Help me smoke ribs on weber kettle!!! - BBQ Central

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Old 07-06-2009, 07:02 PM   #1
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Help me smoke ribs on weber kettle!!!

Ok guys, so here is the story. I finally convinced my mother in law that she should get a 22" weber kettle instead of spending $100 on a cheap gas grill that will fall apart in a year. This is fine because she will never use either grill herself, but wants me to cook when she has everyone over.... so, i get my choice of cooking aparatus in the $100 range... hence the weber silver 22"

Now I nees to show her why choosing a charcoal grill was the right idea. So i need help from everyone here that is making KILLER baby back ribs on a webber kettle. I am FULLY dedicated to spending 5-6 hours of my life, as often as possible, to smoking some beautiful ribs.BUT...

I DONT KNOW HOW

I need to know everyting you guys have from rubs to mops to sauces. Doesnt have to be all at once, lets stay simple at first.

One important note, allthough most of the familly loves lots of spices adn sauces, my MIL has health issues, and doesnt like sauce at all really, so ill need a suggestion for a mild, non spicy rub that will still add some nice flavor.

I know im asking for alot here guys... ive read so many diffrent ways of doing this that i just cant put it all together... some say to leave it for 3 1/2 hours and dont touch it... other say to spray it with a mop every 45 minutes.. I know a lil about wat i need to do, but i read so many diffrent things that i dont know whats right...

So to recap, i need:

1. a proven weber kettle technique... rib placement(top rack or bottom?) How much fuel and arranged how?

2. commercial rub suggestion. something i can pick up from shopright for starters untill i start getting more advanced and making my own.

3. A proven process to make my MIL's mouth say WOW THESE RIBS ROCK!




I know im asking alot because im sure some of you have 20+ years of experience with this, but please get this newbie in the game!

Thanks alot
---Joe
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:37 PM   #2
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I learned how to do ribs on a kettle here.. Firebricks can be obtained from a fireplace store.

Here's my setup:





Gotta watch the temps. The closer thermometer is a long probe model that monitors the temp at the grate level--different from the dome top temp, as you can see!


The finished product


I don't foil. Takes about 6-7 hours. I can't help you on the rub--the one I use is doled out by my SIL from a secret family recipe that I haven't been able to get him drunk enough to divulge.
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:02 PM   #3
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Those thermos going through the lid dont contact the lid and give false readings?? Whaty happens if it touches the metal lid???
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:43 PM   #4
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The smaller one is designed to be mounted in the lid (but through a hole drilled for that purpose). I chose to use the vent instead, using a fender washer to keep it from falling out .

The larger one has a 12" probe. A quick test in the kitchen sink indicates that it is only heat-sensitive the last inch or two.
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHeart
I learned how to do ribs on a kettle here.. Firebricks can be obtained from a fireplace store.

Here's my setup:





Gotta watch the temps. The closer thermometer is a long probe model that monitors the temp at the grate level--different from the dome top temp, as you can see!


The finished product


I don't foil. Takes about 6-7 hours. I can't help you on the rub--the one I use is doled out by my SIL from a secret family recipe that I haven't been able to get him drunk enough to divulge.
So what you are saying is you need more Rub
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:50 AM   #6
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92,

I don't think you should plan on 5-6 hrs when you are doing a kettle cook. Kettles just aren't made for the true slow smoke event...sure you can dick with it all day long but I don't think that's needed.

Allot 4hrs...you're doing baby backs so they won't take as long as spares.

Build a fire on one side of the kettle. Put an aluminum half pan under the ribs (filled with water). Use 3/4 chimney full of lit charcoal and a chunk or two of wood for smoker flavor.

Assuming you are doing more than 2 racks I would suggest using a rib rack.

If you want a GREAT rub recipe for $25, send Larry Wolfe a Paypal payment for his rubs...you can't beat them! I don't know any rubs in grocery stores that are very good or even purchased any for that matter. Larry's rubs are easy to make and all of the ingredients can be purchased at your local stores!

Remove the memberane of the back of the ribs! If you don't know how to do that, go to the home page and click on the you tube icon at the top...there is a video there that shows you how to do this!

I put EVOO on my ribs and really rub it in...kind of giving the ribs a massage. Then I put a healthy does of rub on the ribs and rub it in (this is done about 3 hrs ahead of time. I re-rub an hour and a half later and again right before they go on the cooker. (just my style)

After you build the fire and get your water pan in place stick your ribs on the cooker and add the wood chunks.

Keep the vents on the bottom all the way open and slightly close the top...no more than a quarter closed. The water pan will help regulate the temp in the grill.

Now, depending on how your people like the ribs you may or may not have to foil the racks. If they are demanding fall of the bone ribs then you might want to foil them after hour number 3 for 45min to an hour...otherwise just let them go for about 4hrs.

I don't mop...no need in my opinion but lots of others do it...your choice. Remember every time you open the lid the quicker the charcoal will be consumed!

You may need to add a few unlit coals during the cook depending on the weather and the wind. check after 2 hrs to see if that is needed.

A good way to check if the ribs are done is to take your tongs and pick up the rack in the middle...if it bends easily and the meat in the center starts to crack then they are set to go!

If they are cooked correctly then there will be NO NEED for sauce
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Old 07-07-2009, 06:26 PM   #7
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The area im a little iffy on right now is lighting the coals.. Exactly what type of light should i give them?? SHould i light it all in the chimney until clowing and completly ashed over, or should i pour just as the top cols are starting to develop ash on the corners... also, how long does it take for the coals to settle down to around 250??? Should i play with the vents, or just natualy let the temp lower???
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:51 PM   #8
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What Greg said about the rub!

You'll notice my technique is way different from Greg's, but that's why this is an art rather than a science.

Put unlit coals in the "firebox" area (you won't need too many, but this is something you'll have to experiment with--see my pix above for an idea of how little you really need). If you're using briquettes, you'll need a little more than if you use lump. Then light 2 or 3 in the chimney and let them get white all over. Dump those on top of the unlit, and put the lid on. Search the forum for the "Minion Method" for more info on this technique.

I start out with the bottom vents about 1/8 open and the top vent about 1/4 open. YMMV. In about 20 minutes or so, the temp should stabilize, and then adjust the vents to get the temp where you want it. More open= higher temp. Bottom vents have way greater effect than top vent. A little change goes a long way. KEEP THE LID CLOSED--every time you open it you add a big slug of oxygen to the fire and it will jump up in temp. When you get to about 220Ί, add your smoke wood chips and put the meat on.

As the saying goes, "If you're lookin', you ain't cookin'" so resist the urge to peek more often than every half hour or so. When you do open it, spritz the ribs with some apple juice from a spray bottle. Replenish the charcoal as needed, but don't put too much on at a time. You'll need to replenish more often than with a real smoker. How much will vary with outside temp, wind, humidity, quality of charcoal, and the phase of the moon.

Try both Greg's and my way when the MIL isn't home, and find what works for you. Then invite Momma for the feast.
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:14 PM   #9
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thanks for all the help so far guys!!! Keep the info comming. Trying to get on the kettle this weekend for my first shop at this.

Still trying to locate some fire bricks..
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:33 AM   #10
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Im not sure if this has been mentioned but: Do not forget to peel the lining off the back of the ribs.
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