St. Louis Cut Spare Ribs with New Set-up

Discussion in 'Pork' started by smoking4fun, Apr 18, 2015.

  1. smoking4fun

    smoking4fun Smoke Blower

    Well, I finally got around to making my first mods on my MES30 smoker last night...of course, the ribs and butt in the fridge were good motivation. I got the industrial cart that put the smoker at a higher point for easy access...and wheels! I also put together a mailbox mod since I've never been able to keep my AMNPS lit inside the smoker.

    So I rubbed down 3 racks of St. Louis style spare ribs with my secret rub, in the smoker at 225-235 for the 3-2-1 method with a hickory/pecan mix. Pictures to come when I get to my computer.
  2. smoking4fun

    smoking4fun Smoke Blower

    Here is my new set-up.  I cut a hole in the back of the mailbox (tried tin snips, but that wasn't working...except for giving me a few good cuts, so I used a rotary tool with a cut-off attachment since I couldn't find a 3" hole saw blade around the house and didn't feel like spending $12 for a 1-use cut).  I used a 3" elbow where I snipped about 1" deep all the way around the end going into the mailbox and half of the snips stayed against the back of the mailbox and the other half were bent on the inside - there were noticeable gaps/holes between the hole I cut at the elbow at the back of the mailbox, but when the smoker was running, there was enough suction/updraft that there was no smoke escaping any of the gaps. 

    I also got the industrial-sized cart from Amazon:

    I used the 3rd shelf from the cart to give the bottom of my mailbox a little bit of air - but I'm going to cut the shelf in half later and do something with each half...unfortunately, the mailbox is too long to fit front-to-back on the shelf next to the smoker.

    Here's an internal view of the MES30 smoker itself:

    I removed the chip tray, and used a disposable aluminum pan that I cut up to cover the heating elements.  The 3" elbow that is attached to the tube from the mailbox is shown entering the right side of the smoker.  I filled my water pan with sand, wrapped it with foil, and cut another disposable pan to put over it so it will be easy to clean off if drippings fall down onto it.
  3. smoking4fun

    smoking4fun Smoke Blower

    Then, it was time to get the ribs started.  I made up several batches of rib rub since I've got several smokes coming up...

    The black bags are 1-lb bag of spices that I picked up from   Not sure if they have the best prices, but I can drive down and pick them up and save on shipping, and they sell most of what I need at bulk prices.

    Then it was time to throw down some yellow mustard on 3 racks of St. Louis-style spare ribs, and put a generous amount of rub on them:

    Got the AMNPS going and into the mailbox...and then these 3 lovely racks went into the smoker (the one was too long, so I had to cut it in half to fit on one shelf):

    They were put in the smoker at 225-250 with a mix of hickory and maple for the 3-2-.75.  The final product (what was left, anyway):

    Unfortunately, they came out just a little tougher than I expected (and tougher than my first go-around a few weeks ago).  I don't think I did anything different, so I'm trying to figure out what went wrong.  They were still somewhat juicy, but the first go-around, the bones could be literally pulled out from the meat with no problem, but these the meat had to be chewed off the bone, and the bones came apart with a good pull.  I prefer the bones to slide out, but I need to figure out why they did the first time but not this time.
    crazymoon likes this.
  4. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice , good looking stuff.

    Have fun and . . .
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2015
  5. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    They look good,my guess is they needed to cook longer. If you don't know about the bend test search it best way to know there ready IMHO. Practice also makes perfect get yourself more ribs and do it again try and different methods like no foil my personal fave.:drool Nice work on the cart and mailbox mod!

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