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Hardluck
08-13-2013, 08:54 AM
Ok so here goes. Im going to enter a backyard competition. Its 2.5hours away from me and its only a Rib cook. My question is Should I take my big trailer smoker or do you think I can make winning ribs on a Traeger?

Any advice for this comp will be appreciated, ANY ADVICE AT ALL!!! lol

http://i368.photobucket.com/albums/oo128/HardLuck51/smokerR.jpg (http://s368.photobucket.com/user/HardLuck51/media/smokerR.jpg.html)

http://i368.photobucket.com/albums/oo128/HardLuck51/smoker/554940_172661426255390_209594647_n.jpg (http://s368.photobucket.com/user/HardLuck51/media/smoker/554940_172661426255390_209594647_n.jpg.html)


How do my ribs look?

http://i368.photobucket.com/albums/oo128/HardLuck51/ribs.jpg (http://s368.photobucket.com/user/HardLuck51/media/ribs.jpg.html)

Lake Dogs
08-13-2013, 08:57 AM
Take the one you cook best on.

The ribs look a bit dark, but it could be the flash....

The_Kapn
08-13-2013, 08:58 AM
Take the one you cook best on.

The ribs look a bit dark, but it could be the flash....

Hance beat me to it! 8)

TIM

Kit R
08-13-2013, 09:01 AM
Take the one you cook best on.

The ribs look a bit dark, but it could be the flash....

X3 :clap2:

Hardluck
08-13-2013, 09:02 AM
Take the one you cook best on.

The ribs look a bit dark, but it could be the flash....


THANK YOU so maybe I'll just wrap a little sooner. I just got the Traeger and I like the way it cooks. I have a month to practice ribs on it if I wanted to take it?

2nd question.... whats the best type of knife to cut the ribs with? Electric or bread or just a sharp knife?

Lake Dogs
08-13-2013, 09:10 AM
If it's unsanctioned, honestly, all bets are off, as they're unlikely to have any judging criteria or standard. If this is the case, generally speaking, disregard all the KCBS 'ribs should be like this' stuff and make them as close to falling off the bone as possible. Generally, a deep red to a mahogany red color works best with ribs; not too light red or heaven forbid pink, and not so dark that they're just brown or black. Ribs, I definitely foil for color. On mine it's right at the 1.5 hour mark, but that's on mine, yours surely will vary.

K-Train
08-13-2013, 09:13 AM
X3 :clap2:
x4
I agree take what you like and whatever makes life easier.

CBQ
08-13-2013, 09:18 AM
+1 to Lakedog

Overcook them a little for a non-sanctioned contest. People expect "fall of the bone" ribs. The Traeger is a perfectly good rib cooker, I wouldn't bother with the big offset for doing a single category.

As others have said, wrapping earlier will give you better color on the ribs. Also the bottom of the rack looks like some of the brisket bone cartilage is still on there - you might want to trim it so it's closer to the bone and straighter.

Hardluck
08-13-2013, 09:18 AM
If it's unsanctioned, honestly, all bets are off, as they're unlikely to have any judging criteria or standard. If this is the case, generally speaking, disregard all the KCBS 'ribs should be like this' stuff and make them as close to falling off the bone as possible. Generally, a deep red to a mahogany red color works best with ribs; not too light red or heaven forbid pink, and not so dark that they're just brown or black. Ribs, I definitely foil for color. On mine it's right at the 1.5 hour mark, but that's on mine, yours surely will vary.


THANKS FOR THE FEEDBACK!
I foil mine around 2-2.5 hour mark... Maybe I should be in your area around 1.5 hours.... Ill check them around 1.5 next cook. My rub does have a fair amount of dark brown sugar. There is no sauce on them either. I love to just brush on all the love from the bottom of the foil. I know in a comp there gonna want sauce. So after they vent I sauce then throw back on for 20 min or so to set the sauce... Right?

Hardluck
08-13-2013, 09:23 AM
+1 to Lakedog

Overcook them a little for a non-sanctioned contest. People expect "fall of the bone" ribs. The Traeger is a perfectly good rib cooker, I wouldn't bother with the big offset for doing a single category.

