Thread: babyback help!
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Unread 02-01-2013, 06:50 AM   #20
Ron_L
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There is lots of good advice here, but I had to throw in my $.02 worth, too :)

1. The probably with generalizations is that they are generally wrong

2. 3-2-1 was originally developed for full slab spares. St. Louis trimmed spares or baby backs will require less time. BUT... how much time depends on the pit temp and the size of the racks. There is no way that any of us can tell you that 2-2-1 or 2-1.5-.5 or whatever is right for you. they are all just guidelines.

3. There is nothing magical about 225, 250, 275 or 300 degrees. You'll find that you WSM has a sweet spot where it will cook all day. Figure out what that it and cook at that temp and you have fewer headaches and get great results.

So... Having typed that, here's what works for me

Ribs - I buy baby backs that are between 2.5 and 3 lbs per rack, peel them and trim off any excess fat. I rub a couple of hours before cooking and let them sit in the fridge or cooler to let the rub rehydrate and then put them in my cooker at 260 - 270 for 2.5 hours, then foil for 1.5, open the foil, sauce and set the sauce for 15. If they aren't done I go longer until they pass the bend test or the toothpick test.

Brisket - I buy full packers that are 12-15 lbs. If I'm going to invest the time and fuel for a brisket I want to cook enough to have leftovers for chili, etc. I also rub at least 2 hours before cooking, typically 4 hours and let it rest in the fridge or cooler. Brisket goes in at the same temp range and cooks until I get the bark color that I like, typically a dark mahogany and then gets wrapped and finished until it probes like butter in the flat. I like to rest brisket for at least two hours in a dry, preheated cooler with clean towels for insulation.

But, as I said, YMMV.

Finally, I know it won't matter, but I think cooking on a new smoker and cooking something that you have never cooked before for a big event like a Super Bowl party is a mistake. You're putting a lot of pressure on yourself. Personally I would get the brisket today and cook it overnight tonight just in case something goes wrong. That give you time to recover. You can slice the brisket, vac-u-suck it, and then reheat it in the bag in boiling water to serve. (If you don't have a vacuum sealer, get one )
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