Barbecues are a great deal in my family and I keep learning every time we have one. Resting a well cooked brisket is important and the same applies to ribs. So, how long to let ribs rest?
Some factors need to be considered when it comes to resting cuts of meat.
In this post, I would touch upon why it is important to rest ribs and how you can properly do it.
If the ribs are served right away without resting, there is a risk of eating a tough and dry rack of ribs instead of the juicy almost fall-off-the-bone ribs that I am sure everybody loves.
Resting a rack of pork ribs can take a shorter time than beef ribs. The resting time for ribs will also depend on the thickness of the meat on the ribs.
Considering this , let us look at what you need to do to give ribs the final touches they need before serving them on the table.
Do Ribs Need To Rest?
Yes, you must rest ribs before serving for the juices to come back into the meat and redistribute within it for a tender and juicy result.
Perhaps you are running out of time and want to hurry the process a little, but letting the ribs rest does not take too much time, so it should be done, especially if you want your ribs to taste the best.
Resting the ribs is an important part of the cooking process as it will make them juicier when served.
You can prepare your side dishes and sauces while your ribs rest making your BBQ cooking process efficient.
But, how important is it to let the ribs rest? Does it make a huge difference if it is NOT rested and eaten as soon as it comes off the grill?
Why Do You Need To Rest Ribs?
The main reason ribs – and smoked meat, in general – need to be rested is for the juices to come back into the meat and for the meat to reabsorb the juices.
When meat is cooked, the muscles are squeezed or compressed as it comes in contact with heat. The compressed muscles push out the juices from inside the meat.
Resting the ribs allows the muscles to relax a little bit and let the juices come back in to be reabsorbed and redistributed evenly throughout the meat.
While being cooked, the ribs will have the juices pushed out from the muscles, so cutting the ribs right away will make the juices flow out of the ribs, making it dry.
That is really hard to get back from so despite the urge to cut through the meat while it is piping hot, don’t.
Resting the ribs will also continue to cook them until they reach the right internal temperature. So make sure to always rest the ribs until they are cooked.
How To Tell When Ribs Are Done?
The best way to tell whether the ribs are done or not is to use a meat probe or an instant-read thermometer into the meat.
There are other simpler, though a little less accurate, ways to test and tell when the ribs are done cooking in the smoker.
Let me take you through all the ways in which you can test whether your ribs are done or not.
1. Using A Meat Probe
The meat probe should be inserted into the center of the ribs where the thickest part of the meat is.
Once the internal temperature of the ribs reads 195 degrees Fahrenheit, they should be ready to get off of the smoker and are set to rest.
As the ribs are resting, they will continue to cook and should increase the internal temperature by, more or less 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
That means that the final internal temperature of the ribs after resting them should be around 200-205 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. The Color
The color of a properly cooked rack of ribs should be mahogany. The slight dark brown in the center and black on the sides are indications that the ribs are done.
Note that referring to the color of the ribs can be misleading so I would recommend using other methods to be absolutely sure that the ribs are cooked.
3. The Bend Test
Another way to check the ribs if they are done is to use your tongs. Grab the rack of ribs on one end with a pair of tongs.
If the ribs bend and you see some cracks on the crust of the rack of ribs, then it should be done. Ribs are cooked if they are flexible, but they should not fall apart.
4. The Bones
Check the rack of ribs while it is in the smoker. Cooked ribs should have at least 3/4 inches of bone out.
This is not the most reliable test you can do, but it is a great alternative if you do not have a meat probe. By the time the third rib begins to poke the bone out, your ribs should be done.
5. The Toothpick Test
Another simple test that you can do is the toothpick test. Ribs should be tender but not crumbly or too soft when cooked.
Poke a toothpick between two ribs and if it pierces through with little resistance, then it means that the ribs are done cooking.
Note: using a meat probe to test if your ribs are done is still the most reliable and most accurate way to do it, so I recommend investing in a good meat probe.
Can Ribs Overcook?
Yes, you can overcook ribs and the results are as unpleasant as a dry or undercooked rack of ribs.
As mentioned above, there is a certain internal temperature that the ribs need to reach in order for them to cook properly.
Cooked ribs should have a tender yet slightly firm texture. That means that they do not necessarily fall off the bone when you hold the ribs up.
When you try to remove the meat from the bone, there should still be a bit of resistance but with a light pull, the meat should come off the bone but it should not fall off by itself.
Overcooked ribs will become mushy and almost grainy in texture instead of them becoming tender and slightly chewy.
Since ribs continue to cook while they are resting, we need to know how long we should allow them to rest in order to not undercook or overcook them and get the best results.
How Long Should Pork Ribs Rest After Smoking?
The optimal resting time for pork ribs with thinner meat is 10 minutes. For pork ribs that have thick meat around them, they need to rest for 15 minutes.
Again, the ribs continue to cook while they are resting, so it is important to allow them to rest for just the right amount of time.
