You might be wondering whether you will need a thermometer to be able to tell when your ribs are done. Well, the answer to that is in this guide which majors on how to tell when ribs are done.
The low and slow journey began with pork ribs. They are made mouth-watering, flavorful, and perfectly cooked.
And, in comparison to brisket and pork butt, they also do not require a long cooking time.
However, it is not quite easy to tell when pork ribs are done as they have different weights and sizes which means their cooking time will vary.
And, it is also hard to slide a thermometer probe into them, which is quite the opposite for beef ribs.
So, in this guide, you will learn how to check for the doneness of ribs, and also some other related topics will be discussed.
Ribs: The Difference Between Done and Ready
Pork ribs are considered to be done when their internal temperature gets to 145 degrees Fahrenheit and this is according to USDA.
However, even after the internal temperature of pork ribs get to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, the meat can still be tough and chewy.
So, I strongly recommend you wait till the internal temperature of the pork ribs reaches around 190 degrees Fahrenheit to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is because at this temperature, the connective tissues of the meat would have broken down and the meat would have become more tender and fleshy.
This is when pork ribs are then considered to be ready. The knowledge of being able to differentiate between done and ready is very important in the cooking of ribs and barbecue generally.
Getting a good thermometer is one of the best ways to ensure your meat gets done and ready.
This is because you will be able to observe the internal temperature of your meat and also the right time to pull it out.
Best Ways to Know When Your Ribs Are Done And Ready
Below will be the best three ways and methods to know when your ribs are done and ready.
The Bend Test
The bend test is also commonly referred to as the “bounce test”. And, all you need to do to perform this test is to use your grill tongs to pick up the ribs at the center of your slab.
You can then proceed to bounce them gently, monitor, and watch out to see when the meat starts to crack on the surface.
Normally, the meat should be close to breaking and you should feel that just as you lift your slab.
Afterward, which will make it crack through when you just bounce it a little bit so, if this is not the feeling you get and after bouncing, you got just a little crack, then your ribs are not done and ready which means you will have to leave it be for a little longer.
This test is based on the fact that the connective tissues of the ribs would have broken down after being cooked properly and thoroughly which will then leave the skin to grab well onto your slab firmly.
So, the skin will crack and split just by a little bounce and you should also remember that this method requires practice.
The Twist Test
The twist test is similar to the bend test as it also has to do with the checking of the breaking down of the connective tissues which will then determine whether the ribs are done and ready.
All you need to do is to be careful while removing the ribs from the grill not to burn yourself and you can then grab the tip of an exposed bone from the center of your slab.
Then proceed to twist the bone which will then be used to verify whether the ribs are done and ready to be eaten.
The thing is the meat should start to leave if the ribs are ready but, you should also remember to be very careful with the twist as the ribs might not be done yet.
So, the twist of the bone should be done lightly and you might get the feeling of the meat leaving the bone which will then signify that the ribs are ready.
This is because the connective tissues of the ribs would have become gelatin if they are done which will in turn give the possibility of the bone getting away from the bone with just a gentle twist.
The Toothpick Test
This will be the last main best way to test for the doneness of ribs and this test is checked through the framework.
This test compared to the other two tests might require more practice for you to be able to master it and get the feel.
So, you might adopt the other tests before you are then good at this and this test is also quite uncomplicated.
All that is required from you is to get a toothpick and slide it into the meaty parts of the rack.
If without any resistance whatsoever, the toothpick can slide in perfectly into the meat, then that will confirm that your rack is done and ready.
But, also make sure you perform this test in so many different parts all through your slab as to be very sure that the ribs are done all over, the way it is preferred.
Conclusion on How to Tell When Ribs Are Done
There are also some other ways and methods to use to be able to verify whether the ribs are done and ready or not.
And, some of them include visual inspection, probing, cutting into the ribs (which I don’t recommend), and also judging by the time.
To have perfectly smoked pork ribs, some things are needed to understand one of the most essential is to be able to differentiate between done and ready although both of them almost go together.
The term done means the meat is safe to eat although it might still be hard and chewy and while ready means the meat is safe to eat and it is also tender and flavorful which is the better term.
And, for the internal temperature differences, the term done is measured to be around 145 degrees Fahrenheit and while ready is around 190 degrees Fahrenheit to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
And, you can find out about the internal temperature of the meat by using a thermometer.
But, you likely can get an incorrect reading as the probe usually hit the bone since it is too thick to slide into the meat smoothly.
You can ahead to make use of the thermometer as there are some safe ways to go about it or you can go with the other test like the bend test, the pop-up test, or the toothpick test.
After reading this guide through to the end, I’m quite certain you now fully understand how to tell when ribs are done.