First Smoke on New WSM

Discussion in 'Pork' started by jaxty, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. Well - I seasoned the WSM Saturday, then had to get some meat on 'er Sunday.  Picked up a few racks of baby back ribs, and one rack of side rid (they were not the best cuts I've seen by far…).

    I used the 3-2-1 method as outlined in Jeff's book, using the Big Bald BBQ Rub from the book as well.  I used a couple of chunks of hickory, as well as some pecan chips (they were soaked in water for 1/2 hour).  No water in the WSM water bowl.

    The seasoned ribs waiting for the bus...

    Loading the WSM and the chimney...

    Waited for this...

    Put them on and had this (maybe a few of them…)

    6 hours later - ended up with these...

    My analysis - the ribs tasted fantastic, they were finished (glazed) with a store bought sauce.  The family loved them.  However, I have accomplished way better ribs on my charcoal Q (Aussie Walkabout), in the past.  Why?  The ribs ended up a bit dry, I should have done the 2-2-1 method instead, as they were very lean, and on the smallish size, and perhaps tried getting the temp to a bit lower - knowing now that he thermometer reads slightly off what the actual temperature is at each rack (**note to self - get two new thermometers).

    What I learned - patience - I did not once peek as they were smoking, even when nosy neighbours popped over to see what was up.  I also learned that I bought an awesome smoker that I got dialled in to a temp I thought I wanted, and it stayed there for the entire 6 hours with little to no fluctuations, that recovered quickly when I opened to transfer to foil, then back out of foil.

    What's next?  More ribs (better quality, lower temps).  And the wife wants a brisket… so I gotta plan for that one.

    All in all, I ate tasty ribs, had some beer, and learned some good information.

    Thanks all for the advice!!

  2. Never trust the stock thermometer on your WSM. Mine was off by as much as 50*. The temperatures were more than likely much higher than was shown on the thermometer in the lid. Thus causing the ribs to be on the dry end of the spectrum. 

    Keep faith in your WSM. It will produce some amazing BBQ.
  3. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Jax I didn't see were you wrapped them in foil and 3-2-1 is for spares not baby backs

  4. Richie - no pics of the wrap, unfortunately.  The wrap only had the ribs and apple juice as per the recipe.  And I realized part way through, my ribs were not spares, as the recipe called for… like i said I learned a lot - the temp, cut of meat, the time.  Only one way to get better - get back on the horse.  They were tasty though!
  5. Thanks SF - I'll keep at it.  I read about trusting the stock thermometer issues, I just wanted to get something on and done so someone in the house knew it wasn't just a new toy!

    I'm very happy with the WSM and the way it held the temp.
  6. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Jax that is a good attitude keep it,you learn from your mistakes and they are still eatable. I am also a new user of the WSM and I used mine to make Pastrami yesterday.I did get a Guru for it and it really makes,set it and forget it.

  7. damon555

    damon555 Smoking Fanatic

    Yup.....You need to use a different thermometer to monitor your temps. The built-in ones are usually off by quite a bit. 

    Next time rub the ribs down, get the smoker going, put the ribs on and don't bother looking for at least 5 hours (@225 degrees)....then look for the meat to pull back from the bones or do the bend test, which is explained many times on this site, to check for to see if they are done. Sauce them a few times the last hour or so too if you like. Viola, perfect ribs every time with none of the hassle. Well, it's not really that easy but with practice you'll be putting out a perfect product every time.
  8. brgbassmaster

    brgbassmaster Meat Mopper

  9. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Looks like a pretty good smoke for your first try!

    A couple more times & you'll be a pro!

  10. Thanks Damon, Al, Bassmaster - already got my eye out for new thermometers!  Need one for the top and one for the middle rack.

    I'm sure I'll nail this… lots of great help here.

    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016

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