My first time out--baby back ribs

Discussion in 'Grilling Pork' started by kgb1, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. kgb1

    kgb1 Smoke Blower

    I'm new here, so if this isn't the appropriate forum, please let me know.

    This weekend was my first time out smoking.  I thought I would briefly share, as I'm fairly proud of how things turned out.

    I am using an older Char-Griller smoker with the side fire box (which I got from my Dad a year ago).

    I started the night before.  I prepared a batch of Jeff's Naked Rib Rub.  Thanks Jeff--as advertised, it was awesome.  I was liberal in my rub.  Not so much a rub, but a coating.  :)   I left them overnight.

    The next day I fired up the smoker.  I used Hickory wood chunks for both smoke and heat source.  While it all worked out in the end, it was tricky to keep the temp within a proper range.  A lot of figeting with the wood and dampers and such--but I know practice makes perfect.

    I sprayed them down with vinegar each hour.  6 hours later, they were ready to come off.

    I must say (again, for a first-timer) they turned out great.  Good smoker flavor, 1/4 inch smoke ring, moist, tender, no sauce needed.  I'm very encouraged.

    I'm thinking a few more rib trials under my belt, and I'll feel confident enough to start trying other things.

    Lessons learned:  I believe with my fire box, small wood logs might work better than the wood chunks.  I'm hoping that may help with keeping more consistant temp control.  Now I just have to find a place to buy wood logs.

    Happy smoking.
  2. Good job on the first run!
  3. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    looks great. Don't get too nuts over constant temp. Tough to do with that smoker anyway. Once you learn the quirks of the char griller you'll have temps pretty steady anyway. Glad to have u here and happy smokin.
  4. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Great looking babybacks!

    Good job!

  5. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Ribs!!! Yummmmmm :biggrin:

  6. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    IMHO wood logs arent going to work. there isnt enough airflow to keep the wood burning with such a small fire box. I dump a full lit large chimney of charcoal brickets just to get the smoker started and then dump another full lit chimney and add small wood chunks right near the air intake so it will burn and I get a good 2 hrs at 225 to 250 before I have to re fuel. I use a full bag of charcoal for 6 to 8 hrs of cooking. I only smoke for 2 hrs. You might want to read up on some mods like some baffles and extending your stak down to the grate... heres a more advanced mod I did with my braunfel

    Oh... Nice looking ribs...

    Good luck and happy smoking

  7. kgb1

    kgb1 Smoke Blower

    Thanks Joe.
    I mentioned logs partly because I read Char-Griller's suggestion of logs from their web site for that model. Again, I intend to practice a lot. :)
  8. beaummiler

    beaummiler Meat Mopper

    for the money they are not bad have had mine for 5yrs and had great resaults check the mods make a firebazket and a new therm a few runs and you will figure it out pretty quick nice ribs for first time keep it up it only gets better
  9. kgb1

    kgb1 Smoke Blower

    Thanks baummiler for the encouragement. You are absolutely right. I did some of the mods as posted, had a few more trials under my belt, and smoked some awesome ribs for our 4th of July block party. This forum and all the people who post here are an amazing help. I appreciate it.

    Happy smoking.
  10. jeoberg

    jeoberg Smoke Blower

    I've used small logs in my char-griller and I have better success keeping the temps even. Split logs between 6 and 8 inches long, 2 to 3 inches wide seem to work the best. I first tried this with pecan and hickory splits I found at a local farm store.
  11. jeoberg

    jeoberg Smoke Blower

    I do use lump charcoal start the fire and again after I foil. So far, that is cheaper for me. After I get some firewood cut and collected, I will probably just use charcoal to get it going. I haven't found anything as easy or quick as charcoal in a chimney.
  12. kgb1

    kgb1 Smoke Blower

    Thanks jeoberg. I have not been able to get my hands on split logs yet. I have been using wood chunks. They're usually 2-3 inch cubed. But I have also started using a small chimney of lump charcoal to get things started and provide a more consistent bed of embers to keep the wood chunks going. This seems to give me a much better control of the temps. I can keep cooking temps in range much better with less violent and quick changes from low to high and back again.
  13. jeoberg

    jeoberg Smoke Blower

    I've used chunks too, but I go through those quickly. The splits give longer more controlled burns for me.
  14. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I recently watched the fire building video below. It shows the pitmaster lighting a basket of Charcoal using the Minion Method and then placing very large Wood Chunks between the firebox wall and the Charcoal Basket and a smaller chunks periodically on the Charcoal. It made some pretty TBS, generated Smoke a long time and didn't flame up until he opened the door for the camera operator to give us a look. This may be of benefit to you as well...JJ

    To my fellow Moderators...I am posting a Link to the Video as multiple attempts to Embed it has failed... 
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
  15. Great looking Ribs!

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