Multiple racks of baby backs on an 18.5 WSM...questions about temp between upper and lower rack.

Discussion in 'Pork' started by engineer68, May 28, 2015.

  1. engineer68

    engineer68 Newbie

    I am going to smoke (18.5 WSM) 4 full racks of baby backs for the first time, previously only done 1 or 2 at a time. What advice would you give regarding the temp difference between the upper and lower rack? Should I rotate the meat periodically? I have done 3-2-1 and 2-2.5-1 and been very happy with the results but would like to try "No foil" just on the smoker naked for the entire cook. Should I use the water pan or sand etc. etc. It's an important cook because it's my father's b-day and I don't want to mess it up so any and all advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. heyer5

    heyer5 Meat Mopper

    I have the same smoker and have ran 4 racks at once, I don't rotate, just due to the hassle of doing it.  There is a bit of temp difference, but I've never seen it overly noticeable.  Also, I've always taken all the racks off at the same time, and they've been at a pretty equal level of doneness.  One thing to be aware of, if you decide to go naked, is that you'll probably want to flip the ribs occasionally, to prevent one side from getting over done and getting a nasty bark (I love bark, don't get me wrong, I'm talking about burnt bark) developed.  
  3. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    I'd use the wsm as a pbc and hang the ribs. Take out the water pan, they won't burn.  I just did some spares in my jumbo mini which is wsm 18" size and they did great.   The hooks are just cut and bent from steel and easy.   Just an option for you anyway...It does work!

    This cook last night was with my mini, the lid just sat on top of the rebar and it works great the cooker keeps temp and get's  plenty of exhaust.

    This cook i hung from the Weber hinged grate and you the lid sits on the cooker like normal but now i'm sold on just laying rebar over the top of the cooker and the lid on that.
  4. engineer68

    engineer68 Newbie

    Thanks for the input, do you use the water pan? Do you remove it entirely or fill it with sand or rocks? How long did you cook for and at what temp? Is it harder to control temp with no water?
  5. magnus

    magnus Fire Starter

    the top rack cooks quicker at a somewhat higher temp in my 18" wsm, which is perfectly okay. If the ribs are naked, and you choose to put them on the top rack, make sure they have moisture. Mop it, spray it, add margarine/butter, whatever is fine. Otherwise those suckers will dry up quick on the top rack. I also prefer to fill up the water pan as much as possible.

    smokin a pork butt along with the ribs provides another option. Put the ribs in an aluminum pan, or make one yourself using heavy duty foil. Place the ribs on the bottom rack. The butt then goes on the top rack. As the butt cooks all those juices will fall onto the ribs and in the foil pan. I have tried this method a few times. It works but can be a pain in the arse. The time when it did not work can be chalked up to user error :pDT_Armataz_01_09:

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