"ATGNI" - All the Gear, No Idea! Saturday 7:30 am Leave Telford in our yellow VW camper van for the 2.5 hour trip down to High Wycombe. Interesting trip, including triggering an impromptu VW meet at a Services on the Motorway, nearly hitting a rather large Muntjac Dear... and witnessing someone hitting/killing a Muntjac Dear (was VERY tempted to stop and take it with us!) Arrived at a smoker addicts house to pickup the 12 month/8 cook old Weber 47 he had for sale, as he was upgrading. Was amazed to find he had pulled "a few other bits" together for me, included in the £250. Weber 47 (mint condition) Weber 47 cover 1.7 bags of Weber coal 1 bag of Weber apple wood 0.7 bag of Hickory 1 bag organic apple wood 2 boxes Oak wood & Oak "starter lumps" 1 Weber 47 lid gasket (unused) 1 Weber chimney starter ...... And..... a 10cfm Rock's BBQ WiFi Stoker II kit!!!!! ALL for £250. I just couldn't believe it. The gent said he was happy to let someone who was going to get into smoking have all the kit. Due to a bad back he was moving onto a pellet smoker setup. Very grateful for his generosity. Trip back was less eventful. (Was still tempted to pick up the Dear, as we drove past it on the way back) But we DID also nearly hit a bloody pheasant, which I WOULD have picked up! Popped into "The Range" for grab a few bags of Aussie Heat beads and a bag of Apple Wood (for my Father in law as all my talk of Smoking has caused HIM to start!) Bar-code on the Apple wood wouldn't work, so the girl on the checkout just put it through as £3. ANOTHER bargain! Got home and unloaded to check out my haul. Building a collection under the BBQ stand. Cold box smoker is covered with a green tarp, Gasser is VERY neglected BUT it does prove useful for something, early on Sunday morning. Can you guess what? During the week, I had also built up a collection of bits for the big day on Sunday. My superb local butchers G. N. Badley supplied a Jacobs Ladder of 5 HUGE Beef Ribs.... 3.4kgs £20! Another Bargain.... Cut away the two end large ribs, so they would hopefully cook quicker. But the three together will be plenty for the for of us to share. Salt & Pepper rub, Saturday night. Maverick ET732, pair of cheap thick rubber gloves, temp gun (had it from other projects), plenty of catering foil. and the star buy? The Super-fast Thermapen 3. Why was it a bargain? Usually £48. Well, it's marked up for fish/shellfish and if you look closely, the fish icon is printed over the Thermapen raised logo. So, ETI put it on eBay for £20 delivered! Total bargain. Had a look at the WSM47, very clean but seasoned. Perfect. Lined the pan but decided to not fill it with sand or water (a decision that will actually help, later in the cook) Going to need to go back and fit either the gasket or an upgraded door. Look at the gap! Going Minion. With a spot of Oak. Setup the Maverick..... Everything setup and ready, Saturday night. Sunday 6:00 am ..... lunch scheduled for 2:30. Meat out of the fridge, while I light the coals. Let it come up to room temp. First attempt to light the chimney with paper failed miserably, so I found a use for the gasser! Once they were going, transferred them to the WSM, so it didn't melt through the cheapo gasser. Really impressed with it, never used one before. Going to take one with us next time we are camping for lighting camp fires etc. Knocking the loose rub off the ladder, while using the remote to keep an eye on the temps. What a bloody marvelous thing! Waited for a while till the coals took before putting the Oak in. Perfect temp! ---------------- Sunday 07:00 Beef hits the grill for the first time. The picture below is SO annoying and it comes back to bite me. Can anyone guess what I have done wrong/badly here? Everything is running smoothly, sitting at 250ish for 45 mins. All good. Then, the alarm goes off on the "low" sensor of the Maverick. Temp plummets! So I open all the vents to try and get the temp up. Come out to check it as the temp isn't climbing.... and the WSM gauge is off the charts!!! 320+ Backed up by the temp gun on the lid. Very confused. Still, the Maverick and Weber lid gauge can't be that far out, can they? I SHOULD have spotted that the food temp was still going up, as the grill temp was going down. Finally decide to open the lid to see what is going on, which I should have done much sooner. A rib had fallen onto the temp gauge and was causing a false reading!!!! (Go on, hands up who guessed that from the earlier pic?) So, then the battle to drop the temp from 320+... closing all the vents didn't have any instant effect, so I opted to fill the (currently empty but foil wrapped) pan with cold water. Which did exactly what I needed it too and knocked 80f from the temp, letting me bring it back up to 250. MASSIVE lesson learned on not only temp gauge location but also temp control and what to trust and when to physically check things, rather than just relying on read outs. I misted them with Apple Juice every 45 mins or so. 2 more hours of pretty much perfect 250f. Sky was just relaxing, enjoying the lovely smells ------------ Sunday 10:30 3 hours after going on, they came off to be wrapped in foil. Gave them another cheeky spray with apple juice. Looking superb. Bone starting to come away... Beginnings of some bark. Wrapped, probed and ready for another 2 hours. Started making my way through my relax/chill-out juice. Yup, still only 11am... but it's Sunday and I "needed" it after the mess up I had made. ---------------- Sunday 12:45 Unwrapping them, they are looking superb. Back on for another hour, if not more. Till the "sexy wobble" appears. This thing is SO easy to control. Decided to drain the water from the pan, to let me shut the vents a bit and save on some fuel. ------------ Sunday 2:30 Took off the three ribs together and loosely covered them with foil. Let them settle a bit. Closed all the vents on the WSM and left the other two ribs on as they were still a little way off. Moist? Just a little. Went for Mac'n'Cheese with spicy gherkins. Took the other two off the grill and covered them in the kitchen. The WSM was pretty much cold, less than an hour later. Very impressed with how fast it cooled down. ------------ Sunday 20:30 Feeling peckish? Spot of horseradish with some nice fresh sliced baguette. Oh yes! -------------------- So, the result. I got an amazing deal on pretty much everything I bought. VERY happy with the amount of hardware I have for relatively very little outlay. Very happy with how much control you get with the WSM. Super easy to use and control. The Maverick is a "must have" lets you sit and watch TV/drink cider and relax... As long as you trust your instincts and setup the probes right! If I am 100% honest, the meat was a little tough on the upper/outside section, just below the bark. This must be down to it being too hot when I messed up the temp gauge. I used 50% ground pepper, as I ran out of corns to crack (bad prep) so the bark itself was OVERLY peppery (which I didn't think was even possible with beef but it is!) Saying that, it was STILL the best rib (pork or beef) I have ever tasted (outside of the States) and I know I can only get better. Only one question really... what next!