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Old 12-29-2011, 02:27 PM   #1
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General Smoking questions.

I'm going to smoke ribs tonight for a couple of friends and I really want to get it right, thus far getting it right seems rather difficult. When my ribs come off the smoker they never have that "dry" look on them they always have a "wet" shine. Yesterday when I pulled them they were super greasy. Was this because they didnt go long enough? I assume that it will be windy and cold tonight so I suspect I will have to dump the barrel over the smoker. I just really, really want to nail it tonight. Thank you in advance fellas!!



What is the experts here preferred smoking temp?
Are spare ribs harder to get right than back ribs?
When smokin ribs on the wsm (18.5) How much charcoal should be used? wsm manual says 50 briquettes. seems too little.
Im going to use the minion method, as it seems to be rather popular here. How many lit coals should go on top?
I may try the "Texas crutch" tonight, Does this change anything besides the obvious of wrapping in foil?
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:06 PM   #2
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Re: General Smoking questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by starwalt12
I'm going to smoke ribs tonight for a couple of friends and I really want to get it right, thus far getting it right seems rather difficult. When my ribs come off the smoker they never have that "dry" look on them they always have a "wet" shine. Yesterday when I pulled them they were super greasy. Was this because they didnt go long enough? I assume that it will be windy and cold tonight so I suspect I will have to dump the barrel over the smoker. I just really, really want to nail it tonight. Thank you in advance fellas!!


What is the experts here preferred smoking temp? 225 - 250
Are spare ribs harder to get right than back ribs? Shouldn't make a difference, many here like spares as there is more meat.
When smokin ribs on the wsm (18.5) How much charcoal should be used? wsm manual says 50 briquettes. seems too little. Fill it up and shut the vents when you are done and it will extinguish any unused charcoal.
Im going to use the minion method, as it seems to be rather popular here. How many lit coals should go on top? 1/2 - Full Chimney
I may try the "Texas crutch" tonight, Does this change anything besides the obvious of wrapping in foil? No, I assume you are not going to wrap until 2-3 hrs. in.

Just don't over think it, it is not rocket science.
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:36 PM   #3
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Re: General Smoking questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbquzz
Quote:
Originally Posted by starwalt12
I'm going to smoke ribs tonight for a couple of friends and I really want to get it right, thus far getting it right seems rather difficult. When my ribs come off the smoker they never have that "dry" look on them they always have a "wet" shine. Yesterday when I pulled them they were super greasy. Was this because they didnt go long enough? I assume that it will be windy and cold tonight so I suspect I will have to dump the barrel over the smoker. I just really, really want to nail it tonight. Thank you in advance fellas!!


What is the experts here preferred smoking temp? 225 - 250
Are spare ribs harder to get right than back ribs? Shouldn't make a difference, many here like spares as there is more meat.
When smokin ribs on the wsm (18.5) How much charcoal should be used? wsm manual says 50 briquettes. seems too little. Fill it up and shut the vents when you are done and it will extinguish any unused charcoal.
Im going to use the minion method, as it seems to be rather popular here. How many lit coals should go on top? 1/2 - Full Chimney
I may try the "Texas crutch" tonight, Does this change anything besides the obvious of wrapping in foil? No, I assume you are not going to wrap until 2-3 hrs. in.

Just don't over think it, it is not rocket science.
For one reason or another, Maybe my multiple failures of smoking, I seem to feel like it's rocket science. Given my culinary schooling and many years of cooking I can't figure out why I can't do this. Frustrating. Apparently the weather man says a low of 40 tonight maybe not as cold as I anticipated. I just cut and drilled a piece of apple wood to run the probe therm through to put it on the rack. Is it better to follow the probe on the rack or the therm in the lid?
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:56 PM   #4
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Re: General Smoking questions.

Good information above. At those temps, try the 3-2-1 method. 3 hours unwrapped, 2 hours wrapped, then unwrap and leave open to firm back up a bit. Based on my pit and the way I cook, I adjust that to 2.5-1.5-0.5. I spritz periodically during the first 2.5 hours with apple juice, then wrap in foil with some coke. Again, don't over think it. Use a good rub and let it work. Good luck!
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:59 PM   #5
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Re: General Smoking questions.

3-2-1 will work but I'd cut back a little on the 2 in foil. I think thats too long, try and hour instead with and additional 1/2 hour up front and an additional 1/2 hour on the tail end.
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Old 12-29-2011, 05:25 PM   #6
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Re: General Smoking questions.

