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Your ribs didn't get hot enough to break down the connective tissue, and the connective tissue is tough. You need to cook the ribs to an internal temperature of 180°-205°F. Don't worry about rendering out the fat; the collagen from the connective tissue provides a moist texture. I've smoked beef ribs using this recipe:


There is conflicting information on the Internet about BBQ short ribs, so, I can see the confusion. Serious Eats suggests that you want to grill short ribs to an internal temperature of about 130 F (54.5C) (medium-rare). They suggest that any hotter, and the fat will start leaking out, drying the final product. Short ribs, grilled in this manner, are ...

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