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Old 04-17-2010, 10:08 PM   #1
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My first smoke

Time to put my new toy to work.

Bought a slab of ribs tonight and have got the seasoning portion done.

I put a slight coating of Yellow mustard on the ribs and applied a (since mustard is on it as well, I'm not sure it qualifies as "dry") rub, after removing the membrane on the bone side. Now they are sitting in the fridge, wrapped in foil, waiting for tomorrow.

The plan right now is to try the "3-2-1" method, but honestly I'm mainly trying to focus on fire control this time. If I can get these ribs to be neither burnt to a crisp or bloody as hell, I'll be satisfied regardless of the seasoning.


I was going to take a couple pics of the ribs and the components of my rub, but discovered the batteries in my camera were dead.....I'll put up some pics tomorrow once I get started with the cooking.
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:05 PM   #2
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Re: My first smoke

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Old 04-17-2010, 11:08 PM   #3
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Re: My first smoke

That looks good so far.My first cook on my new WSM was ribs and they came out great.
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:28 PM   #4
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Re: My first smoke

Kroger brand sugar...Did you buy the ribs at Kroger also ?
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:33 PM   #5
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Re: My first smoke

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff H.
Kroger brand sugar...Did you buy the ribs at Kroger also ?
I have this feeling that I just stepped in it.....


Yes, the ribs were bought at Kroger's.
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:24 AM   #6
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Re: My first smoke

Hey Rack, what's your new toy? Don't remember an earlier post.

I cooked a couple of racks of ribs this morning on my WSM. The overall time at a rack temperature between 230 degrees and 240 degrees was four hours. I foiled at the end for 30 minutes and then put them back unwrapped for another 30 minutes at about 250 degrees to 260 degrees to firm up. I guess that came out to "3-1/2-1/2". Anyway, they came out great and I'm betting yours will to.

Look forward to your pictures tomorrow.
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:37 AM   #7
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Re: My first smoke

Big Wheel loves the ribs from Kroger. That's not a bad thing but you need to know that they are enhanced with a salt solution. That, along with the salt from you rub sitting overnight is going to make them taste a bit like ham.

Try some that are all natural next time and see which you like more.
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:41 AM   #8
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Re: My first smoke

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff H.
Big Wheel loves the ribs from Kroger. That's not a bad thing but you need to know that they are enhanced with a salt solution. That, along with the salt from you rub sitting overnight is going to make them taste a bit like ham.

Try some that are all natural next time and see which you like more.

If you can't find "All Natural", just eliminate the salt or cut back on it in the rub.
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:41 AM   #9
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Re: My first smoke

Hey Rack, looks good so far. I do think I have heard Greg say what Cliff said about getting hammie, Nick has the solution. I find it hard to find any meat that is not enhanced.
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:49 AM   #10
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Re: My first smoke

Thanks for the tip about the salt solution on the ribs.

The good news is that I went pretty light on the salt in the rub.....the main ingredient was the brown sugar.
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:32 AM   #11
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:22 PM   #12
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Re: My first smoke

Boy, that grill is clean as a whistle. It won't stay that way long so save the picture.
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:28 PM   #13
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Re: My first smoke

So far, so good...I guess. Just checked on them for the first time, and flipped them to get the other side closer to the firebox for a while.

Temp/fire control has been difficult, at best....I was running at about 250 (with dampers and vents closed) so I thought opening the cover would be a quick fix.....the temp promptly skyrocketed to about 300 (I assume because of the fresh air getting to the coals)

I'm getting the pork chops on standby.....I'm not sure this is going to go so well
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:32 PM   #14
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Re: My first smoke

Hang in there. It's all a learning experience. Temperature spikes aren't all bad. They add character to the meat just like those lines in your face when you hit 60.
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:37 PM   #15
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Re: My first smoke

Damn! damn! damn!

Its a long story....I'll have to tell it later, but I think I've been cooking with a lot lower temp than I should have been. Guess we'll have to see when I pull 'em off
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:18 PM   #16
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Re: My first smoke

(Partial) Success!

If I had been smoking on too low of a temp, I was able to compensate by increasing the cooking time and temp.....the ribs came out done, but certainly not "fall off the bone" tender. My 3-2-1 plan was butchered into a 2-2-2.5 plan. It was strange in that one side of the ribs appeared to have an almost jerky-like texture, but the other was quite moist.....I'm not sure how to explain that.

The rub and mop both came out better than I hoped, but I think I'll need to tone down the cayenne pepper next time.

The taste was a bit "hammy" as some suspected it would be, but not overpowering.


For those of you who said fire control was going to be something I'm going to have to get good at, I wholeheartedly agree...I was almost continually tinkering w/ it.

BTW: Cowboy Brand charcoal is crap......the only way I could keep the heat up was to use my "smoking" chunks of hickory as the basis for my fire......gonna try Stubb's next.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:33 PM   #17
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Re: My first smoke

Do the mods.

Fire basket, extend exhaust to grate level. baffle, fire bricks in the smoke chamber and don't even look at the stock thermometer.

A small fire box like that will draw enough O2 from a screw hole on the oposite end to make you pull your hair out. If you have an empty screw hole then put a small screw and nut in just to plug the hole.

I went to the extreme to give the lid a rest around the entire perimeter so the air flow would be cut down. I added foil to the back air gap while cooking. Having the unit somewhat airtight will make a huge difference.

If you position the ribs front to back in the smoker then they will cook more evenly.

I think your stock thermometer was throwing you way off. Use candy thermometer till you can get a maverick or a better mountable thermometer like a Tel-Tru.
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:08 PM   #18
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Re: My first smoke

Cliff, do you have a link to those mods...I'd love to take a look at them.

Now that I have some time, I'll explain what happened with my temp. control, so as to prevent some other novice from repeating the same mistake.


The one thing that I've continued to read over and over again is to ignore the thermometer on the lid. I forgot to buy another one when I purchased the grill, and the only other one I had was the one that normally sits in my Turkey fryer.

My plan was to lay it on the grill next to the ribs, with the lid partially cracked open to allow the dial to stick out. When I was reading a consistent 225, the ribs went on.....meanwhile I ignored the reading of 175 on my lid......even when I had my "spike" up to 300 degrees, I don't think the dial on the lid went over 200.

The only theory I can come up with is that the small opening of the lid caused the hottest air in the chamber to be pulled directly across the thermometer.

I think it does without saying that I'm now in the market for a nice wireless thermometer.
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:41 PM   #19
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Re: My first smoke

I have a feeling you'll be turning out some exceptional product before too long and will have that smoker figured out too.
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:51 PM   #20
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Re: My first smoke

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shores
I have a feeling you'll be turning out some exceptional product before too long and will have that smoker figured out too.
Either that, or I'll have pushed the smoker over a cliff.

Today's attempt: Pork Chops.
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