Here is my take, KISS it!!!
I cook both spares and bb's and really see no difference in cooking technique cept the bb's finish a little quicker. There is really no difference in flavor when cooking at 225 or 275, so i cook at 275. Finish a little quicker. I dont drink, but I'm fat so would rather finish quicker and eat than cook slower and drink. I like to rub 2 hours before I start to cook and leave on counter. Shorter time is ok, longer time i feel is unnecessary. I do wrap ribs when they are a purty color. mahogany is best description of color. I do NOT squirt when cooking, lets out heat and drags out the cooking time, and too me, doesnt "help" keep moist. Rub and sauce is enough flavor for me. Also, I add some more rub when i wrap, to replace any flavor that may loose because of wrapping.I then check after an hour, then about every 30 minutes for doneness. Ribs have a built in timer. When the skin on the backside starts to split some, they are done. after the spliting starts, I take off heat and let rest 30 minutes to an hour. You can let rest in cooler up to 4 hours and not loose any flavor or texture. I then apply sauce and put back on heat for about 30-45 minutes to "set" sauce. I usually apply 2 good coats. The ribs also "firm up" a little bit. total cooking time is around 4 hours. Soooooo, the moral of the story, start early with rub, start cooking early and hold till an hour before time to eat and then sauce. If short on time, 4 hours in minimum i would try ribs. 5 would be good, 6 ideal. It really is simple. just let them cook. Your culinary training makes you want to always fiddle with stuff. Cooking good bbq is a lazy way to culinary excellence.
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:00 PM   #7
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Re: General Smoking questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swampsauce
Here is my take, KISS it!!!
Your culinary training makes you want to always fiddle with stuff.
You got that right Mr. swampsauce. I don't know how to cook in a lazy fashion, but I guess I better learn how to do so.
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:20 PM   #8
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Re: General Smoking questions.

One thing I forgot to talk about is rub. I use rub like you use salt and pepper. I season the meat with rub. I don't try to make the rub into a crust like you see in pictures and on tv. Those ribs in the pictures with the black "crust" are ribs that are over seasoned and you only taste the rub and not well seasoned meat. Now, all of this is just my way of cooking and not the definitive "right" way. But it works and tastes good. Instead of lazy, maybe I should have used relaxed instead.
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:37 PM   #9
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Re: General Smoking questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swampsauce
One thing I forgot to talk about is rub. I use rub like you use salt and pepper. I season the meat with rub. I don't try to make the rub into a crust like you see in pictures and on tv. Those ribs in the pictures with the black "crust" are ribs that are over seasoned and you only taste the rub and not well seasoned meat. Now, all of this is just my way of cooking and not the definitive "right" way. But it works and tastes good. Instead of lazy, maybe I should have used relaxed instead.

I deffinately tend to use a good amount of rub. I was already thinking of going out and lightly rubbin some of it off.
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:46 PM   #10
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Re: General Smoking questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swampsauce
Here is my take, KISS it!!!
I cook both spares and bb's and really see no difference in cooking technique cept the bb's finish a little quicker. There is really no difference in flavor when cooking at 225 or 275, so i cook at 275. Finish a little quicker. I dont drink, but I'm fat so would rather finish quicker and eat than cook slower and drink. I like to rub 2 hours before I start to cook and leave on counter. Shorter time is ok, longer time i feel is unnecessary. I do wrap ribs when they are a purty color. mahogany is best description of color. I do NOT squirt when cooking, lets out heat and drags out the cooking time, and too me, doesnt "help" keep moist. Rub and sauce is enough flavor for me. Also, I add some more rub when i wrap, to replace any flavor that may loose because of wrapping.I then check after an hour, then about every 30 minutes for doneness. Ribs have a built in timer. When the skin on the backside starts to split some, they are done. after the spliting starts, I take off heat and let rest 30 minutes to an hour. You can let rest in cooler up to 4 hours and not loose any flavor or texture. I then apply sauce and put back on heat for about 30-45 minutes to "set" sauce. I usually apply 2 good coats. The ribs also "firm up" a little bit. total cooking time is around 4 hours. Soooooo, the moral of the story, start early with rub, start cooking early and hold till an hour before time to eat and then sauce. If short on time, 4 hours in minimum i would try ribs. 5 would be good, 6 ideal. It really is simple. just let them cook. Your culinary training makes you want to always fiddle with stuff. Cooking good bbq is a lazy way to culinary excellence.

Amen! Well put Tim.
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:51 PM   #11
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General Smoking questions.

There is a learning curve the people here can speed that curve up. But the only way to consistently turn out great q is practice and experience. It takes a lot of cooks to look at some ribs and know how far along they are and how much longer they need to go.


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