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Topic Title: What'd I do Wrong?
Created on June 9, 2012 at 11:27 PM


I fired up the new Apex Grill today and filled the basin with 1 gallon of water, let it come to temperature and put on some ribs and let them cook for an hour. Then I filled up the basin again and put the ribs in a pan covered with tinfoil and let them cook for an hour again. Then I took them out of the pan and placed them directly on the grill to brown them.
End result, the ribs weren't as tender as they normally are, they were good but not excellent-somewhat tough.
Did I mix up the directions or recipe? The chicken breasts wee great that we cooked at the same time.

Tom Kirkman

It's hard to say. I've found that each time you experiment with a new feature (steaming pan) or food or recipe, you may have to try it a couple or three times to really get it dialed in.

I try to keep my drip panned filled with liquid. This means adding more liquid (hot) whenever it shows itself drawing down on the pan by a couple inches. Otherwise the temp starts creep up over 300F, which could be a little bit hot for what you're trying to do.


Maybe that's what I did wrong, I filled the basin with one gallon and it ran out, I turned the ribs after one hour and added another gallon of water-then I let it boil/steam out and browned the ribs at the rear of the grill. One additional problem, they were pork ribs that sat int he freezer for several months and boy did the newly purchased holland grill stink like old pork fat, I had to clean out the grill AND air it out for a day before it smelled ok and I'm not exaggerating. I'll be more careful next time.

Tom Kirkman

Right, if you're going to use the drip pan for steaming, you want to keep it mostly full.

I've found that steaming ribs on the Holland Apex takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes. The temperature stays at roughly 275F, although to do that I find myself topping off the drip pan with more liquid about every 30 to 40 minutes.

An added bonus, is that using the drip pan for steaming tends to self-clean the pan and the interior of the grill.


Not sure how many ribs you cooked but I think you under cooked them. I always cooked pork and pork ribs to 180 degrees. Watching Pit Masters the other day I learned that pork ribs need to cook to above 200 degrees to break down the fat and sinewy tissue to make them tender.

Try cooking your ribs for 1 1/2 hrs with the drip valve closed and the pan filled with water (half water and half beer works great too). Temps should stay below 300 so keep an eye out to keep the liquid level full.

After 1 1/2 hours, repeat your procedure with the foil. (I drowned mine in BBQ sauce and sealed the foil tight to keep the juices in. Stacked the ribs and put a layer of sauce on top of each.) At this stage refill the fluids in the drip pan and put a meat themometer straight through the foil into the rib meat.

Now grab a cold beer and wait for the meat temp to get to 200 deg. I let mine cook at 200 for about 5 mins.

Total cooking time? I cooked 3 full racks last weekend and with the Holland built in thermometer at just below 300, the ribs took 1 1/2 hours plus another 1 hr 15 mins for a total cook time of 2 hours 45 mins. I had company this time so I cooked 6 full racks (I use a rib rack and can fit 8 racks at a time on the holland.) For 6 racks it took 1 1/2 hrs + 2 3/4 hrs for a total of 4 1/4 hrs. Worth every minute of it - but the key is hitting 200 degrees..