I think this is my first attempt at pron, so go easy on me.
Went camping with a buddy of mine over the weekend. Did some Peruvian style chix on the mini, followed by ribs the 2nd night. The chicken was absolutely incredible, but I forgot to take pictures. The ribs were the best yet, though I'm still seeking that life changing, angels singing, perfect rack. I'll hopefully never attain it, but rather spend the rest of my life trying.
Here they are rubbed with my basic rub.
We did a modified 3-2-1. 3 hours smoke, 1 hour 30 minutes foil, 45 minutes back on the grate then a quick sear directly over the coals.
Used Stubb's Briquettes and cherry chips.
My buddy seemed to like them ok.
The result was incredibly tender but still meaty. Nice tug. Great smoke flavor but they weren’t really trimmed very well, so the ends with the cartilage and fat were still there. I should have taken the time to trim them, but we were camping and I was being lazy. Besides, they were supposed to already be trimmed to St. Louis style. They weren't.
For dessert, I removed the terra cotta saucer and got the mini up to about 360˚ to bake a peach cobbler (dump cake). It took about an hour and was delicious. Didn't get any pics of it as it was getting later and a sizable dent had been put in the liquor supply by that point in the evening.
As for a post-mortem summary, I'd say the mini is easily worth twice what it cost me to make it. It's wonderfully simple, stable and seems quite frugal on fuel. The Stubbs charcoal may have been part of that, as it's easily twice as dense as Kingsford. Only drawback on the Stubbs is it's a little stubborn getting started, but makes up for it in long burn time, good heat and very neutral flavor and aroma. All in all, I'm EXTREMELY pleased with the mini and would suggest anyone skip the cheap ready made smokers and jump directly into building one of these. Capacity's a little tight, but with a 2nd rack I have no doubt you could easily fit enough food to feed 10 or so people.