I start with baby back ribs and cook just as you said 2 hrs unwrapped, 2 hrs wrapped with some butter, ACV, and worcestshire. Make you sure you wrap tight and that liquid doesn’t escape. (I like using foil instead of butcher wrap)
Don’t cook your ribs by time. It is all about texture and feel.
Cook them unwrapped till the bark is set and the color you want it. You can tell it is set by rubbing your fingernail over it and the crust doesnt just rub off.
Once the bark is formed and the color is where you want it. Wrap in foil or butcher paper. I add butter, hot sauce and a little bit of brown sugar. You only need to add a little bit of liquid or none at all. You can tell them the ribs are done when you pick them up from one side and the other half wants to bend quite a bit when they are wrapped.
Then unwrap or boat them and glaze with bbq sauce and put back on the grill till the bbq tacks up
The toothpick test mentioned above works great and so does the bend test mentioned. You pick them up about a third of the way down the rack with a pair of tongs and if they bend and crack a little in the middle they are likely done.
I like butcher paper a lot more than foil because it helps maintain the bark.
When I do unwrapped two hours, wrapped two hours and then unwrapped 15-45 minutes at 240, 250 or even 275 my ribs always come out perfect, very tender but not “fall of the bone” at all. Fall of the bone is actually overcooked, pull off the bone nicely with a nice bite is where its at.
Sounds like your ribs just needed a little more time.
Try cooking at 250 and using the toothpick and bend test, I bet they will be perfect at the 5 hour mark. Depends on your smoker too, could just need a bit more time.
I use very little liquid, just ACV out of a spray bottle, maybe a little water mixed in sometimes. Sounds like your ribs just needed more time. Nobodies ribs come out perfect until you are used to your smoker and have cooked a few racks. Don’t get discouraged. You will be making perfect ribs in no time. Try doing them at 240 or 250, its very common to smoke them at that temp.
I’m pretty certain your ribs just needed a little more time.
If they had a lot of bite and didn’t pull off the bone cleanly and were dry you didn’t cook your ribs long enough.
It isn’t about the liquid you put into the wrap. It is about cooking the connective tissue down so that it breaks down into collagen. That collagen is the moisture in the meat. Liquid in the wrap is there to add flavor to the outside and do a braise on the meat.
Follow the 3-2-1 method, put a pan of orange juice in the smoker for the first three hours, then pour the juice into the wrapped pan for the two hours, it won’t be competition quality because it falls off the bone, but the shit will fall off the bone
Cooking iberico ribs sous vide makes them way too mushy for my taste so I wouldn’t recommend it.
They’re usually very fatty so quite surprised to hear you didn’t think they were juicy enough.
Looking at times for smoking ribs is generally the wrong idea as well, just look at the fat and color, but 2 hrs initial smoke sounds like too short of a time. Smoke them at 200-220 untitl you get the color on them that you want and the fat is nice and soft. During the process check after 2hrs or so if the meat is starting to dry out then spray with whatever liquid you prefer, just water is fine. For iberico baby racks i usually go about 3-3.5hrs spraying whenever needed in about 20 min intervals.
Then wrap in foil, no need to add any butter or other strange things, iberico ribs have more than enough flavor on their own and there’s enough moisture in the ribs to steam properly without adding anything. I usually only wrap for about 40-50mins, the bend test really comes in to play here. If I’m cooking for someone who really wants fall off the bone ribs with no bite then maybe 60-90 minutes. If your ribs aren’t tender after 2 hrs you likely didn’t hit the required temp or something went very wrong.
Either way your ribs need to be done before you unwrap because once you do the meat will cool down quite fast and you don’t want to bring it back up to finish as that will take some time and likely dry them out. Just finish them as they are or with a glaze for about 20-30 mins at a higher temp (i go about 275).