Having an Issue with Ribs on WSM.....

Discussion in 'Grilling Pork' started by skyclad, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. skyclad

    skyclad Fire Starter

    Hello to all smokeLovers!

    I've been smoking turkeys, chickens, etc. for awhile now, but only recently tried smoking a rack of spare ribs..  Overall they turned out great, but I noticed that on the ends of the ribs (where the heat is hottest coming up around the waterPan and around the edges) they got not burned, but pretty damned close..  What do you guys suggest I do to fix this little problem..?  Maybe some aluminum foil over the tips?  I really have no idea..........that's why I'm asking you guys about this...!  Thanks in advance for any info you might have...
  2. drewed

    drewed Meat Mopper

    Are you cooking them flat or using a rib rack?   I use a rib rack, two actually.  I also cut my racks in half so they fit better.
  3. slipaway

    slipaway Meat Mopper

    I use an offset so I get hot spots quite often.

    I usually just keep turning the ribs so that the most under-smoked end is at the fire.

    I know you are not supposed to open the smoker but when you got hot spots you don't have any choice.

    I do not use a rib rack. I like them laying flat and I foil about half the time and that's tough to do with a rack....

    You could try putting some foil on the ends but I think you will find that that is more work than it is worth.

    Keep your temp low and turn your ribs every once in a while.

    Anyway, that's my advice............
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Any sugar in your rub? What temp are you running your WSM at when doing ribs? Are you using the built in therm or a remote therm to read pit temps? Are running a dry out or water in the water pan?

    Can you show us some photos.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
  5. skyclad

    skyclad Fire Starter

    Thanks to all you guys for your responses back on this..  It's given me lots to consider the next smoke with regard to spare ribs..

    To answer some of your questions of my setUp here, I do not have a rib rack (have considered buying one), so laying the ribs out flat.........which is the main problem due to the tips being in the edge of the smoker where it's much hotter..  Also, yes there is sugar in my rub (Jeff's Rub I purchased from him online........good stuff!)..  The temps that I usually run is right at 250, and despite all I've heard (and believe) from folks posting about the temp deviation issue from the factory therm and a "grate level" thermometer...........the temps are ALWAYS the same..  I've checked this multiple times..  Really don't know what else to say on that issue except maybe I'm lucky on that one...:)..  I use a water pan full of water each time I smoke too, so should have plenty of humidity inside smoker..

    In the future I will definitely move the ribs around some on the smoker..  Before when I had this problem I didn't touch them, since it was my first smoke of ribs, so a bit on edge about it..........leaving things in place..  Time to experiment I think!

    Thanks again, and if you have any more suggestions given the above additional info, please let me know...
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    First I'd say try a rub without sugar in it. Maybe just SPOG (salt pepper onion garlic). That pretty much my go to rub.

    I smoke ribs in the WSM with the pit running anywhere from 250-300. Never have burnt ribs. I also do not use water in the water pan. I prefer a dry smoker (this holds true for every thing I smoke).

    I very rarely sauce ribs. When I do I apply the sauce the last 45-30 minutes.

    Many like to use the 2-2-1 or 3-2-1 method for ribs. I prefer to smoke pork ribs the entire time on the grate no foil. Beef ribs I do use the 3-2-1 method as I feel they really benefit from the braise when wrapped.

    Start analog book and note everything you do with each smoke. Make one change each time until you get the results you want.
  7. Howdy skyclad, using some heavy duty aluminum foil, temporarily on the tips of your ribs will help get rid of the scorched end pieces that extend past the lip of the water pan. The heat comes up around this space, between the lip of the pan and edge of the smoker, and can scorch the ends. Just cap the ends with some heavy duty foil until the ribs draw up some. The foil then can be removed, helping to eliminate the scorched ends. Another thing is, when trimming your ribs, shorten, and square up the end of the tail of the ribs so they don't extend past the edges of the water pan. Cook these lil Chef treats for yourself.
  8. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I tuck a couple ribs under to keep away from the edges. Works fine!

    If there is a rule that says all ribs need to be laid out flat, I have not heard it [​IMG]  
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
    willy2763 likes this.
  9. smokinal

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

    You didn't say what size WSM you have. If It's smaller than the 22.5, then I would suggest cutting the racks in half instead of using rib racks. The WSM is definitely hotter on the edge than it is in the middle. If you cut the rack in half you can put the thickest parts toward the edge. This works for me. Hope I helped you.

    willy2763 likes this.
  10. I've found the stock thermometer to be spotty. Sometimes it's close, sometimes it's way off. I use water in the bowl for ribs, run the WSM at 225-250 and they are done in 5 hours more or less, no foiling. How long have you been smoking yours?

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