Cooking Ribs on top and bottom grates in WSM??? Have to rotate?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by nickm62388, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. nickm62388

    nickm62388 Fire Starter

    I want to get back into smoking, and ribs are always my favorite. I have the 18inch WSM, and only ever cooked one rack of ribs on the top grate. Is there a method or way to cook a bunch of racks of ribs on both bottom and top racks? Do they have to get rotated halfway through from bottom rack to top or can they just sit on both racks the whole smoke? Obvy the ones on lower grate will cook faster. I have always done the 3-2-1 method but realized for the size of the baby rack ribs i have around my way thats to long, they turn out mushy. So I'm going to try it to a 2-1-2 or 3-1-1 method so I'm only doing a 5 hour smoke at about 225 degrees. Any tips or pointers? Plz help 

  2. lancep

    lancep Master of the Pit

    Hey Nick, I have a 18.5 as well and have smoked quite a few multi racks. I run with a full water pan so it may be different if you run dry. I will rotate as a matter of operational ease but I've never noticed any real difference. It's just faster to foil the top rack slabs and then throw them on the bottom rack when I pull those slabs. If that makes sense. With baby backs, most people seem to do 2,2,1. Currently, I'm partial to 4,1, Sear for spares so I guess I would adapt that to 3,1,Sear for backs. Rib racks could alter this a little so if you want to smoke more than 3-4 slabs you might have to play with it a little. Of course, dialing in Your perfect rib is half the fun and definitely what drives me. Happy hunting!
  3. nickm62388

    nickm62388 Fire Starter

    Hanks for the advice. I always use water pan so there's nice steam and moisture to keep the food nice n juicy
  4. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    I have a WSM 22 and i have done spares on top and bottom same time no problem. i run with the water pan covered in foil and find the air pocket makes a nice heat shield for the whole smoker. My ribs come out juicy and tender using 3-2-1 or a modified version. I do not rotate the ribs but if you did i don't think it would hurt them any might cook little more even. if i am doing a lot of ribs i have a rib/roast rack that you can put 4 racks of ribs on and they cook good on the bottom or top rack either way.

    here is the rack

    the rack is in roast mode with a foil pan underneath but you get the idea

    its made by weber and its about $25 on amazon

     Here are some ribs after the foil with some sauce you can see i have ribs foiled underneath i leave them foil  a little longer because the lower rack runs a touch cooler.

    Experiment and get to know your smoker and how you like to make your food. have fun with it enjoy!

    Happy Smoking,
  5. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I run ribs on both racks no problem on my 22.5" WSM, for big parties I even have rib racks for both top and bottom and have had up to 12 racks going a one time. Only drawback is the ribs at the end of the rib racks can git a tad crisped on the ends because the heat is coming up the sides of the smoker, but other than that it works fine. I personally run around 250° and leave the ribs unfoiled for the entire cook. Then right at the end I sauce them and toss them onto my Weber Kettle to caramelize the sauce a bit - plus it puts a nice crust on the ribs.
  6. nickm62388

    nickm62388 Fire Starter

    Wow great advice and pointers I appreciate it deeply and excited to try. IVe always seen the rib racks and been interested to try them since u can't fit to many laying down on the 18inch WSM. I always use water in my water pan that came with the WSM. I'm
    Def going to try the 2-1-2 method or 3-1-1 method so their not mushy like last time I smoked. 6 hours was to long for my baby back ribs
  7. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    For the 18" WSM you may have to cut your racks in half to fit them on the rib rack and still have them fit in the smoker. But I have seen a shot or two where folks kind of wove them in the rack to get them to fit:


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