First smoke - ribs - TRAGEDY!

Discussion in 'Pork' started by inpsychout, May 21, 2012.

  1. inpsychout

    inpsychout Newbie

    Have to post this story. Hope no one cries.

    I decided to do a test-run of my CG Duo with side fire box on Saturday evening, so I loaded up my charcoal basket a little more than halfway, fired up a chimney of coals, and dumped her in. About that time, my wife got home from the store and surprised me with a single rack of St. Louis style spare ribs. So I quickly prepared them and threw some dry rub on them, let them sit on the counter long enough for the smoker to start to come up to temp, threw some hickory chunks on, and put on the ribs. I have no idea what kind of temps I'm going to get, since I haven't fired it up since the original burn in, but I figured I'm a smart guy, I can work the air vents to control temps.

    I'll keep the long story short. There are a couple of key points. First, all of the paint immediately melted off the top of my fire box when the hickory chunks caught fire. No biggie, I was expecting that. Second, I had a little bit of a hard time keeping the temps below about 270, with some fluctuation across the grate of around 10-15 degrees, but generally the temps held pretty steady considering I'm a total noob at this. I was able to bring the temps down after a while by almost completely closing the intake air vent, but I think next time I'll just use a little less coal in the chimney to keep the burn a little bit slower.

    The ribs were done (by feel) in about 4.5 hours, whereas I was expecting 6. But they looked juicy, delicious, tender, bent 90 degrees... I even snuck a probe between two big ribs and got a nice internal temp of about 185. So I pulled them off, but it was after midnight, so I wrappe tightly in foil and put them in the fridge to have with my wife and sister-in-law for lunch the next day.

    So, the tragedy?  I woke up sometime in the wee hours of Sunday morning puking my guts out from some kind of food poisoning, and I haven't been able to even think about eating those ribs. The best we can figure, it was some potato salad I ate that no one else did. I was scared to death that it was the flap of meat that I cut off the ribs and smoked along with them, only I shared that, so we would have all gotten sick. It was delicious, by the way.

    So it's probably not a total loss... as long as I can stomach the idea, we'll have those ribs for dinner tonight, reheated in the oven. It won't be the same as hot off the grill, but I'm still looking forward to it. I tried to convince my wife and sis-in-law to go ahead and have them for lunch yesterday, but they couldn't bear the thought of eating them while I was covered with a blanket struggling to keep water down. I'll be sure to pop back on and give the final verdict about how the first smoke went.
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
  2. dnic

    dnic Fire Starter

    That is a tragedy.
  3. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    At least they waited for you.... my wife and kids would have tossed me under the bus for a rack of ribs! LOL
  4. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Sorry about the bad luck you had! Hope you're feeling better and are able to enjoy some of your first smoke. It's not the same but, they taste pretty darn good even when reheated. You should see some of the looks and hear the comments, whenever I take leftover ribs for lunch.

  5. pvillecomp

    pvillecomp Fire Starter

    LOL Your's and mine both! 

    At least you will get to eat them. 
  6. inpsychout

    inpsychout Newbie

    Had them with dinner tonight. Still a little touch-and-go with the nausea, so I took it easy. One rack, split among three adults, was just about perfect tonight. Ordinarily, I wouldn't bat an eye at taking down at least a half rack myself.

    Gotta say, even left over, these were definitely the best ribs I've had in some time. I lived in Memphis for a year from 2008-2009, and I made it a point to get to know a little about ribs while we were there.  Haven't had ribs as good as those since we moved away, but these came pretty close!  I even got ribs at a "smokehouse" restaurant in north-central Indiana on Mother's Day, but they didn't hold a candle to these. Not bad for my first go-round. And they were the first ribs my 25-year-old sister-in-law has ever (yes, EVER!) had, and she couldn't stop raving about them.

    My own critique... a little more bark on the outside than I really like... maybe need to baste them every so often with a mop sauce next time. Smoke flavor was good, if maybe the teeniest bit bitter. But both the gals said the flavor was perfect. Came clean off the bone with just a gentle pull, which surprised me since they cooked in 1.5 hours less than I expected. But the texture of the meat was really pleasant. If I had gotten these at a restaurant (around here, anyway), I'd be really pleased.

    Now we'll see if I make it through the night without a repeat of my bout of praying to the porcelain goddess. If that happens, I may never be able to eat BBQ again, so keep your fingers crossed for me.  But so far, so good. :)
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
  7. bigwayne

    bigwayne Smoke Blower

    4.5 hours at 270, they should be done.  6 hours is only going to be the right time at a lower temp.

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