As others have said, wrapping earlier will give you better color on the ribs. Also the bottom of the rack looks like some of the brisket bone cartilage is still on there - you might want to trim it so it's closer to the bone and straighter.

Thanks good advice on a straight rack. These ribs were smoked for a buddy of mines July 4th. I didnt trim them but I see what your saying. We bought and cooked a case of ribs, 2 butts and a brisket that day it was crazy! lol.... Thank you for again for the advice :grin:

Lake Dogs
08-13-2013, 09:24 AM
Sauce and sauce setting varies greatly person to person.

For me, I found that the sauce seemed to really, and I mean REALLY absorb smoke. I found it doesnt need to bake on... So, when I sauce (and I dont all the time), I apply heated sauce at the very end and just let it sit (outside of the smoker) for about 3 to 5 minutes. No extra smoke applied; just a thin coat of sauce....

Cue's Your Daddy
08-13-2013, 09:26 AM
Thats some awesome pinstriping. True talent right there. And what everyone else said about the cooking process i agree with.

Hardluck
08-13-2013, 09:35 AM
Thats some awesome pinstriping. True talent right there. And what everyone else said about the cooking process i agree with.

Thank you. I was hoping it would stay on.... after several long hot cooks its still on there. My favorite piece is the back side of the vertical. Here is a pic of it and my helper. She loves wrapping the ribs. (adding all the goodies)

http://i368.photobucket.com/albums/oo128/HardLuck51/somkerpig.jpg (http://s368.photobucket.com/user/HardLuck51/media/somkerpig.jpg.html)

Hardluck
08-13-2013, 10:06 AM
Sauce and sauce setting varies greatly person to person.

For me, I found that the sauce seemed to really, and I mean REALLY absorb smoke. I found it doesnt need to bake on... So, when I sauce (and I dont all the time), I apply heated sauce at the very end and just let it sit (outside of the smoker) for about 3 to 5 minutes. No extra smoke applied; just a thin coat of sauce....

I think this was my first Competition post. you people have given me some great advice and tips. THAN YOU! Advice and good people is why this is the greatest Forum ever! BBQ Brethren and people like you have made me a better pitmaster and a little heavier!! lol :clap2::clap2::clap2:

early mornin' smokin'
08-13-2013, 11:48 AM
this is a tough one, that's a small traeger, so if you're cooking for a peoples choice kind of thing where you'd have to cook a case or more, that'll be difficult. get a little bit more on the specifics of the actual contest.

Hardluck
08-13-2013, 11:57 AM
this is a tough one, that's a small traeger, so if you're cooking for a peoples choice kind of thing where you'd have to cook a case or more, that'll be difficult. get a little bit more on the specifics of the actual contest.

Oh yeah I left that part out. I can only fix 2 racks. Its just for 3 judges

early mornin' smokin'
08-13-2013, 12:02 PM
well if you can fit 2 racks flat in the traeger, you can probably easily get 4 in there if you use a rib rack, or something to hold them vertical. Cook on what you're comfortable with, and is most economical for you to bring with you. See what your site size is, a trailer may be hard to get into the location.

bodcat
08-13-2013, 02:27 PM
I think you can win with a Traeger. It's more about the cook than the cooker. I use an Elite for my ribs. I cook 3 racks, laying them front to back, you could probably get close to a fourth if you wanted. The ends normally get a little charred since they hang past the drip pan, but all you care about is the middle of the rack with pure goodness.

I use a 12" granton slicer for my ribs.

Yard Time

didisea
08-13-2013, 03:04 PM
If you can, trim all the racks you are using to be the same width, so if you need to turn in from different racks, they are the same length. The ones in the picture look a bit dark. Easy on the flavor profile - less is more. No habanero stuff. Use a freaking sharp knife, and trim any bits of meat even with the rest of the meat with scissors. Take any black crud off the ends of the bones before they go in the box.

OneBallBiscuit
08-13-2013, 03:22 PM
I do all of my ribs on the exact same Traeger you have there...completely able to get 4 racks of St. Louis cut ribs on there. Just make sure to vaccum out the smoker before the cook to get any of the dust out of there from previous cooks for optimal performance.

