Resting the ribs is one of the most important steps you can’t overlook if you want evenly tender, flavorful, and juicy meat.
Most ribs lovers know the importance of resting the meat, but they are curious to know how long to let ribs rest after cooking. Well, the duration of resting ribs is neither fixed nor too long because it depends on the ribs type and their size.
So, let’s begin this article with a quick answer regarding how long you should rest ribs before cutting, and later, we will guide you about how you can rest ribs with or without using a cooler.
Looking for a Topline Answer?
You should let your smoked ribs rest for 10 to 20 minutes, but the optimal resting time mainly depends on the types of ribs you want to rest and the thickness of the meat. But make sure you don’t let your ribs rest for too long otherwise, they may start cooling down.
Do you know? Beef ribs require a slightly longer period of resting because they are meatier than the other ribs.
Why Is It Important to Rest Ribs After Smoking?
Before we discover the resting period for ribs, let’s have a quick go-through about the importance of resting.
Resting the smoked ribs is important because it keeps the juices alive inside the meat and prevents it from drying out.
When you cook the beef ribs continuously for hours, the heat lets the moisture and juices come out of the meat fibers.
And if you cut the ribs immediately, most of the juices will spread all over your cutting board, leaving the ribs dry with no juices inside.
Oppositely, when you rest smoked ribs perfectly for the required time, the protein fibers reabsorb the juices and redistribute them all over the meat, making it juicy and moist from all the parts.
Most importantly, ribs cook further when you properly rest them inside an aluminum foil or a cooler. Therefore, you should stop cooking your beef ribs a moment before it reaches your desired doneness level.
It is also important to rest the ribs after smoking for the right time before they start becoming cold, which can affect the overall taste of your ribs.
how long to rest ribs after smoking?
On average, the ribs require 10 to 20 minutes of rest to redistribute the juices around the meat. As we know that different types of ribs are available in different sizes and thicknesses, so the exact resting time varies on the ribs’ type and size.
On the other hand, if you have smoked beef ribs earlier or have extra time, you can rest them for around 30 to 50 minutes to further enhance the flavor and juices inside the meat. But it will require a proper resting setup, like inside a cooler.
How To Rest Ribs Without Cooler?
Resting beef and other ribs without a cooler is pretty straightforward because it requires less time than resting a smoked brisket. Follow the steps below.
Remove ribs from the smoker
Once the ribs are close to your desired doneness level, remove them from the smoker or grill and place the ribs over a clean cutting board.
Wrapping the ribs
Secondly, immediately wrap the smoked ribs tightly inside the foil paper or butcher paper after they are close to desired internal temperature.
If you don’t wrap the ribs right after removing them from the smoker or grill and keep the ribs uncovered, you will be serving cold meat to your guests.
Tenting the ribs
Tenting is another popular technique to wrap ribs in which you need to place the ribs inside aluminum foil but not tightly.
Tenting refers to creating a tent-like shape with foil paper that allows for airflow and provides insulation at the same time.
So, make sure that the foil can cover the ribs completely, and you can tuck it under the ribs’ edge. Lastly, leave a little peak in the middle of the meat, which will create a tent shape.
Let The Ribs Rest
Once you have wrapped the ribs inside aluminum foil, whether using a simple method or the tent one, let the meat rest for at least 10 to 20 minutes, depending on their size and type.
During this duration, the ribs actually cook a little more and redistribute the juices all over the meat. You can also insert a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the ribs while they rest.
At last, slice your rested ribs and serve them to your guests or family members.
how long to let ribs rest in a cooler?
A cooler can be a handy tool if you wish to rest your cooked ribs for a longer period of time.
On average, a well-insulated cooler lets you rest your ribs for 2 to 3 hours without compromising their quality and dropping their internal temperature.
But keep in mind that after the recommended resting time in a cooler, the ribs may start to dry out, become cold, drop the internal temperature.
Resting ribs in cooler – Steps to follow
Whether your guests are late or you purposely want to rest your ribs for a couple of hours, a cooler is the most suitable method to rest ribs.
