First time smoking anything"

Discussion in 'Pork' started by caradoc, May 13, 2014.

  1. caradoc

    caradoc Fire Starter

    Baby Back Ribs!

    Coated with Jeff's Rub (minus one ingredient I didn't have):

    Into the virgin smoker:

    Thinking about throwing some Italian sausage in there for about 3 hours, some potatoes the last hour or so, and maybe some corn on the cob, not sure how long for that though.  Toss some asparagus in some oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh cracked pepper and grill it up at the end.
  2. caradoc

    caradoc Fire Starter

    Quick question:  Have a lot of rub left over, does it need to be refrigerated?
  3. I don't refrigerate any of my rubs...
  4. caradoc

    caradoc Fire Starter


    225 degrees, applewood chips
  5. caradoc

    caradoc Fire Starter

    Prepping some corn on the cob -- butter, parmesan, and pepper:

    Out for saucing before/after:

    Back in with the sausage and some potatoes:

    corn will go in later
  6. Looks good man  [​IMG]
  7. caradoc

    caradoc Fire Starter

    Sauce is JD Honey Smokehouse thinned with apple juice
  8. caradoc

    caradoc Fire Starter

    End results visual:

    Results from eating:

    Potatoes were not done, completely inedible.  Cooked for just over 2 hours.

    Meat was fairly tender but not fork tender or falling apart tender. Nothing like pulled pork or braised short ribs at all.  Was also VERY dry.  Knew it the second I cut into it, I could see it.  Not sure why/how it happened.  Usually a symptom of overcooking/too hot but I was really worried about undercooking.  Unit temperature was fluctuating fairly widely from 215 to 240 but meat probe hanging in air was reading about 30 degrees lower than unit temperature.  Combined with the potatoes it really made me think maybe I dried the pork more than I cooked.

    Flavor was meh.  I was very worried about the family not liking it because it was too spicy, but it turned out that it had good but weak flavor.  Everyone liked the flavor, smoke was very mild in the ribs (but solid in sausage), the sauce flavor was pretty much nonexistent.  I used about 8 oz of sauce in all when I foiled and that's it, but it really could have used some dipping sauce or something. 

    Sausage came out best of the bunch, nice and solid but somewhat moist, solid smoke flavor that didn't overpower the sausage.  Might have been a bit overdone though.

    Corn was perfect.
  9. brooksy

    brooksy Master of the Pit

    Ribs can be tricky sometimes. Keep practicing and you'll get it down. They sure look good from this side of the screen.
  10. pdqgp

    pdqgp Newbie

    Look up the 2-2-1 method here.   2hrs in the smoker, 2hrs in a foil pan with some liquid an another 1hr back on the smoker.

    Did you have a water pan in the smoker?   Hard to tell.   Did you just wrap them in foil or did you put them in a pan to "steam" in some foiling juice of some type?  

    I did a set a few weeks back with the above and honestly the second 2hrs is where the fall apart tender goodness comes into play.   My were pull off the bone tender not fall apart mushy tender too.  Perfect for my liking.    My only modification is that I am going to add BBQ Sauce to that last hour of slow cooking.  I didn't do that last time and the part on the lower of the two racks I used was a bit less moist.    I'll rotate them on 30 minute increments for that last hour too.
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  11. knifebld

    knifebld Smoking Fanatic

    You got some good advice form the above comments. Broosky is absolutely right, just don't give up! From what I have read in the forums, even the more seasoned smokers are still learning something at every smoke. :) I did some baby backs about a month ago and they were to die for (according to my family), yet I still thought they could be perfected.

    Just play around and have my opinion, it would not be nearly as fun if there was not something to learn and perfect every time!


  12. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Yup, use the 2-2-1 method on the ribs and they'll be falling apart like crazy. Bones will pull right outta them!
  13. yotzee

    yotzee Smoking Fanatic

    I was worried about the cook time on your potatoes when you said putting them in for 2 hours. 225 is not a good temp for baking a tater and I didnt think 2 hours would do it.

    There is a lot of trial and error involved with smoking. Step 1 is throw cooking by time out the window. Step 2 is 225 isnt a golden rule. Baby Backs can handle a little higher heat.
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hi Caradoc!!

    Below is a link to one of my BabyBacks smokes. Compare it to what you did, and maybe it will help on your next one.


    Baby Back Ribs

    yotzee likes this.
  15. knifebld

    knifebld Smoking Fanatic

    Always a good bet to follow Bear's step by steps. Used it first my first baby backs and they turned out awesome!
  16. caradoc

    caradoc Fire Starter

    I did the 221, in foil for two hours sealed.  Had water pan too.  Basically followed Bears steps, down to the second position in rack, used jeffs rub and sauce as described above. When I took the foil off there was a  lot of liquid in it juices/sauce.  Gotta ponder this one.
  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You could have overcooked it.

    If you're using the MES digital read-outs as accurate, that could be at least part of your problem.

    The second generation MES that you have is notorious for uneven temps, like one side 50* higher than the other side, but they're also known for having inaccurate therms, so you wouldn't know what the actual temp is, unless you have a separate set of wireless digital therms, like the Maverick ET-732 or similar unit.

    I have the 1st generation MES 40, which is more accurate & even, but I still use a Maverick for accuracy.

    I also have a heat deflector plate above the heating element. Then since the MES sensor is on the right, I put my Maverick sensor on the left. If the left is higher, I lower the left side of the deflector. If the right side is higher, I raise the left side of the deflector plate. The plate blocks the heat from going straight up from my heating element, and when I lift the left side, it directs more of the heat over to the middle & left side of the smoker.

  18. If you marinate your ribs before applying your rub, for about 14 to 18 hours, you finished ribs will have much more flavour.

    What you do is marinate, remove from marinate, do not rinse, apply your rub glue, be it Mustard, Honey, Oil or whatever, then your Rub.  Now wrap tightly in Plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.  The next day, get your smoker up and running, remove the ribs from the fridge, unwrap and if needed, apply more rub.  Then smoke them, 2 - 2 - 1 for Baby Backs and  3 - 2 - 1  for St Louis style ribs  The first Number is Bare, full smoke full temp.  The second number is wrapped in foil, along with whatever you want to put in there and the last number is where you let it dry out and put what BBQ sauce or other finishing sauce on them. Not one of them numbers is a hard, follow religiously type of number.  They are all just guidelines for a cook.  They can very by 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the ribs being cooked.

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