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Unread 07-06-2013, 07:27 PM   #1
ColaQ
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Default my WSM 18.5 is too small for ribs

Hey Y'all!
I jumped into the smok'in world with a WSM 18.5 a few months back and have found many +'s and -'s with it.
First off, when using temperature probes I find that using two grates is really a pain. Unloading it to get to the bottom grate is not fun. Not sure how to overcome this.
On the other hand, smoking a single big butt (9+#) on the top grate works great and the Maverick ET-732 feeds in nicely. (I added a feeder hole) Consequently that is about all I have done.

It just does not fit 'square' or 'rectangular' meat - AKA ribs.

On that note - What would y'all recommend as an alternative to a bullet? Upright square?? Offset?? I usually cook only for family so not a big crowd.
As of now, I use charcoal - Kingsford briquettes or Cowboy lump.

Any favorites? Offset or upright??
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Unread 07-06-2013, 07:32 PM   #2
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A lot of folks on here that have 18.5 WSM's roll their ribs
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Unread 07-06-2013, 07:34 PM   #3
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There are several work arounds for fitting ribs into a 18.5" WSMs.

You can buy the shortest rack of ribs you see. You can drape them over something in the middle of the smoker. You can coil them and runs skewer through to hold the shape. You can cut the racks in half.

You can also gets 22.5" WSM.
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Last edited by HeSmellsLikeSmoke; 07-06-2013 at 07:54 PM..
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Unread 07-06-2013, 07:48 PM   #4
ColaQ
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What about the bottom rack. How do you tend to them , or does anyone even use both racks?. I have a temp sensor attached to the top grate. I would expect bottom and top grates to vary - or is it not enough to worry about?

Hey J'Ville - sorry for the ignorance, but what is "roll the ribs"? Stand them up??
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Unread 07-06-2013, 07:54 PM   #5
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Yes as HeSmellsLikeSmoke put it you can coil them and runs skewer throug to hold the shape and yes stand them up.
Don't worry about any temp difference from top to bottom rack. Load you WSM by putting what's going to cook faster on the top rack.
And don't get all wrapped up in any way thinking you have to cook at a specific temperature (IE 225F).
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Unread 07-06-2013, 07:57 PM   #6
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I typically swap the meat from the top rack to the bottom about halfway through the cook. The temperature varies between the racks depending what you use for a heat sink. I use sand, not water, covered with foil, so the bottom rack is a bit hotter.
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Unread 07-06-2013, 08:04 PM   #7
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You do know there is mods for the lower grate
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Unread 07-06-2013, 08:14 PM   #8
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Hey Smoke - I guess that is what my "beef" (or "pig") is - The bottom rack of the WSM is a pain to get to when a sensor is attached to the the grate.
I do not trust the dome thermo reading on the WSM so I have an ET-732 on the top grate.
On another topic, How do you like your BGE with Ribs, Brisket's, Butts?
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Unread 07-06-2013, 08:21 PM   #9
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I can fit 8 or 9 ribs on my WSM, rolled. However, I cook by feel and then unroll them and stack them. As far as temps go, I just use the thermometer that came with it and then watch them.

I unroll them after about 2.5 hours.

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Unread 07-06-2013, 08:21 PM   #10
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Default 18 1/2" WSM is not too small for ribs

I've owned two 18.5" WSM and I've cooked lots of ribs on them. Here are a couple of pics showing 2 racks on the WSM.







Since they sell baby back ribs in three packs at Sam's, I purchased a grate extension for a Large Big Green Egg. It would attach to the top rack and would fit "over" the two racks shown in the pictures above. You could put the third rack over the two racks shown and have total access without having to move to the lower rack. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of what I'm describing. I think the BGE Extension rack was about $20.

Here is a link of what I am talking about. Mods, I hope this is not a problem.





Don't get rid of that WSM. It will make great food if you give it a chance.
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Unread 07-06-2013, 08:38 PM   #11
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So what I see is top grate only and 'scrunch' two racks to fit side by side in the 18.5 WSM.
I'm looking for suggestion for alternative smokers ... Something square??
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Unread 07-06-2013, 09:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColaQ View Post
Hey Smoke - I guess that is what my "beef" (or "pig") is - The bottom rack of the WSM is a pain to get to when a sensor is attached to the the grate.
I do not trust the dome thermo reading on the WSM so I have an ET-732 on the top grate.
On another topic, How do you like your BGE with Ribs, Brisket's, Butts?
After a few cooks you will know the temperature difference between the grates. Then all you have to do is add or subtract from the top grate reading. Same goes with the dome thermometer.

The BGE is great with ribs, brisket or butts, but does not produce a much of a smoke ring in my experience. Others believe that it does. In either case, the taste is very close. The WSM capacity is significantly greater. In addition, the WSM is much easier to move and transport if those considerations are important to you.
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Unread 07-06-2013, 09:45 PM   #13
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Please don't get rid of your WSM in favor of "something square" lol. Get creative. Roll the ribs. Bend a packer brisket in half, so the point is folded on top of the flat. There are lots of things you can do to deal with this issue.

As far as the temp probe in the bottom rack... WTF do you need a temp probe for ribs?
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Unread 07-06-2013, 09:50 PM   #14
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I put a rib rack on the top grate and can cook 6 racks for comps.

If I'm cooking bulk for general consumption, I roll 'em and can get 12 racks in a WSM.
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Unread 07-06-2013, 09:56 PM   #15
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As mentioned, rib racks are handy.... On BB's I've trimmed some of the smaller end ribs off so the rest of the rack will fit & just throw them on to the side for snacks.... I get hungry cooking
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