Are ribs done at 140?

Cooking ribs is an art. It’s all about that mouthwatering tenderness, smoky flavor, and the satisfaction of sinking your teeth into perfectly cooked meat. But what if I told you there’s a secret technique that can take your rib game to a whole new level? Enter the 140-degree method.

Forget everything you thought you knew about cooking ribs. Traditionally, we’ve been told to cook them low and slow, at temperatures hovering between 225 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit. While this tried-and-true approach can yield great results, there’s a new way to achieve rib perfection that might just blow your mind.

In this article, we’re going to explore why cooking ribs at 140 degrees is the ultimate game-changer. We’ll delve into the advantages, potential risks, and reveal the science behind this alternative approach. So get ready to uncover the secrets of flawlessly cooked ribs – it’s time to take your taste buds on an unforgettable journey.

[The following content will discuss the benefits and risks associated with cooking ribs at 140 degrees, as well as provide step-by-step instructions on how to achieve remarkable results.]


What Temperature Should Ribs Be Cooked to?

Cooking ribs to the right internal temperature ensures both food safety and an unforgettable dining experience. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the recommended temperatures, cooking methods, and expert tips to help you achieve ribs that are tender, succulent, and bursting with flavor.

The Recommended Internal Temperature:

To ensure safe consumption, pork ribs should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63 degrees Celsius), as directed by USDA guidelines. This temperature effectively eliminates any harmful bacteria present in the meat. However, many seasoned grill masters and experts prefer to cook ribs to higher temperatures for a longer duration. This not only guarantees safety but also allows for the breakdown of fat and collagen, resulting in tantalizingly tender and juicy meat.

The Ideal Cooking Temperature:

The secret to achieving mouth-watering flavor and tenderness lies in cooking ribs at a low and slow temperature of 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit (107-121 degrees Celsius). This method gradually breaks down connective tissues while infusing the meat with delectable smoky flavors. Remember, patience is key when it comes to grilling ribs.

Different Types of Ribs:

It’s important to note that different types of ribs may require slight variations in cooking temperatures and times. For example, baby back ribs cook faster than spare ribs or beef ribs due to their leaner composition. Adjusting your cooking time accordingly will help you achieve optimal results.

Are ribs done at 140-2

Determining Doneness:

To determine if your ribs are done to perfection, rely on a trusted meat thermometer. Insert the probe into the thickest part of the meat without touching the bone. Once the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63 degrees Celsius), you can consider the ribs safely cooked. However, for fall-off-the-bone tenderness that will have your guests raving, consider cooking your ribs to a higher internal temperature, around 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit (91-96 degrees Celsius). This elevated temperature allows for further breakdown of collagen, resulting in irresistible tenderness.

Tips for Success:

To achieve tender and flavorful ribs that will leave your guests craving more, here are a few additional tips:

  • Indirect heat: Utilize the indirect heat method when cooking ribs to ensure even cooking and prevent charring or drying out the meat.
  • Marinate or dry rub: Elevate the flavor profile of your ribs by marinating them overnight or applying a mouthwatering dry rub before grilling.
  • Foil wrapping: For an extra tender touch, consider wrapping your ribs in aluminum foil during the cooking process. This technique locks in moisture and intensifies flavors.
  • Resting period: Once your ribs reach the desired internal temperature, remove them from the heat source and allow them to rest for a few minutes. This crucial step allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more succulent and flavorful final product.

The Misconception of Ribs Being Done at 140 Degrees Fahrenheit

If you’ve ever been told that ribs are done and ready to devour once they hit 140 degrees Fahrenheit, I’m here to set the record straight. Get ready for a juicy journey through the world of ribs as we debunk this common misconception and learn why it’s time to grill until it’s well done.

The Science Behind Tender Ribs:

Let’s start by understanding why ribs need a longer cooking time. These mouthwatering cuts consist of different types of muscles and connective tissues that require some tender loving care to reach that melt-in-your-mouth tenderness we all crave. These connective tissues contain collagen, which needs ample time at higher temperatures to break down into gelatin. And guess what? That magic happens in the temperature range of 190-205 degrees Fahrenheit.

Safety First:

Cooking at higher temperatures isn’t just for achieving tender ribs; it’s also crucial for food safety. Low temperatures may not knock out any harmful bacteria or parasites lurking in your meat. We definitely don’t want our BBQ parties turning into episodes of “Foodborne Illness Frenzy,” right?

The Meat Thermometer is Your Best Friend:

To ensure your ribs are cooked to perfection, don’t rely on guesswork or visual cues alone. Invest in a trusty meat thermometer and insert it into the thickest part of the meat without touching the bone. This way, you can accurately monitor the internal temperature and guarantee that your ribs are safe to eat.

Timing Isn’t Everything:

Grilling aficionados know that timing can vary depending on the type of rib you’re cooking – baby back, spare, St. Louis-style. However, what matters most is reaching the desired internal temperature rather than sticking strictly to a clock. So forget about that magic number of 140 degrees Fahrenheit and focus on hitting that sweet spot of 190-205 degrees Fahrenheit.