There are some racks of ribs that have thin meat on a few ribs and the rest have thicker meat on them. You can allow them to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
As you slice through the thinner meat, it will give enough time for the thicker meat on the other bones to rest and will be ready for slicing by the time you get to them.
The small amount of time you need to rest the pork ribs should be enough time to prepare some of your side dishes and sauces.
Just remember not to leave the ribs resting for more than 20 minutes or they will start to cool down.
|Type of Meat||How long to Rest Meat||Internal Temp. After Cooking||Internal Temp. After Resting||Cooking Time at 225F|
|Pork Ribs||10-15 minutes||195 Fahrenheit||205 Fahrenheit||5 hours|
|Beef Ribs||30 minutes||203 Fahrenheit||205-210 Fahrenheit||6 hours|
How To Rest Pork Ribs After Smoking?
There is a proper way to rest your pork ribs after taking them out of the smoker. The rack of ribs should not be placed on a cold surface uncovered as it will just become cold.
Wrap the rack of ribs with aluminum foil and then let it rest. The aluminum foil will help keep the moisture and heat in the meat as it cooks further while resting.
You can wrap the pork ribs entirely with aluminum foil or loosely cover them. Place the pork ribs on a wooden cutting board and then cover them loosely with foil.
The key is to keep just enough heat so the pork ribs will not cool down as the rest. Allow resting for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing the pork ribs.
How Long Should Beef Ribs Rest After Smoking?
Beef ribs usually have thicker and tougher muscles on them so they need longer time to rest. Ideally, allow the ribs to rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
You must ensure that the beef ribs are rested well since they have tougher meat than pork. This ensures that the juices come back to be redistributed within the meat.
30 minutes of resting may seem too long and the meat will start to cool down before it is served or sliced.
That is right, so it is also important to let the beef ribs rest in a slightly different process than pork ribs to let them rest long enough for 30 minutes without them cooling down.
How To Rest Beef Ribs?
First, wrap the entire rack of beef ribs with aluminum foil. Place the wrapped rack of beef ribs in a cooler and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
You can also place a clean towel at the bottom of the cooler to make sure that you insulate the cooler even more and keep the heat inside while the beef ribs rest.
In case you need the ribs to stay warm for longer than 30 minutes in the cooler, you can do this simple trick:
Pour boiling water inside the cooler and then cover it. This will allow the cooler’s interior to heat up a little bit.
After 15 minutes, remove the hot water from the cooler. Wrap the beef ribs with aluminum foil, place the towel at the bottom, and then put the beef ribs in the cooler.
Close the lid of the cooler as the beef ribs rest. This will allow the beef ribs to rest and stay warm for up to 2 hours.
Can You Rest Ribs For Too Long?
Yes, it is possible to rest ribs for too long and the results are not pleasant at all. The important note is to keep the ribs at an internal temperature that is not over 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the ribs are rested for too long, they can also cool down. Cold ribs are not as good as the warm, tender, and juicy ribs that you like.
Using the hot cooler where you put boiling water first can also overcook the ribs. So make sure you remove the ribs from the cooler as soon as they are rested.
Once the ribs hit an internal temperature of 210 degrees Fahrenheit, they will start to dry out and overcook.
The solution to the dried-out ribs is to glaze them with your favorite sauce. However, the juiciness of the ribs is not the only problem as the ribs will also have a different texture when rested for too long.
When the ribs are rested for too long, it can make the meat softer than you want it to be. Instead of that tender bite, you will end up with mushy ribs.
The meat on the ribs should easily come off when you pull it or bite it, but the meat should not involuntarily fall from the bone as this means that the ribs are overcooked or rested for too long.
When Do You Add The Sauce To The Ribs?
The best time to apply sauce on the ribs you are cooking is during the last 30 minutes of smoking, and this will allow the sauce to bake into the ribs and even caramelize.
The sauce might have too much sugar, which can burn if the ribs are cooked over direct heat or stay over indirect heat for too long.
Make sure not to let the sauce stay over heat for more than 30 minutes and to place the ribs on indirect heat as the sauce starts to cook with the ribs.
You should also make sure you use just enough sauce to glaze or cover the ribs with a thin layer of sauce.
If you want extra sauce on the ribs, serve the sauce as a side instead of putting it all on the ribs while cooking.
So, Is It Important To Rest Ribs Afer Smoking?
Resting the ribs after smoking and before slicing into them is a very important part of the process. Say it is the cherry on top as it is your finishing touches for the recipe.
Allowing the ribs to rest after smoking will give your ribs the juicy and tender cut you want. It does not take long so you should let the ribs rest before serving them.
While the ribs are resting, prepare your side dishes and sauces to make every minute count as you wait for the ribs to finish resting.
Knowing the proper way and how long to rest the ribs is important so we hope the pointers above will help you for your next delicious rib recipe!
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