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Timing for spareribs in oven?

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It's been a long time since I made these, but I had the urge, so I picked up a small (just over 1lb.) rack of spareribs.

They spent last night in the fridge under my own rib rub, but I'm working from a recipe with following directions:

Step 5
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the baking sheet or broiler pan from the refrigerator. Place the ribs into the oven and roast for two hours.

Step 6
Remove the pan from the oven and take off the foil. Use tongs to flip the spareribs. Replace the foil and place the ribs back into the oven. Cook for another two hours, or until the ribs reach an internal temperature of at least 165 F, although 180 F or higher is more ideal for ribs that fall off the bone. Remove the foil from the pan for the last hour of cooking.

Four hours @ 300? Seems like it ought to get to 180 before that. In fact, I may just pull them @ 170.

Thoughts, Chowhounds?

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  1. If they're spareribs (and not baby backs), 4 hours at 300 doesn't seem unreasonable to get them really tender. I'd probably start checking at the 2.5-3 hour mark to see if the meat was pulling away from the bone and go by that measure of tenderness, rather than just temperature.

    1. This'll work just fine. Alton Brown has a similar method. After overnight with rub in fridge, a "liquid" goes into the foil packet. Two or 3 hours at 275-300 till close to done. Then quick ride on grill. I like salt, but his rub was a little too for me, so adjusted after first time. I doctor up the "pork-ade" that accumulates in the foil into a bbq sauce. Last time I made these was a few months ago during a snow storm. Knew tank on gas grill was empty, or woulda gone out in the snow to finish off. I put a rack over foil lined baking sheet (easy clean-up), basted ribs with sauce and finished in hotter oven. Came out just fine.

      I don't go by temp for ribs... more like bendability?? Don't want 170-180 and meat that just does not pull right off the bone.

      1. A rack that weighs just over a pound? What kind of spareribs are these, cat?

        5 Replies
        1. re: ricepad

          Well, it was obviously a partial rack; also, the bones were short, rounded, and only extended a quarter of the way through the meat.

          They were probably done at the two-hour mark, but I didn't check the internal temp. Plus, after I turned them, I accidentally shut the oven off. In correcting that, I failed to note the default setting was now in effect (350).

          I pulled them at the 2.5 hr. Mark, and they were a quite a bit overdone.

          We cook, we live, we learn.

          1. re: mcsheridan

            Don't feel bad mcsheridan.

            I had a similar rib fail adventure a while back.

            Picked up several huge beef rib racks for an awesome price a few months back.

            Looked great. Smoked and then finished in the oven they were picture perfect.
            But they never got tender. Kept them in the oven for what I felt was waaay too long and checking hourly. Only bits and parts were tender.
            Ended up cutting the meat from the bones and givng the beef bones to the neighborhood dog owners (they love me now LOLZ) and running the chopped meat under the broiler and then sauced. They were edible at that point. I;ve still got a pound of teh cooked rib meat left in the freezer.

            Ribs are finicky buggers. Forgiving in many cases but not all.
            But don;t fear cooking them again dammit. :)

             
             
             
            1. re: jjjrfoodie

              No fear here. I still have plenty of rub left. Next go-round, I'm looking for a larger, more "normal" rack.

              1. re: jjjrfoodie

                Almost forgot, a Texas Chow Hound told me not to remove the membrane on beef ribs because all the fat will drip out the back side of the ribs rather than melt through the meat.

                I followed his advice and left it on & they were MUCH juicer.

              2. re: mcsheridan

                An old timer told me don't go by time. Go by meat pull up the bones and the wiggle test, meaning if you lean the rack up and give it a little shake and if it wiggles the meat is tender and done.

            2. The ideal temperature for cooking ribs is really 225 and the notion of "fall off the bone" just means the ribs are overcooked. Ribs should have a slight resistance when you bite into them but the meat should pull cleanly from the bone. A way to tell if they're done is to pick up the rack lengthwise with a pair of tongs and it should bow and crack open without falling apart. If you get a small crack they're not done.