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Unread 02-06-2013, 12:48 PM   #1
Pig Nutz
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Default UDS Rib Experiment Questions

I just threw on a st Louis spare rib on the drum. I am very experienced with it and like to cook the spares no peek at 250 degrees for 4 hours. The things I don't like are a tough chewy crust and the smudge smoke taste and I get a little of that the way I've been cooking them.

My drum has 3 racks 4,8 and twelve inches from the top. My 6 inch weber thermometer is just under the middle rack which is the one I cook on 95 % of the time. Last week I cooked baby backs with a light pizza pan on the middle rack (diffuser) my thermometer was under the pan and the baby backs on the top rack. I cooked at 280-300 and they took 90 minutes longer to cook than normal. They were everything I wanted but a little dry. That brings me to today.

Today I have the pan on the third rack and the ribs on the top rack. The thermometer is now above the pan. To experiment I put the pan in and took it out several times. When it's in there my thermometer reads about 50 degrees less. Why is this? I'm thinking it's blocking the radiant heat and that radiant heat affects the thermometer. I'm cruising at 250 right now but it is taking twice the fuel and air to do it because of the pan in there. I know where I have the intakes set I would be at 325 degrees without the pan. So I need some advice on what temperature I should be at now that my thermometer is above the pan, and about 5 inches below my ribs. Also at your recommended temperature how long will it take approximately for the ribs to be done if I don't peek?
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Unread 02-06-2013, 01:00 PM   #2
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I have moved my cook temperature again, upwards this time to 300F, and this gives me a better overall texture and moisture. St. Louis Spares get done around 5 hours. I can get my cooker to 300F with my cast iron diffuser in, it doesn't seem to take away any heat. Are you allowing enough room between the diffuser and the sides of the drum to allow for good airflow? My cast iron pizza pan is about 3" in from the drum sides, it drafts well and the temperatures work great in this way.
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Unread 02-06-2013, 01:10 PM   #3
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Landarc, Yea I have 3 inches all around. I was thinking of going up to 275-300. I will have to open the third intake to do it. Normally I could do it with just one.

By the way I used your tri tip rub recipe with great success over the weekend. Cooked 4 tris on two drums for family and friends with great success. It's very similar to my go to brisket rub. That's why I picked it and thought it was as good as it gets. The only thing I did different was up the salt from 4 parts to 6 from past experience. Haha I hi jacked my own thread. Lol
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Unread 02-06-2013, 01:20 PM   #4
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I have never experienced the issues with my ribs that you describe when cooked on the UDS. I run direct heat at 275-300 3.5 -4 hrs. With a diffuser your going to chew threw the fuel. A UDS will cook 50 deg hotter in the center than it does at the outside
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Unread 02-06-2013, 01:20 PM   #5
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Glad to hear that the rub worked for you. I use a little less salt than most, trying not to have to up the old blood pressure meds too much
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Unread 02-06-2013, 01:35 PM   #6
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I've never seen the need for a diffuser in my UDS, with anything I've cooked. I like the fact that the drippings fall into the coals and flavor the meat, and I usually cook my ribs in the 275* range until they're done using the bend test. I also "peek" once in a while to spritz with beer or apple juice. Leftovers are a rare thing round my house.
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Unread 02-06-2013, 01:36 PM   #7
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I'm already at 300, love that about the drum. My diffuser is one third way down from the top not close enough to the fire I'm guessing. It's on a third rack. I can't put it closer without drilling a hole in the center to slide over my rerod basket handle that sticks straight up from the center of my basket. I've thought about doing that then and putting some kind of adjustable stop below it so I can adjust the height to see what difference it made. Can you tell I've got a little engineer in me