Collagen Breakdown and Tenderness in Ribs

If you want to impress your guests with perfectly tender and juicy ribs, then it’s time to dive into the fascinating science behind collagen breakdown and how it affects the tenderness of those mouthwatering ribs.

Collagen, the superhero protein found in connective tissues, holds the key to rib perfection. Picture this: when cooked properly, collagen transforms into gelatin, giving the meat that melt-in-your-mouth goodness we all crave.

But here’s the catch – collagen breakdown is no sprint; it’s a marathon that requires both time and heat. You can’t rush perfection when it comes to tender ribs. The magic starts happening at around 140°F (60°C), but it reaches its peak between 160-180°F (71-82°C). So forget about cooking your ribs at low temperatures because collagen will remain intact, resulting in tough and chewy ribs that no one wants to sink their teeth into.

To achieve that fall-off-the-bone tenderness, you need to embrace the slow cooking methods that have stood the test of time – smoking or low and slow grilling. These techniques involve cooking your ribs at lower temperatures (usually between 225-275°F or 107-135°C) for an extended period of several hours. But hey, patience is key when it comes to culinary greatness.

As the temperature gradually rises during the cooking process, the collagen starts breaking down into gelatin. This incredible substance helps retain moisture in the meat, preventing it from drying out. And let’s be honest, no one wants dry ribs. We want juicy, succulent meat that practically melts in our mouths.

But temperature and time aren’t the only factors that affect collagen breakdown in ribs. The cut of meat, the age of the animal, and even its diet can all play a role. Ribs from younger animals tend to have less collagen and may require less cooking time to become tender. On the other hand, ribs from older animals might need a little more love on the grill to achieve that perfect tenderness.

Now, let’s talk about the role of fat. Fat is not your enemy when it comes to ribs. Oh no, my friend, it’s actually a secret weapon for tenderness and flavor. That luscious layer of fat helps keep the meat moist and adds that extra juiciness we all crave. But be careful not to go overboard with the fat, or you might end up with a greasy texture – and nobody wants that.

So, next time you fire up the grill for some ribs, remember to take your time. Cook them at temperatures between 225-275°F (107-135°C) for several hours and let the collagen work its magic. Your guests will be blown away by the tender, juicy, and flavorful ribs that come off your grill.

Recommended Internal Temperature for Cooking Ribs

When it comes to cooking ribs, achieving the perfect level of doneness is crucial for a flavorful and tender result. Forget about the myth that ribs are done at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. To ensure your ribs are safe to eat and bursting with flavor, you’ll want to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This magic number not only kills off any harmful bacteria but also breaks down that tough collagen, resulting in tender and juicy ribs that will have your taste buds doing a happy dance.

To achieve this rib-tastic temperature, it’s all about the low and slow method. Cooking your ribs at a lower temperature for a longer period of time allows that heat to work its magic, infusing every inch of meat with deliciousness and keeping those juices locked in.

So how do you cook those ribs? Whether you’re grilling, smoking, or baking them in the oven, the goal remains the same – reach that internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Here are some tips for each method:


  • Maintain a consistent temperature between 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Use indirect heat – no direct flames or heat source directly under those ribs.

Baking in the Oven:

  • Set the temperature to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Elevate those babies on a wire rack or roasting rack to let the air circulate and prevent them from sitting in their own juices.

For fall-off-the-bone tenderness, take those ribs to a slightly higher temperature of around 190-205 degrees Fahrenheit. Your taste buds will thank you.

Variations in Cooking Time and Temperature Based on Method Used

Get ready to embark on a culinary journey to rib heaven as we delve into the fascinating world of cooking time and temperature variations based on different methods. Are you a grilling guru, a smoking aficionado, or perhaps a baking enthusiast? No matter your preferred cooking method, we’ve got the ultimate guide to help you unlock the secrets of perfectly cooked ribs. Prepare to dazzle your taste buds and amaze your loved ones with mouthwatering, fall-off-the-bone goodness.


Let’s kick things off with the timeless art of grilling. Imagine basking in the warm embrace of the summer sun, tending to the sizzling grill. Grilled ribs are renowned for their tantalizing caramelized exterior and juicy, tender interior. To achieve this masterpiece, cook the ribs indirectly over medium heat for about 1.5 to 2 hours until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). If you crave that melt-in-your-mouth texture, aim for a higher temperature around 165°F (74°C).


For those who yearn for that authentic smoky flavor, smoking is your ticket to rib paradise. This method demands patience as the ribs slowly cook over indirect heat. Brace yourself for a cooking time of 4 to 6 hours or even longer, depending on your desired tenderness level. Maintain a low and steady temperature around 225°F (107°C) in your smoker and witness the magical transformation of those ribs into tender morsels of perfection. Remember, an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) or higher is ideal.


If convenience without compromise is your motto, baking ribs in the oven is a fantastic option. Set your oven to 275°F (135°C) and let those ribs work their magic for approximately 2 to 3 hours. This method strikes a perfect balance between grilling and smoking, resulting in succulent, flavorful ribs. Don’t forget to use a trusty meat thermometer to ensure they reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).

