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Looking for advice on pork ribs


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New to smoking with a Kamado and got lots to learn. Been smoking racks of pork ribs and they have mostly been coming out pretty dry. This is for both dry rub ribs and ones with bbq sauce, despite spritzing every hour. 

Whats the best way to keep ribs moist? I have been cooking at 225f, but I see some folks go as low as 180f for initial period. Realistically, can a Kamado run that low?

Would a water pan help?

Any advice or suggestions appreciated.


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What type of ribs have you been cooking?

That they're turning out dry suggests cooking too long perhaps?

Do you wrap them at all?

3-2-1 is this magical method that gets bandied about but I don't particularly subscribe to it myself, I tend to go by how tender they are getting during the cook and judge them that way depending how far you want to take them. Thinner ribs I'd probably go 2-1-1/2 maybe. Thick spares or St Louis ribs probably smoke for 3, then wrap for 1 then check how they are. Bend test, probing with a toothpick/probe and bone pull back are good indicators of tenderness. If you pick the rack up with with tongs about 2 thirds along the length and they are quite flexible and the meat at the top starts to split then you're getting there. I like them with a bit of pull but some like them to fall off the bone so how you like them determines how far to take them in the wrap. What you put in the wrap is up to you, some put butter and sugar, some put fruit juice or a bit of sauce, as long as there is a bit of liquid in there.

I tend to cook mine between 225f and 275f, I don't get hung up on trying to nail a definite temp.

You don't need a water bath in a kamado, by design they retain moisture when closed up.

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Tedmus, thanks for getting back to me. I’ve been smoking baby backs and St Louis racks with pretty similar outcomes. I have been using the bend test to get that break in the bark to confirm doneness and to be honest they never look to be overdone by the time I pull them, but they nearly always lack moistness.

I’d guess the baby backs get about 3 1/2 hours and St. Louis have been getting just over 4 hours. So timings look to be in the ball park.

Smokin Monkey, not using 3 2 1 but going for continuous cook. I’ve been using mostly butcher supplied ribs that have been trimmed. Baby backs have probably 1/2 inch of meat on bone the St Louis closer to inch. IT getting up to 200f, by the time I’ve been pulling them.

I haven’t tried wrapping yet, so I guess that’s what I’ll go for next.

I’ll feedback how I get on.

thanks again


Edited by zanderb
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Thanks for all the advice.

I smoked a couple of more racks of baby backs the other day. I wrapped them after 21/2 hours then gave them another 11/2 hours with some butter and Apple juice added, all at 250f. Much better results! 

They finished up much juicier. Not fall off the bone, but just a little bit of pull. 😁

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