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sawtooth 04-15-2013 08:07 PM

First Post & First Smoke Cook
Hi everyone. I have been lurking for a bit but this is my first post. I love it here and am learning a lot from reading the posts.

After years of happily grilling with Gas, I decided this winter that I wanted to spread my wings and cook with fire a bit. I picked up 3 weber kettles at thrift stores and on craiglist (SJ Silver, OT Silver 18.5, and an old 22.5 with the 3 vents at the bottom).

I have spent the last couple of months experimenting with charcoal/lump/vents, etc, doing a couple of beer can chickens and grilling for our friends on weekends.

Today, I did my first smoke cook and decided to post the results here. I cooked a full rack of pork ribs and did not cut them St. Louis Style (leaving the brisket meat on).

I used the snake/ring-of-fire fire management method with a drip pan below the ribs and used a 3:2:1 cooking method. I finished the final 3 hours in the oven because it was such a pain to stabilize the temp to 220 on my kettle that I did not feel like doing it again while still working a full day from home.

I used a simple rub of salt/pepper/garlic powder/onion powder/paprika

My mop (applied twice including upon entering the foil) is 1/2 apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cranberry juice. Did not apply bbq sauce prior to entering the foil.

Total time: 6 hours. I was shooting for fall off the bone (I like them that way) and they absolutely did that just like Texas Roadhouse. Smoke was pretty much perfect. I could have handled more but my wife could not have. I applied sauce the final 20 minutes and was surprised that it pulled the smoke flavor out of the meat and merged deliciously with the sauce on top. I have never tasted anything like that before.

1) I need to learn to relax. This was fun and I should not have stressed about it as much as I did.
2) I should have done a dry run with the fire management method because I spent a lot of time worrying about it.
3) The 22.5 kettle stabilized at 215 F or so with all of the vents wide open. If I want higher temps than that, I need to add another row of charcoal (not sure I want that).
4) I could stand to keep the meat more moist next time. I need to study how to do this without opening the lid too often.

Below are the results. I was pretty pleased given that I had never smoked before and had never cooked ribs at all before. I am WIDE open to feedback from you folks who know way more than I do about this game.


savageford 04-15-2013 08:34 PM

Tasty looking ribs there, I like them falling off the bone too.

martyleach 04-15-2013 08:44 PM

They look pretty darn good to me. Keep at it and have fun!

HeSmellsLikeSmoke 04-15-2013 08:55 PM

I like mine bite off the bone, not fall off, but I gotta say, those really look good. :thumb:

Butt Rubb'n BBQ 04-15-2013 08:57 PM

Welcome and nice cook!

sawtooth 04-15-2013 08:59 PM

Thanks folks. I really appreciate it! It was a lot of fun and boosted my spirits after my most recent beer can chicken fail (inside of the bird was frozen going on and I doubted my thermometer too much, pulling it off way too early).

Crazy Harry 04-15-2013 09:01 PM

nothing wrong with those bones

Mrfish 04-15-2013 09:04 PM

Those look mighty fine! Congrats and welcome aboard.

martyleach 04-15-2013 09:05 PM

I cook ribs between 250 and 275. They get done faster and stay moister. Props for trying the snake on the Weber. I don't think I could do that.

code3rrt 04-15-2013 09:09 PM

First off, welcome to the Forum!
Looks like you've done your homework, the ribs look fantastic! As far as the "moistness" of the meat, that may vary cut to cut. As far as opening the lid to often, that will come with practice as you learn your craft and get comfortable and more knowledgeable with your equipment and how each one "burns" if you will.

In any case have fun and enjoy the ride!


boiler93 04-15-2013 09:09 PM

Awesome first cook! Congrats

Gilstarr 04-15-2013 09:10 PM

Nice looking first time! looks good from here!!:thumb:

71-South 04-15-2013 09:15 PM

Very nice. Welcome to the obsession.

DirtyChurro 04-15-2013 10:22 PM

Nice job.

sawtooth 04-15-2013 10:31 PM

Thanks for the encouragement, folks! I have a lot to learn but am looking forward to it.

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