Sous Vide:

For the adventurous souls out there, prepare to revolutionize your rib game with the sous vide method. This modern cooking technique involves vacuum-sealing the ribs and immersing them in a temperature-controlled water bath. Set the temperature anywhere between 145°F (63°C) and 165°F (74°C) and let the magic unfold over several hours. The result? Ribs that are flawlessly cooked with an unbelievably tender texture.

Experimentation and Tips:

Remember, these cooking times and temperatures serve as guidelines, but personal preferences reign supreme. Factors like meat quality, rib thickness, and choice of marinades or rubs can influence cooking time and temperature. Always rely on a meat thermometer to ensure safety and achieve your desired level of doneness.

Using a Meat Thermometer to Accurately Determine Doneness

Using a meat thermometer to accurately determine doneness is an essential skill for any cook. Whether you’re grilling, roasting, or smoking meat, knowing the internal temperature is crucial to ensure it is cooked safely and to your desired level of doneness. Here’s why using a meat thermometer is important and steps to ensure accuracy in determining doneness.

Firstly, using a meat thermometer ensures food safety. Different types of meat have specific internal temperature guidelines to kill harmful bacteria like salmonella or E.coli. By cooking meat to the recommended internal temperature, you can be confident that it is safe to eat. This is especially important for meats like poultry, pork, and ground meats that have a higher risk of bacterial contamination.

Secondly, using a meat thermometer helps you achieve the desired level of doneness. Cooking times can vary depending on factors like meat thickness, cooking method, and personal preference. With a meat thermometer, you can accurately gauge the internal temperature and cook your meat to rare, medium-rare, medium, or well-done according to your taste.

To ensure accuracy in determining doneness with a meat thermometer, follow these steps:

  • Choose the right thermometer: There are two main types of meat thermometers – instant-read and leave-in thermometers. Instant-read thermometers provide quick and accurate readings and are suitable for most cooking methods. Leave-in thermometers can be left in the meat during cooking and are ideal for slow cooking methods like smoking or roasting.
  • Insert the probe correctly: Before cooking, insert the probe of the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, avoiding bones and fatty areas. This will give you the most accurate reading of the internal temperature.
  • Take multiple readings: To ensure even cooking throughout the meat, take multiple readings from different spots. This will help you avoid undercooked or overcooked areas.
  • Follow temperature guidelines: Refer to reliable sources like the USDA guidelines for specific internal temperature recommendations for different types of meat. For example, pork should reach an internal temperature of at least 145°F (63°C) with a three-minute rest time before serving.
  • Clean and sanitize: It is essential to clean and sanitize your meat thermometer before and after each use. Use warm soapy water or a sanitizing solution to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Account for carryover cooking: Keep in mind that the temperature of the meat will continue to rise slightly even after removing it from the heat source. This is known as carryover cooking. To prevent overcooking, remove the meat from the heat a few degrees below your desired final temperature.

Resting the Ribs After Cooking

Attention, grill masters. Are you ready to elevate your rib game to the next level? Well, I’ve got a secret for you – it’s all about the resting. That’s right, resting your ribs after cooking is a crucial step that can make all the difference between tough and tender, dry and juicy.

So, why is it so important to let those ribs rest? Let’s dive into the science behind it.

During the cooking process, the heat causes the proteins in the meat to contract. And let me tell you, contracted proteins equal tough and chewy ribs – definitely not what we’re aiming for here. But fear not, my friends. Resting allows those proteins to relax and redistribute their juices throughout the meat, resulting in ribs that are melt-in-your-mouth tender.

Resting also gives the flavors in your ribs time to meld together. You know that moment when you take that first bite of a perfectly cooked rib and it’s like a flavor explosion in your mouth? That’s because those flavors have had time to get cozy with each other during the resting period.

Now, you might be wondering how long you should let these babies rest. While there’s no hard and fast rule, I’d recommend a minimum of 10-15 minutes. This gives you just enough time to prepare any accompanying sauces or sides to complement your succulent ribs.

When it comes time to rest your ribs, simply remove them from the grill and place them on a cutting board or platter. Make sure to cover them loosely with foil to retain their heat and prevent them from drying out. And speaking of heat, if you’re not quite ready to serve immediately after resting, you can keep your ribs warm by placing them in a low-heat oven or wrapping them tightly in foil and placing them in a cooler lined with towels.

Here’s a little bonus tip for you – while your ribs are resting, it’s the perfect time to adjust your grill temperature if needed. If you find that your ribs are not quite cooked to your desired level of doneness, simply pop them back on the grill for a few more minutes. Trust me, it’s worth the extra effort to ensure that your ribs are perfectly cooked while still retaining their tender goodness.

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In conclusion, the answer is a resounding no. Ribs cooked to an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit are far from being done.

To achieve tender and succulent ribs, they need to be cooked low and slow until they reach an internal temperature of around 195-203 degrees Fahrenheit. This allows the collagen in the meat to break down, resulting in that melt-in-your-mouth texture we all crave.

So, don’t be fooled by a temperature of 140 degrees – keep cooking those ribs until they reach their true state of perfection.

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