Bludawg, maybe I'm not cooking hot enough without the diffuser on my normal cooks. Usually I cook at 250 just below the grate with a 6 inch thermometer, so yea 300 or so in the middle and it takes 4 hours. Mine turn out with a tough crust that can come off in chunks when you bite or cut it. That and the burnt grease flavor is why I'm trying the diffuser. Btw I've used some of your stuff too from here and it has been excellent. Thanks for responding.
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Unread 02-06-2013, 01:39 PM   #8
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This makes a mess, but, I have taken to spraying what I call 'Pig Honey' into my cooker, I spray it with a spray bottle through the vents. It adds moisture to the cooking environment and puts a nice glaze on the ribs. Just stick that nozzle into the opening and spray away with a coarse mist.
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Unread 02-06-2013, 02:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pig Nutz View Post
I'm already at 300, love that about the drum. My diffuser is one third way down from the top not close enough to the fire I'm guessing. It's on a third rack. I can't put it closer without drilling a hole in the center to slide over my rerod basket handle that sticks straight up from the center of my basket. I've thought about doing that then and putting some kind of adjustable stop below it so I can adjust the height to see what difference it made. Can you tell I've got a little engineer in me

Bludawg, maybe I'm not cooking hot enough without the diffuser on my normal cooks. Usually I cook at 250 just below the grate with a 6 inch thermometer, so yea 300 or so in the middle and it takes 4 hours. Mine turn out with a tough crust that can come off in chunks when you bite or cut it. That and the burnt grease flavor is why I'm trying the diffuser. Btw I've used some of your stuff too from here and it has been excellent. Thanks for responding.
Lower the sugar content of your rub and use less of it! If you cant see the meat in detail through it you are using to much. Less is more.
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Unread 02-06-2013, 03:07 PM   #10
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I like no sugar rubs on ribs and usually do at least one that way each cook. I guess if there was a difference i didn't really notice it too much. My go to rub for ribs is 1 cup of kosher salt, half cup brown sugar, half cup raw sugar and one cup of other spices, so it's about a third sugar. I put a low to medium amount on cuz of all the salt. Not close to caking it on.

Landarc , in your honor I just went to the store and got the ingredients for your pig honey. I have it made up all ready. My ribs have been on for three hours now. So how do I use the stuff? Spray it in the exhaust hole like you mentioned or put it on as a glaze at the end or both?
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Unread 02-06-2013, 03:18 PM   #11
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I will use it either as a spray, if my spray bottle is clean, that adds moisture to the cooker as well. Or, I just sprinkle it onto the ribs three times during the last 20 to 30 minutes of the cook. Spray through vent is better, as you do not need to be opening the cooker if you can avoid it. You want to soak the rib surface, as if the ribs are weeping, which they should be.

They should end up looking like this...
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Unread 02-06-2013, 03:35 PM   #12
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Nice ribs there, hope mine look half as good. So I did just go out and sprayed 4 squirts into the exhaust which is the large hole in my lid. I couldn't stand the suspense and cracked the lid slightly for about one second to peek and the ribs were completely covered and very moist looking. I couldn't believe how well they were covered. So if I spray through the exhaust should I do it every hour or two or will the honey burn? Or just the last 20 minutes?
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Unread 02-06-2013, 03:50 PM   #13
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three times in the last 20 minutes, not earlier. It will burn if you go too early, plus, there is no benefit to it. The idea is to moisten the rib surface and the air around the ribs during the last part of the cook. My totally unproven reasoning, is that most of the drying of the ribs in a normal cook happens just as they are done releasing the water moisture in the meat, this happens just before they are done. At that time, the meat surface hardens and dries. The Pig Honey is meant to imitate the pig honey that seeps to the surface about that time, which softens the bark and maintains moisture on the meat surface, delaying drying.
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Unread 02-06-2013, 05:21 PM   #14
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Here are the ribs I put on at noon today. I cooked them indirect on the UDS for one hour at 250 and 3 hours at 300. They were fall off the bone and a little mushy. Over cooked a little but extremely tender and still moist. They were like overdoing it with foil but the fat hadn't all rendered out. I was suprised at the pull back in only 4 hours and no foil but have never cooked them that hot before, usually 250. So if the fat needs to be rendered out more do I cook them lower and longer say 275 for 5 hours?

This is my first attempt at attaching a photo on here. Hope it works
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Unread 02-06-2013, 05:32 PM   #15
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They sure look good, Yes, you can cook them a little lower, 275F works fine, and let them work a little longer.
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