Hardluck
08-13-2013, 03:55 PM
If you can, trim all the racks you are using to be the same width, so if you need to turn in from different racks, they are the same length. The ones in the picture look a bit dark. Easy on the flavor profile - less is more. No habanero stuff. Use a freaking sharp knife, and trim any bits of meat even with the rest of the meat with scissors. Take any black crud off the ends of the bones before they go in the box.


Great info! thanks to EVERYONE for their support and input! My only issue is i've never cooked ribs in my Traeger :wacko:... I know... I know. I just got it a week ago. lol ... Im going to make a trial run or 2 in the next few weeks. I think the Traeger will be much easier to cook on so I think my times and method will be close. If someone wanted to share some cook times on a Traeger I wouldnt be mad! lol .....If Not I understand 100% not sharing cook secrets :) Thanks again for all the help and support!

Hardluck
08-13-2013, 03:56 PM
I do all of my ribs on the exact same Traeger you have there...completely able to get 4 racks of St. Louis cut ribs on there. Just make sure to vaccum out the smoker before the cook to get any of the dust out of there from previous cooks for optimal performance.

Great idea,SMART!! If will puff out a little ash every now and then

Hardluck
08-13-2013, 03:58 PM
bodcat, that slicer work ok?

If so ill get me one. I see victorinox makes one thats the knives I like and use so I'll give it a shot if you give it a thumbs up?

Lake Dogs
08-13-2013, 04:03 PM
Some will argue/debate this with me, but IMHO there are no secrets in this. There is what works for you, and what doesn't... Your specific smoker will have a nature to it. Apply your region, humidity, the wood and charcoal and ... you smoke with, the temperature your smoker settles in on, etc. Mostly, it's about temperature and time. Keep the smoke a thin blueish hue (called Sweet Blue) and you're golden. You can do it at 240 (much lower is frankly unnecessarily low n painfully slow) up to 350 or more, but most of us find that our smokers seem to really like that 250 (give or take) to 280 range (again, give or take). Let 'er smoke right there. Adjust your cook time to it. On mine, as I said earlier, the total time is just under 4 hours. If it's running a little hot, closer to 3.5 hours. In most rib contests (even KCBS) the slightly undercooked rib (which will be a little tougher to come off the bone) will get hammered in points, and the slightly overcooked rib will be forgiven. If you have to err, go slightly overcooked. Hopefully not actually falling apart.

Lake Dogs
08-13-2013, 04:04 PM
I have and use a victorinox granton slicer, and use it for brisket and ribs. Works great.

Lake Dogs
08-13-2013, 04:05 PM
By the way, welcome to bbq-brethren. There's good advice all over the web, but none better IMHO than you'll find here.

Also, we ask only 1 thing in return, and that's that you tell us how you did.

Best of luck!!!

:-)

Hardluck
08-13-2013, 04:12 PM
By the way, welcome to bbq-brethren. There's good advice all over the web, but none better IMHO than you'll find here.

Also, we ask only 1 thing in return, and that's that you tell us how you did.

Best of luck!!!

:-)

Thanks well the good news is there are only 20 teams so I'm going to make a BOLD prediction.... TOP 20 IN MY FIRST COMPETITION COOK !!!!:clap:....lol

Muzzlebrake
08-13-2013, 05:15 PM
Just ribs and a month to practice? Travel light go with the Traeger, a table and a popup, minimize as many distractions as possible.

bodcat
08-13-2013, 05:59 PM
I love my slicer for brisket and ribs. I have the victorinox also.

For cook times I go with around 2 hours at 160ish(play with the smoke setting) and then wrapped in foil at 250 for about 2:20....depending on how they look and feel.

BMerrill
08-13-2013, 09:20 PM
I cook ribs on a Traeger Texas at KCBS contest. It will do well for you.

If you cook the racks laying front to back the end 2 ribs on each rack will be over done and may burn before the middle is done. They over hang the drip tray.
Try a few practice cooks with the racks timmed down to 15" or less, or cook 2 racks laid left to right and centered.
The right side is typically hotter then the left. It's a good idea to rotate the racks several times during the cook.
275° is a good temperature for ribs on a Traeger. Cooking pellets 100% Hickory or their Perfect Mix are good choices or Bbq's Delight Oak, Hickory or Pecan.