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Cooking spare ribs trimmed, 275 degree four hours, foil last hour meat side down with brown sugar & honey very little brown sugar. Also 2oz apple juice, spritz with water after two hours every twenty min. Called Cookskack last fall about the hard crust on my ribs. Talked with Fast Eddie his thoughts might be that I was flipping meat side down after two hours on smoker, that didn't help. I, also, have tried cooking at 250 degrees, no sugars in my rubs. Also same issue with loin backs. They are Hormel ribs any suggestions I could try would be appreciated.
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So, first post is for help, where here are my thoughts:

So, how much do they weigh?

KEY for learning ribs is knowing weight. I rarely see it mentioned, but it's the first thing I teach. A St. Louis rib can be as little as 2 or 2 1/2 to almost 4.

Also, for me, I'd try another rib. Hormel's are usually "enhanced" which means that they've added 12% or more of juices. Don't pay for that.

The crust are you talking crust or dry/thick skin? If it's really crust, then it HAS to be from the rub. Amount of rub. Cut back and see if that helps.

Foiling. Foil sooner and see if that helps. When I foil, I foil on color, not on time.

Thanks for the question. It's actually oone I haven't seen often. I'm teaching a class locally and writing up a new RIB 101, so this will help.

In addition to what Smokin suggested...

At what point are you applying rub? Too much rub, too far in advance will cause a drying affect from the salt.

Foiling with sugar & honey will lend a candied texture to the bark. Some folks strive for this, especially some competition cooks. Try a straight smoke next time using only a 50% water/50% apple juice spritz and see what happens. If applying sauce, paint it on at the very end of the smoke.

Lastly, look for meaty ribs that display some fat striation.

Good luck and welcome to the forum.
Thanks four your imput ribs weight around 3 lbs apply rub then straight to FEC very light coat of rub. Already cut back thinking that was the problem cooking ribs tonight with no rub. See what develops,starting our fifth year of competition. Little history owned the FEC since April 2010. Previously owned backwoods smoker never had a issue with crust on the ribs. Question? Would the FEC be too dry of an environment? Also, would different pellets have an effect on the FEC? Or what kind of pellet? Also would water pan on bottom shelf help? I really want to understand what's going on here.Has any one else had this issue? Thanks
As you know, the Backwoods is a very moist cooking environment; moreso than the FEC. One factor might be the amount of ribs you're cooking. If it's only a couple of racks, you won't have the cabinet moisture that 9-12 racks would produce.

I cook a lot of 2.75-3# loinbacks...usually 9 or 12 at @ time and never had a crust issue. As I mentioned, I'll spritz with apple juice. I use a fairly sweet rub on them as well.

Placement might also be a factor. Try the center shelf placement and do try a pan of water to create the steam your Backwoods offered.

Pellets - not sure that would make a difference in texture; flavor maybe. You using the CS/FE Hickory pellets?
If you had a water pan in the BW, then there will be a difference in the FEC. I won a LOT of ribbons for ribs in the FE, all without any water pan added.

Not sure how to advise you, just keep playing with the little changes.

If you want more humidity to replicate what you had, then try a water pan.

I'd also wrap soon, maybe more liquid there???
Originally posted by MaxQ:
At what point are you applying rub? Too much rub, too far in advance will cause a drying affect from the salt.
Good luck and welcome to the forum.

That is why my mothers day ribs had the hard dry crust, I didn't want to have to prep while the folks were here so I rubbed and wrapped the brisket and ribs the night before.

I couldn't figure out why these turned out that way when all the others turned out great.
I was thinking of ribs for Monday so I figured I could find the answer here like usual Smiler
Holding a rubbed brisket overnight shouldn't be an issue. I know competition cooks who rub and wrap ribs overnight and are very successful with them. Often they're using thick St Louis Spares on the 4+ lb weight range. They also know how much salt is in the rub they use. A moderate amount of salt on a thick rack of ribs will be OK. I should have been a bit more specific in my earlier statement.
Overnight for beef is good

Overnight for Pork starts curing it so I never put rubs on pork overnight (unless I want to cure). I don't cure it

Key is, if what you're doing isn't working, do something different and keep good notes. A simple step like curing pork overnight will change the results (good or bad, you decide)

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