Baby Back WSM TIps

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by kevin pitzer, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. kevin pitzer

    kevin pitzer Fire Starter

    I was looking for some tips on making baby backs on my new WSM (18.5")?  I have made them before in my electric, however I am just tying to see if there is anything I should know using my new charcoal smoker?  Also wondering how many of you foil vs not foiling throughout the process.

    Thanks for all your help
  2. phatbac

    phatbac Smoking Fanatic

    I have used a WSM 22.5 for a couple years. i can't speak for the 18.5 but my WSM run a little on the hot side. So i have adjusted my times for a higher heat (275-290 degrees). I like to foil my ribs but only for about hour and half at most. I don't want over cooked ribs i like bite through ribs not mushy fall apart.

    Happy Smoking,

    phatbac (Aaron)
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you have the same temp as the electric they should come out the same. With the WSM, if the temp gets too high it's hard to bring back down, so when you start it up use about 12-14 briquettes, minion method, to get it going with all the vents open, then when the temp starts to get above 200, start shutting down the bottom vents. At 225 my WSM will have the top vent open all the way, 2 bottom vents closed & the third about 1/3 open. Hope this helps.

    tnta likes this.
  4. kevin pitzer

    kevin pitzer Fire Starter

    Thank you SmokinAl for the tips - much appreciated
  5. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    With the 18.5 you may need to cut the ribs in half to get them to fit (I have the 22.5" so I can't say for sure regarding the 18.5").

    I usually cook in the 250'ish range unfoiled for about 5 hours, then I sauce them and sear them on my Weber Kettle just long enough to caramelize the sauce.

    As pointed out above shut down the bottom vents at around 200 and then adjust one vent to creep up to your target temp. The WSM's tend to run hot for the first dozen smokes or so - then once the smoke residue builds up on the inside it seals up all the nooks and crannies and you get better air flow control.
  6. kevin pitzer

    kevin pitzer Fire Starter

    Thanks for your help - Do they turn out dry without foil?  I like them to fall off the bone???
  7. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

     They won't be dry, but they won't be fall off the bone either. If you want fall off the bone then your going to have to foil for at least 1 hour. 

    Try Chef Jimmy J's foiling sauce. Here is the recipe:

    Foiling Juice

    For each Rack of Ribs Combine:

    1T Pork Rub, yours

    1/2 Stick Butter

    1/2C Cane Syrup... Dark Corn Syrup...or Honey

    1/4C Apple Cider...or Juice

    1T Molasses

    Optional: 2T Apple Cider Vinegar. Add 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more of a KC Glaze.

    Simmer until a syrupy consistency.

    Allow to cool for 5 minutes, pour over foiled Ribs and

    run your 2 hour phase of 3-2-1. For the last phase return

    the ribs to the smoker BUT reserve any Juice remaining

    in the Foil. Simmer the Juice over med/low heat to reduce to a saucy thickness. Glaze the Ribs for presentation or service.

  8. kevin pitzer

    kevin pitzer Fire Starter

    Thanks again for your help - Have you tried this??
  9. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes I have, I won a rib cook off using it.

  10. kevin pitzer

    kevin pitzer Fire Starter

    Thanks for all of your appreciated help.  My ribs turned out good but a touch drier than I would like.  Of course this was only the 2nd cook after breaking it in so my temps couldn't regulate as well as I would have liked.  Any suggestions for round 2??

    Method used:

    Mustard and dry rub let it sit while smoker comes to temp

    (3) hrs on smoker (temps from 234-239F)  - I could not keep it at 225 successfully (hmmm)???

    (2) hrs in foil with juice

    (45-50) min from 225-234F
  11. damon555

    damon555 Smoking Fanatic

    Well since you asked......Try leaving them on the smoker for 5 hours straight before even looking at them. Then check them every half hour to see if they are done.....either with the bend test (which is explained in-depth in various threads on this site) or using a toothpick to see if they are tender through and through. There should also be a decent amount of pullback of the meat from the bones.

    And don't worry about your temps running a little high. The smoker will settle down after a few, the difference between 225 and 240 is minute when you are smoking.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016
  12. kevin pitzer

    kevin pitzer Fire Starter

    Round two tomorrow - Foil or no foil????
  13. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You may want to try leaving the membrane on. I think it holds the juices in the ribs.

  14. damon555

    damon555 Smoking Fanatic

    I leave the membrane on because it's so easy to pull off after the ribs have been that's a bonus too.
  15. drewed

    drewed Meat Mopper

    You might want to try 2-2-1 if they dried out.  
  16. mickhlr

    mickhlr Smoke Blower

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