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<accidentally deleted my prior post... so reposting here!>

Hi everyone! I've read through every single forum post on baby back ribs and the general consensus seems to be to smoke at either 225F (will take around 4-6 hours) or 250F (will take around 3-5.5 hours) with 2-3 oz wood. Has anyone experimented with both temps, and which did you prefer & why?

Also, in case it's helpful for those looking for baby back guidance I've copy and pasted my notes from all of the various members on this board below who were generous enough to opine on previous threads. Hopefully this saves people time!

  • 250 degrees for 3.5 hours
  • 225 for 3.5-5 hours for fall-off-bone... start checking after 3.5
  • use 3 oz hickory
  • once done, paint with bbq sauce and then finish on the grill or in the oven on broil
  • The meat should be pullin' back from the bone, when you twist a bone it should be loose and if you bend a slab it should start to crack apart. If if they don't do any of that stuff give 'em more time. can also do the toothpick test
  • try not to open door too many times as you'll lose moisture. if not tender enough after toothpick test, close door and test again after 30 min
  • always smoked meat-side (curve) up.
  • Know Thy Weight. You can get BB from 1.5 lbs (and smaller) per rack to 3+ pounds
  • 3.5# is BIG for loinback ribs...I'm guessing you're looking at 4.5-5 hrs at 275. At 225 those ribs (~3.5 lb per rack).will take 5+ hrs. Don't open the smoker for the sake of spritzing...every time you do, you'll lose heat and extend the smoke time (unless you're using a FEC pellet smoker).
  • I'd start checking doneness (toothpick test) at 4.5 hrs.
  • My guess is the rub extracted too much moisture. Salt will do that if left on too long a time. An hour or two of resting after a rub application is sufficient for penetration.
  • CS rubs are pretty salty. Salt will draw out moisture. Next time around apply the rub and hour, two at the most, prior to smoking.
  • BB's in the 2.0 -2.5 # range should be toothpick tender around the 4 hr mark assuming 225 o. To add the "falling off the bone" tweak, try painting them with sauce, wrapping them tightly with plastic wrap and hold them in an insulated chest for 30 + minutes.
  • I'm with Cal in doing the ribs at 250*. I'd toothpick check them at 3.5-4 hrs to see if they're ready for painting.
  • A 2.5# rack at 275 will probably take about 3.5 - 4 hrs, depending how you like 'em. SmokenOkie's tried and true doneness test involves poking a toothpick through the top of the rack (between the bones) The TP should slide thru with very little resistance.
  • As an FYI, I do my baby backs/loin backs at 235 and they are usually done right at around 4:15.
  • Then into the smoker at 250* for 3 hrs, I will check them at that point, do any rotating of the shelves if needed and then check them at the 4hr mark for doneness. The bottom front will cook a little quicker, so that's a nice place for any bigger rack of ribs.
  • Again, time isn't the key, because your individual mileage may vary. If I put 2.4 lb bb's in a smoker at 240, somewhere around the 4 to 6 range they'll be almost done. Thickness matters, lots of things.
  • A 3 to 3.5 lb. baby back rack should take 5-6 hours approx. at 225*.
  • I have had perfect results with baby backs. Only deviation from the method stated above was that I cooked at 250 and they cooked for 5 hours. Some would argue that falling off the bone is over cooked but thats how I like 'em and that's how they come out every time. Don't be discouraged. You'll get the results you want with a lillte patience and practice
  • I cook at 225 and have never had any type ribs cook in under 4 hours.
  • Ive been cooking at 225 (3 tries) and each time I've come in around 6 hours - big racks of baby backs. They aren't quite to the fall-off-the-bone stage, either. I'm doing as twofer suggests this weekend - going to 250 to give myself a longer time at an elevated heat.
  • on my last two trials for loin backs, i ran at 225 and 250F respectively. started testing w/ a toothpick ~ 3.75 hours and pulled when the resistance was like poking thru butter. far preferred the bark and finish of the 250 F cook!!
  • First question would be "why are you using such a low heat?" I would suggest 225* minimum. I smoke mine at 250* and baby backs & loin backs rarely go past the 4 hr mark. 3.5 is not uncommon.
  • they will take around 4-5 hrs at 225
  • Finished on the BBQ (med/lo) with BBQ sauce for approx. 15min. Turned our great.
  • 225 for 5 hours
  • I don't like more than a dusting of the cookshack rib rub, so go lighter on it.
  • I have had a lot of sucecss with cooking my ribs at about 250 for about 4-6 hours on an average.
  • Coat those puppies with your rub of choice, toss em in at 225˚ and don't open the door until the 3 1/2 to 4 hr mark. If you can push a toothpick between the bones with little resistance, they're done!
  • thanks to geiyser and wheelz the ribs came out perfect and i love the rub . wheelz 4 hours at 225 works !!
  • i usually cook my baby backs at 225 for more towards 4 1/2 to 5 hours.
  • YOur cook time will be between 4-6 hours depending on the ribs you have--start checking them at about 3-hrs and 45 mins. Temp: 225
  • Ribs should be rubbed down NO sooner than 2 hrs before you cook them---TOPS!
  • baby backs can be done as soon as 3 hours, depending on temp. Put them in at 225 and check them at 3 hours, and then each hour after that. LOTS of variations, but that will get you started. For me, I don't rub ribs overnight and the CS RR is too spicy for my gang.
  • Set temp to 225. After 4.5 hours I check for done. Usually have to go to 5 hr 15 min though to get done to bite off the bone done.
  • I use 2 - 3 oz of peach wood chunks (whatever wood you have or you like will work, although I find mesquite too harsh for smoking anything), and cook at 225 for about 5 - 6 hours until the toothpick test works (toothpick slides in between ribs like into warm butter). They come out bite off, not fall off, the bone as I like them.
  • bb's are about 4hrs both at 250
  • Shoot!, you calling 3.6 lbs a Baby back? Where you getting that size of loin back?
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Well, a lot to address. I'll just say for now that I've tried 225 and 250 and 275 for cook temps for loin backs. I settled on 250 for a while but found that although the bark was great, depending on the source and shape and configuration of the rack, the tenderness and juiciness was not as good at 250 as it was a 225 so I decided to take the extra time for what I wanted. So I'm back to 225, and yeah, it can take from 5 hours to even 6.5 hours depending on the thickness of the meat and the overall size of the rack. As far as source (and I'm talking exclusively about 2 - 3 rack cryovacs here), I really like Sam's Club, and I sorta like BJ's, but I really don't like Costco's Swift brand racks, because they are so thick and include a very large portion of the loin that turns out dry and tasteless on top of almost every rib piece.

I take off the membrane on back, and don't usually trim anything else. I use dry rub on the rack, generously, about 1/2 hour before putting the rack in the smoker. I have a SM066 Amerique and I use about 3 oz of wood (usually fruit wood like peach or apple). I use the toothpick test for doneness and I never, ever sauce my ribs. Good BBQ never needs sauce, is my philosophy, but I'll serve it on the side if requested. My personal test for doneness is to pick the rack up in the middle with tongs. If it bends but does not quite fall off the bones, it is done.  More info than you asked for but there it is.

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