How To Tell When Ribs Are Done?

How To Tell When Ribs Are DoneIf you love to cook the ribs, it is important to realize when they are done. Everybody likes to eat the ribs because they are full of flavors and delicious. But, they are available in different sizes and weights. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to understand when they are ready. Besides, if you keep the outdoor oven at a high temperature for cooking the ribs, it may bring the potential danger. So, in today’s post, we will discuss how to tell when ribs are done. We will focus on some techniques and guidelines for realizing when they are done. With no doubt, let’s have a look at the point!

According to the USDA, ribs will be done when they reach more than 145°F internal temperature. Even within this high temperature, they can be tough to eat. So, if you bring them around 190 to 203°F, the fats and collagens will melt. And this will make the meat juicy and more tender.

Generally, we recommend a temperature of more than 225°F for cooking the ribs on the smoker or grill. Within this temperature, you need around 5 to 6 hours to get the ribs cooked properly. In other cases, the preferable cooking temperature can be affected by the cooking method. And, there are lots of tests for determining if the ribs are ready. We will discuss this later. Now, let’s pinpoint on some other important matters-

Color: Color is useful, but sometimes it is misleading. For this reason, other methods should be taken into the consideration. When ribs are done, they will look similar to the color of the mahogany.

Bones: When the ribs are done, the meat can drawback, exposing around three-quarters of the inch of the bone. When the bulge of the bone starts to poke throughout the backside of the rib, you have to understand they are done.

Flexibility: If you gain experience, you don’t have to worry about how to tell when ribs are done.Because you can realize whether the ribs are done properly by touching them in your hands.

Apart from these inspections, you need to do some tests for telling when ribs are done. Here are some tests you should consider:


The Bend Test:

This method is one of the most trusted and favorite for all. It is simple and quick. Firstly, take up the rib rack with a pair of tongs. Then, elevate it gently and bounce or jiggle it slightly. Now observe how smoothly the meat breaks or cracks from the rib bones. This is a perfect indicator of whether the meat is ready for eating or not. Moreover, the bigger the crack, the rib is getting more ready. Therefore, pay attention to the ribs bending while holding with the tongs. It is one of the proper ways to understand when they become ready to eat. If the crack is not larger, then you have to put the rack into the back of the grill for a longer time. This method will take patience and practice for getting used to it. But after learning, you’ll never need to look back.

The Toothpick Test:

This method is one of the easiest ways to test the cooked ribs. Use a toothpick to poke gently into the flesh of the ribs. If it’s done, the toothpick will enter into the meat with slight resistance. You should poke a couple of times to become sure about it. Because the thickness of the flesh will vary depending on the meat. And this test will not create any damage to the meats.

The Taste Test:

These methods involve testing a small portion of the meat from your grill and observing for the readiness. Therefore, this test is a perfect way of stimulating the appetite while waiting for the meal. But, the problem is, you have to take the risk of consuming uncooked meat. It is very disgusting to eat. And it may bring health issues.

The Twist Test:

This method is similar to the bend test as they rely upon in verifying some points. In this method, you have to be sure that the connective tissues break down properly. This will ensure the ribs are ready to eat. So, inspect this method, you have to remove the ribs from the grill. Then hold the exposed bone peak from the center of the slab. Start twisting the bone. If the ribs are ready, they will start to come out of the meat. You should not force the ribs to twist. So make sure to twist smoothly for understanding how the meat is coming out of the bone. When the ribs are done properly, the connective tissues will turn to gelatin. This will allow the ribs to move with any simple twist.

What do the undercooked ribs look like?


Ribs that are ready for eating should have a white or tan color. They may show slight pinkness around the surface but the center point of the meat will be tan or white always. If ribs are not looking like this, consider it as undercooked.

Feel and texture:

The ribs will break away easily from the bone while you start tearing them with the teeth. There may be a little cracking sound. But, if you feel the texture hard, then the ribs are not cooked yet.


Taste can vary and depend on the pattern of meat. Although, cooked ribs will taste sweet and tender. But, if it is undercooked, then it will smell bad and give a slightly different taste.


So, this is all about how to tell when ribs are done. We hope the outlined techniques will help you to understand the matter. The ribs will be delicious and tasty, only if they are done. Otherwise, you will mess up with the undercook foods. Therefore, follow these outlined techniques and enjoy eating!

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