Cooking 2 Meats (Pork Butt and Ribs) on Weber Smokey Mountain (18.5)

Discussion in 'Pork' started by carlo olivares, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. Hi Guys,

    I am hoping that some of you fellow Weber WSM/ Vertical Bullet Smoker users on this forum can share some of your war stories regarding how you smoke  different meats with different cook times on the 2 grates (top and bottom) of the smoker?

    I am planning to smoke 1 pork butt (approx 14 hour cook time), and a couple racks of ribs (about 5 hour cook time). My initial thought was to place the pork butt on the bottom grate then, towards the end of pork butt's cook, I will add the ribs on the top grate (since I will be basting the ribs w/ BBQ Sauce).

    Is this how you guys normally do it? I am a little afraid that if my pork butt gets done early, I will have raw meat juices from the ribs dripping on my butt. I dont want to make anyone sick!

    On the other hand, it will be hard to access the ribs at the bottom grate (to baste with BBQ sauce) if i keep the butt on the top grate

    Appreciate the advise!

  2. ernesttbass

    ernesttbass Smoke Blower

    I have had similar dilemmas with my 18.5   I personally would do the butt on the top grate. 

    When it comes time to put the ribs on,  have a helper briefly hold the upper rack aside so you can put the ribs on the lower rack.

    As far as saucing goes,  it's normally only done in the last half hour of the cook to avoid burning the sugars.  

    By then your butt should be resting in a cooler giving you easy access to the ribs below.

    I hope this helps.

  3. Carlo

    The way your thinking will work just fine. Remember the juices won't start to drip untill the meat gets hot as well as the outside of the butt will already be hot. 

    Happy smoken.

  4. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Butts on bottom, ribs on top. Even with the ribs dripping a bit at first they are gonna be in there long enough and hot enough that it's gonna kill any bugs. I do that all the time - you don't want to be juggling racks to much or the dogs might be eating your dinner! [​IMG]
  5. ernesttbass

    ernesttbass Smoke Blower

    The more I rethink this, Mule and JIR are right. Ribs on the top.  You wouldn't want a big fatty butt rendering down on ribs.
  6. Hey thanks Ernesttbass, Mule, JIR.

    I will try it out this weekend. Last question :) Do you notice a significant increase in cook time when you cook on both grates? I figure as long as air can circulate (ie you are not blocking the air on the lower grate, then the meat will cook fine.
  7. ernesttbass

    ernesttbass Smoke Blower

    I have not experienced a significant increase in cook times using both racks.   
  8. Thanks!
  9. As long as you have air flow it won't matter if you have 5 pounds or 50 pounds of meat. 

    Happy smoken.

  10. ernesttbass

    ernesttbass Smoke Blower

    Hey JIRodriguez  I could use your advice as I'm always looking to improve.  

    Assuming all the food is too be served at the same time, what is your method to remove the butt on the bottom for it's rest period 

    without juggling the rack of ribs on the top and risking it all going to the dogs?  
  11. jbills5

    jbills5 Meat Mopper

    Get yourself a good prep table and set the ribs on it or, have a buddy near by to hold the grate of ribs.
  12. ernesttbass

    ernesttbass Smoke Blower

    jbills5     Thanks for the good advice.  Although I try to avoid moving racks around during a session, it just seems like sometimes it's part of owning a vertical charcoal smoker.
  13. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I suspect you have good plans for those two things you are cooking on your new smoker but here are a couple really popular methods many of us use for you to check out. Ok I couldn't easily find a good rib tutorial for you but it is simple. If they are Baby backs and not too meaty you do a 2-2-1 method on them. 2 hours on the smoker naked, 2 hours foiled with liquid of your choice, 1 hour back on the smoker to firm up a bit. If they are thick and meaty like spare ribs or st.louis style or loin backs. You will know, if they are very thick or large you do a 3-2-1 method. Same as above but a little more smoking time. Now this is all subjective and a general guidline so you kind of have to tailor those times to environmental factors and whatnot. I go to toothpick tender at the end and always end up with perfect ribs. When a toothpick slides in with no resistance they are done. Some folks swear by no foil ribs and it is totally up to you on that. In that case you just smoke them straight all the way to toothpick tender. I have had a hard time not drying baby back ribs out in this method so I always foil them now. If i am able to get really meaty ribs though with lots of fat content I will do them straight sometimes. Anyway good luck and have fun with that new toy.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015
  14. jbills5

    jbills5 Meat Mopper

    Agreed. I hate doing it as well and try to find ways to avoid doing it, but sometimes there is just to much meat to cook!!
  15. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have a 22.5" Weber Kettle that I just put my top rack onto while I tend to the lower rack..... that being not available then any table or extra pair of hands works fine. If you do place it on a table I suggest putting a couple of chunks of 2x4 to hold the rack above the table a few inches - just make sure they are either long enough or enough points of support to keep the grate stable.
  16. The 2x4s sound good. i have been balancing the top rack on the side of the wsm which i know is not the smartest thing to do. Most of the time, the family disappears whenever they sense im going to ask them for help. hahaha

    They seem to reappear though once they know the food is ready. [​IMG]

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