My First Smoked Babyback Ribs

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by psycho-smoker, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. psycho-smoker

    psycho-smoker Newbie

    Made my first babyback ribs in the Brinkman SnP. They came out terrific. I definitely benefited from the collective wisdom on this website so a huge thank you to everyone.

    First a bit of background. I made a couple of mods to the SnP based on suggestions received here.

    I raised the coal grate up about 6 inches:


    This allowed me to have some flexibility on how much I raised the grate. I could raise it higher or lower as needed.

    Then I made a wire-mesh coal box:


    I started out using all natural wood chacoal but soon switched to lump charcoal as the wood coals just burned way to fast and never got hot enough. The lump coals however burned forever and gave me WAY hotter temps. I'm sold on lump charcoal.

    I used the 3-2-1 method. I put extra virgin olive oil and Habanero spice rub on the ribs. For the moisture mix in the tin foil, I used a freshly squeezed lemon, melted butter and a bit more of the habanero spice rub all mixed together and lightly poured onto the ribs. I also placed three fresh Rosemary twigs into the foil as well. Then finished the last hour laid bare on the grill grate.

    These turned out fantastic. I made a you tube video of it (edited down to five minutes):

    Next up is a Boston Butt!!!
  2. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Those two mods right there makes a world of difference in controlling your fire.

    Nice vid-btw.

    For most folks that do babyback ribs they modify the 3-2-1 rule to 2-1.5-.5 as the 3-2-1 method will leave your babybacks falling off the bone.  But if that's the way you like them, then that's fine too.

    When I used to foil my ribs, I never took them out of the foil after the 2 hours- I just opened up the foil to expose the ribs to some more smokey goodness and to firm up the meat on the bone a bit.
  3. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Well both of your mods look like they will work just fine. Now go try them out.
  4. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Only issue I see, it the wire mesh is "Galvanized"

    Not a good thing in your smoker!!

  5. psycho-smoker

    psycho-smoker Newbie

    Hey Todd, can you help me out with your comment? What is the issue with galvanized and what should I do to improve it? Always looking to make things better.

    Dutch, I completely agree with you that the next time I do this, I will reduce the amount of time in the foil. The ribs came out great but I would like to lessen the moisture impact of the foil. I had already decided that the next time I would redue it to either 1 or 1.5 hours.

    Thanks everyone.
  6. thsmormonsmokes

    thsmormonsmokes Smoking Fanatic

    Galvanization is highly toxic when it burns.  It burns off quickly, usually within 40 minutes once you're burning hot (I think but don't hold me to that time b/c I'm not sure).  I also don't know if all the toxins go out the flue, or if any build up in your smoker.  The same is true with zinc coated stuff, which is why I've been really careful to use either plain steel or stainless in all my smoker mods.  It might cost a tad more, but totally worth it, IMO.

    Additionally, that metal looks pretty lightweight and I'll bet it burns through before too long.  You can buy expanded metal at Lowes or Home Depot and make a basket from that.  Quickest way is to cut out your 5 pieces and tie them together with bailing twine/tie wire, which you should also be able to pick up at a Lowes or Home Depot.  It's much more robust and you won't have to worry about the toxin issue.  Just make sure you're wearing good working gloves when handling expanded metal though.  You'll need stitches within 5 minutes if you don't.

    Nice video too, btw.  Very helpful. 

    Dumb question.  When you set up your minion basket, do you put chips/chunks throughout the unlit charcoal area, or are you tossing smoke wood in as you go to maintain smoke?  So far when I do minion cooking, I get plenty of smoke on the front end of my burn, but then I get straight heat coming out of the stack the rest of the time.  I haven't been able to maintain the thin blue stuff for long yet.
  7. psycho-smoker

    psycho-smoker Newbie

    Thanks a million for the explanation. I'll definitely get the expanded metal and build a new coal basket. Is expanded metal sold as a sheet roll (that's how I bought the wire for my current basket) or do I need to ask them specifically for it?

    I added smoke chips throughout the first three hours. I soaked them, then put them in tin foil then dropped them in every 45 minutes or so. I used a combination of Cherry wood (3/4's) and Mesquite (1/4). Seemed to work pretty well. Once I put the ribs in the tin foil, I stopped adding wood chips.

    Thanks for the help.
  8. thsmormonsmokes

    thsmormonsmokes Smoking Fanatic

    Expanded metal comes in sheets.  It's pretty rigid stuff so it doesn't roll particularly well, which is why it's easiest to cut out your 5 pieces and wire tie them together, as opposed to bending it into your basket shape like some people do.  A grinder with a cut off wheel works like a charm, or a beefy set of bolt cutters will do the trick to cut the stuff.  But like I said, wear gloves or plan on a trip to get stitched up.  You'll see what I mean when you get it.

    I've asked for it at every Lowes and Home Depot near where I live, and the kids working there never seem to know what I'm talking about.  They've all thought I was talking about metal lath, which is way too flimsy and often galvanized.  So don't let that discourage you if they tell you they don't have it because they probably do.  I've found it in every Lowes and Home Depot where they've told me they don't have it.  They usually keep it right next to their sheet metal, angle iron, flat iron, etc...  It's usually packaged in cardboard to protect the innocent.  Look for packaging that looks kind of like an air filter for your home furnace. 
  9. smokinal

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

    Great video & the ribs look fantastic!
  10. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    In addition to the "galvanized" issue, that thin wire mesh would not hold up long in a firebox anyway.  Expanded metal would be better on both counts (expanded steel, not aluminum).

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