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I want to cook my pork country ribs for about 4 hours, while we're at church. They're covered, and have a sauce on them. The original recipe says 1.5-2 hours at 350°. What temp would be the best for that cooking time?

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    I would cook at 200 then raise to 350 when you get back and test every 10 minutes. That is what we did with potatoes for a golf tournament I helped in the kitchen. – paparazzo Jun 18 '17 at 22:24
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I don't consider this a complete answer, but I've been told enough times to stop putting potential answers in comments ... so ...

Temperature / time curves are so strange for meats that I find it easiest to look at a whole bunch of recipes, and find the one(s) that match the time I'm looking for, and then average the temperatures from those.

To expand that comment into a real answer, for this particular case, allrecipes.com gives 41 recipes when searching for 'pork country ribs'. I then weeded out those without temperatures (stovetop, grill, slow cooker), or that weren't actually country rib recipes, leaving me with:

  • 250°F : 2 hrs, drain fat & liquid, coat w/ sauce, another 1hr
  • 300°F : flour & brown on all sides, bake ribs in sauce for 1.5hrs, turn over, another 1.5hrs. (problem: calls for basting 'several times', which slows things down)
  • 325°F : simmering for 10 minutes, bake for 1.5hrs
  • 325°F : 1 to 1.5 hrs (until 160°F/70°C)
  • 350°F : 1 hr, add sauce, another 1hr
  • 350°F : grill for 12 minutes, bake for 1hr, add sauce, bake another 1.5 hrs.
  • 350°F : 2 hrs
  • 400°F : 1 hr

Slow cooker, just for comparison:

  • low :
    • 6hrs ('asian style', so I assume wouldn't be 'fall off the bone')
    • 7 to 9hrs
    • 'about 8 hours' (until tender)
    • 4hrs, add sauce, another 4 hrs
    • 9hrs, straight from the fridge
    • 8 to 10 hrs 'til falling apart (x2)
    • 3 hrs (major outlier)
  • high, then low:
    • 1hr high, 8-9 hrs low.

...

So um ... wow, that wasn't useful. I likely should've made sure if they were bone-in vs. boneless. And it's possible those baked w/out sauce would have less insulation and cook faster.

Looking at more recipes isn't making it any clearer, but I'd have to say 225 to 250°F to get it take 4 hrs -- warm enough to dissolve the collagen, but low enough to make it take a while to overcook.

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350 F is too high a temp for ribs---- covered or not. I like the meat to be fallin' of the bone. So, merely reduce the temp to, say, 250 F and bake longer. This will take longer so you will need to experiment a bit to get the right baking time. This should yield a moister meat also.

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