●Pit Temperature--- many people who have trouble cooking ribs are cooking their ribs at too hot a temperature---blame it partially on the food media--which publishes gushing articles about how to cook ribs (often grilling over high heat or baking them in the oven)
●Ribs need to be lovingly exposed to heat for a good period of time in order for the fat in the meat to render and the colligen to begin to break down. From Science of Slow Cooking---
140°F/60°C -- Red myoglobin begins to denature into tan colored hemichrome. Meat turns from pink to brown-grey color. 140°F/60°C -- Meat suddely releases lots of juice, shrinks noticebly, and becomes chewy as a result of collagen denaturing which squeezes out liquids.
At 140-150 the meat suddenly releases lots of juices, shrinks noticeably and becomes chewier as a result of collagen shrinkage. Meat served at this temperature is considered medium and begins to change from juicy to dry.
160°F/70°C -- Connective tissue collagen begins to dissolve to gelatin. Melting of collagen starts to accelerate at 160F and continues rapidly up to 180F.
NOTES: At 140°F changes are caused by the denaturing of collagen in the cells. Meat served at this temperature med-rare is changing from juicy to dry. At 160°F/ 70°C connective tissue collagen begins to dissolve to gelatin. This however is a very lengthy process. The fibers are still stiff and dry but meat seems more tender. Source: Harold McGee -- On Food and Cooking
TIME: It takes time for the meat to warm up and for the heat to build up to a point where it reaches the temperature zones where the meat fibers begin to break down. If you try and shorten the process, the fibers toughen up, and you get dry, tough ribs.
MISTING: This helps the smoke attach itself to the water molecules in and on the meat. It also helps to deepen the smoke ring. While it may add 10-20% more cooking time, the results are worth it.