Also, the resting process of ribs inside a cooler is different from resting them on a cutting board using aluminum foil or butcher paper. Here’s what you need to do.
Preparing the cooler
Firstly, you need to set up your cooler before placing the ribs inside. So, start by thoroughly cleaning the cooler and ensuring no residue or debris.
Moreover, the cooler must have a lid so that it can be sealed tightly to provide perfect insulation and prevent air from coming in and going out.
Pour Hot Water In The Cooler
Once your cooler is clean and ready, fill the cooler to the halfway point with boiling water because the ribs will be placed in the bottom part of the cooler.
After adding the water, close the cooler’s lid and wait around 30 minutes. The water helps in creating a suitable warm environment to prevent the ribs and cooler from dropping their internal temperature.
After 30 minutes, empty the cooler from the hot water.
Set Up Towels
Get multiple towels (per the size of your ribs), fold them, and place them on the bottom and inside edges of the cooler.
It will improve the heat retention system to keep the ribs warm for a bit longer.
Lastly, wrap the ribs inside aluminum foil, whether you wrap them tightly or use the tenting technique and wrap them loosely. We recommend making a tent with foil paper and then setting ribs inside.
Once the wrapping part is completed, place the wrapped ribs inside the cooler and let the beef ribs rest for 2 to 3 hours. Ensure not to prolong the resting period so they don’t become dry or cold.
Ribs Resting Duration For Different Methods
Let’s discover the recommended resting times for different methods after smoking ribs.
|Resting Method||Rest Time|
|Room Temperature||10 to 15 Minutes|
|Wrapped in Foil||10 to 20 minutes|
|Cooler Method||2 to 3 hours|
If you choose to smoke your ribs at a low temperature, like 180 or 200 degrees Fahrenheit, make sure you avoid the danger zone because it will take much longer to cook your meat to perfection at such low heat settings.
Tips to follow when resting ribs
There are a few pro tips that will help you rest your beef and other ribs professionally, ensuring that you get ideal and desired results from the outcome.
- Use a well-insulated cooler: If you wish to let your meat rest inside a cooler, make sure it is well-insulated so that it can prevent heat loss and allow the ribs to rest for a long time without dropping their internal temperature.
- Preheating the cooler: Don’t place the ribs directly inside the cooler without preheating it by pouring hot water into it because it is necessary to keep the warm conditions inside the cooler.
- Don’t let ribs rest for too long: Whether you rest ribs with or without a cooler, ensure to avoid over resting or prolonging the resting period unnecessarily. The reason is that it can impact the overall taste of the ribs by making them cold.
- Immediately Wrap Ribs After Smoking: When you have smoked or grilled your ribs, you should wrap them inside the aluminum foil or butcher paper directly and not keep them unwrapped on the countertop or cutting board.
It is important to let your ribs rest for 10 to 20 minutes if you want to serve your guests or family members delicious and tender ribs.
There are mainly two methods of resting ribs, with and without a cooler. If you are in a hurry and want to serve ribs straight away, rest them on foil paper without a cooler. But if you have got a couple of hours, you can rest them inside a cooler after wrapping.
Make sure to go through our expert tips to achieve the desired results!
Frequently Asked Questions
Should ribs rest covered or uncovered?
It is better to rest the ribs covered inside an aluminum foil or butcher paper for perfect results right after you stop cooking ribs.
Can you rest ribs too long?
No, you should rest your ribs after cooking for a certain duration (10 to 20 minutes), depending on your preferred resting method. If you exceed the resting duration, your ribs may get cold.
Can you rest beef ribs for 3 hours?
Resting ribs for 3 hours is not something we recommend because you achieve desired results if you rest them for around 20 minutes. But if you have access to a good cooler, keeping the perfectly smoked ribs inside for 3 hours is possible.
Robert Gill, a BBQ enthusiast, and Senior Author at FaveGrills.com bring his extensive knowledge of BBQ equipment and exciting recipes to the team. With his outgoing personality and love for BBQ, Robert plays an essential role in the FaveGrills community, sharing his passion and expertise through informative articles and gear reviews.