, Noony, for your reply. That sounds like a good idea/
method. The best idea still seems to be to trust the science (the
temperature) which I just plain did not think of at the time.
Hey, Bradley, thank you for your reply. I may have been expecting a
simple "a then b then c" method like what I've used on baby back ribs
(which NEVER turned out like the spare ribs I've seen others make).
Several people have suggested methods of checking doneness like
looking for the meat to pull back from the bone and attempting to
break the rack in the middle. I'll look for and try something like
that, but I'm going to also follow one suggestion that I should have
thought of that night: use a thermometer. :)
Thank you for the detailed instructions on how you do yours.
Thank you, Dimitri, for the information.
Hey, John, thanks for your reply. I am familiar with smoke rings and
I don't think that's what this was...but the ring color could have
affected the juice color. I'll do that search.
There's no need for a thermometer when doing ribs. When they've pulled back
1/2" and they crack when lifted, it's time to take em off the fire and start
Craig, thank you for your reply. Your site is awesome and I've spent
a couple of hours reading what you've got there. I'm feeling better
about what I've done and feel like I have some new ideas of things to
try to get better ribs, beyond my concerns of simply "done or not
done". I love the logo you have, too. Somebody did some nice work
for you on that. The extended pinkies are a nice touch.
Again, thank you and nice site.
DH informed me it is 3-2-1, leave it to me to get it backwards!!!
OOppppps, sorry, glad you were going to look it up!!! Ours were great
when we did them that way. Nanzi
Yeah, I found a method called 3-2-1 and I wondered. :) Close enough
for government work. :) Thanks again.
No thermometer for ribs your they're turn out undone.. I only use
thermometer for larger pieces of meat.
Yeah, but HC is a chemist, not a cook, needs the mechanical feedback.