First time doing ribs on a WSM

Discussion in 'Pork' started by mossymo, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here is a cook from this last Sunday, this was my first time doing ribs on a WSM and third time using the WSM since it was new. First time I seasoned it bacon and the second cook was a couple of pork butts for some pulled pork.

    It has been running 275º to 290º for me, even with all three vents closed. I think I need a few more cooks on it to tighten it up so I can control temps better. Plan on doing a tri-tip this weekend so if anyone has suggestions I am eager to learn!

    Here is the 22.5" WSM with about 12 lbs. of Stubb's charcoal. Filled the center with 15 lit briquette's and added a few hickory Mojo Bricks for smoke.


    Spare ribs trimmed and seasoned; this time with ribs I'm trying a different seasoning on each rack...
    - Simply Marvelous BBQ Spicy Apple Rub
    - Oakridge BBQ Secret Weapon
    - Owens BBQ Tatonka Dust


    On the grate with temp about 250º




    About an hour in my temps started raising to the 280º area and then at 2 hours the ribs were appearing to be drying and cooking faster than I am use to so I foiled for an hour and a half. Then to firm them up after the foil put the racks back on the grates for about a half an hour and also added some pheasant that was marinated overnight, then wrapped in bacon and put on kabobs.


    While everything tasted great, I was hoping for a little more smoke ring and hoping that will happen once I get the WSM cooking at lower temps.

    Here are a few plated pics served with a side of pasta and veggies....


    Thanks for looking!
  2. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Your ribs look awesome!

    One thing to note with the WSM (I have the 22.5" model as well) is that any time you pull the top off you are subject to lose control of the temperature.  This is known as the chimney effect with a vertical charcoal smoker and is rather unavoidable.  So, every time you open up to "spritz" your temp goes up, take a picture your temp goes up, peek at the meat your temp goes up!  Leave it really don't need to spritz ribs.

    Additionally, if you are running with the vents completely closed you are not getting enough air to the smoking wood.

    Also, try cutting back on the amount of coal in your ring and start the smoker with the vents barely open.  Then when you are loading the ribs or whatever, get some help.  Close all the vents, get the meat on as quickly as possible with the help I mentioned, and get the lid back on lickety split!!!

    Eventually you will build up some good grease that will help to seal up your smoker, but until then you can buy some high temp gasket tape for the door and maybe put a little more bend in that aluminum door...

    By the way...which ribs were the best?  I saw you used three different rubs.

    Good luck and let me know how it goes next time!

    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013
  3. Those look really good!!!
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great looking ribs! For the tri tip search some of my tri tip posts here. Can't go wrong with a great tri tip! JJ's Au jus goes great with tri tip. On the mini WSM I put the Au jus mix below the tri to catch all the good drippings!
  5. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I think my biggest issue with heat is the lid I noticed doesn't sit flush (flat) on a counter top so it is creating an air gap where you notice the smoke coming out around the lid in the pic and it just needs to get dirtier to seal up.

    I preferred the Tatonka Dust the most but that Simply Marvelous BBQ Spicy Apple Rub had a great flavor on the ribs also.
  6. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Gonna have to order some of that Tatonka Dust!  Where do you find Simply Marvelous?

    You should be able to return that lid.  I haven't had to use them but I hear that the Weber Customer service is really good to work with.  Can't hurt to try.

    Once you get that thing dialed in you are going to love it.

    What have you been using up to now for smoking?

  7. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey Bill, that Simply Marvelous BBQ Spicy Apple Rub you can get at bigpoppa smokers website .....simply-marvelous-spicy-apple-rub

    I'm doing a Tatonka Dusted Tri-tip right now on the WSM and I wrapped aluminum foil around the base of the lid and so far it seems much tighter. But I am going to get a hold of Weber customer service and see if they can do anything for me.

    Have a couple of MES's, quite a few Weber kettles, a Char-Griller Smokin Pro with side fire box, a Yoder YS640 and a 7 foot commercial stainless freezer I converted to a propane powered thermostatically controlled with auto pilot light for smoking sausage.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2013
  8. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Mossy....sorry but I had to edited your post here.  Jeff has updated the Terms of Service for SMF....Off site links are NOT allowed anymore.  Here is the part in the TOS that explains this.

    Jeff is the Boss Man....his rules. Kat

    Offsite Links

    Off-site links are not only discouraged but they are generally not allowed at SMF. If you post a link to another website, your own website or your best friend's website, it will probably be deleted.

    We have sponsors who pay to post their links and promote their products and it is just not fair to them if others are allowed to use the SMF as a way to promote their own websites. 

    The link you post to another site may be something you are doing to be helpful but it is still highly discouraged and unless it is the only way to help someone with their problem or question, it will probably be deleted.

    We have to be strict about this to prevent spam and unnecessary promotion and if you can't deal with that, then perhaps this is not the right place for you to hang out.

    Some exceptions to this rule:

    • premier members are allowed to post off-site links in their signature area. They are considered to be paying sponsors of the forum and pay for the right to do so.
    • Site sponsors are allowed to post links to their website, store, etc. in posts, articles, signature areas, etc. in order to promote their products.
    • There are some approved sites such as the USDA/FDA websites which we sometimes link to for food safety purposes.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2013
  9. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Yeah, the lids can be a little shaky....took a little while for mine to get enough grease to seal and it still doesn't seal all that tightly.  I like the idea of the aluminum around the lip!

    That is quite an arsenal of equipment my friend!  You cook for the whole neighborhood?  [​IMG]   My wife thinks I have too many with only one MES, the Char-Griller Smokin Pro, the WSM, a Weber Kettle, and a monster that we got from Sam's Club years ago.

    What's your favorite?

  10. I'll bet if you call Weber they'll send you a new lid and won't even ask you to return the other one.  My lid sits flat on the cooker and when I get a little too much grease build up it actually sticks it fits so well.  I heat it up and it comes unglued giving me a chance to wipe the lip down a bit. 

    If you still can't get temps down after about 10 cooks you can close the top vent a bit to help.  I always I keep the top vent open more that the bottoms to ensure I am drawing air thru the cooker, but I don't leave it 100% open as many suggest on lower temp cooks.

    Oh by-the-way, the ribs look great.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013

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