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View Full Version : First attempt at smoking ribs.....Ever


Elfmaze
04-09-2011, 08:42 AM
I got my UDS built and i'm ready to do this. I have two racks of spares i cut St. Louis style so i could use the tips for another project.

SO far i have rubed them with mustard and dry rub and left overnight in the fridge. it is T-4 hours untill UDS firing. Here is my plan.

T-1:00 Fill coal basket with Kingsford and 3-4 chunks of hickory.
T-45mins UDS should be up to temp (225-250)
T+0:00 Put ribs on. Meat side up.
T+1:00 Spray with Applejuice
T+2:00 Spray with apple juice
T+3:00 tent ribs in Foil, add a bit of juice in tent.
T+5:00 remove foil, add a BBQ sauce(is it needed?)
T+6:00 Shut down and serve

Does that sound about right? I have heard that 3-2-1 is too long. Any other recomended times or tequnique before i dive into this?

JONESY
04-09-2011, 09:05 AM
Forget the foil altogether, and enjoy the best you've ever had. Had fun.

Hub
04-09-2011, 09:37 AM
Your basic approach is fine. You learn by doing, both in terms of recipe factors like what you use to add flavor and the time/temp you cook AND you'll learn your pit. From the results of this cook, adjust as you think necessary to make your results even better! That's the fun of this hobby.

Wampus
04-09-2011, 10:28 AM
I would NOT sauce with a whole hour to go. Especially if you are using a thicker sauce with sugar as it will likely burn (the sugar that is) and make them very dark. When I sauce ribs (and I always do) I wait until the ribs are done and ready to come off, then sauce liberally, then let them cook for only about 10 more minutes, then pull them and foil to rest. iF you're using a thinner, mop style sauce, you should be fine. I like molasses based sauces, so I only cook for enough time to "set" the sauce.

Also, personally, I do NOT foil at all during the cook. Many do, though, so if that's what you're after, give it a shot. I would say, though, that 2 hours foiled is risky. You may have mush ribs with that long. You'll either have to check them (which is a PIA with the foil.....the main reason I don't do it) or just go with 1 hour foiled. The last time I did 3-2-1 ribs, it was actually more like 2.5-1-1.

The real secret with BBQ is doing what YOU want and learning from it.
The above is only my advice. Take it or leave it. I'm no pro....this is just what works for me.


Good luck bro!!

At least you're Q'ing!!!
You're about to venture down an addictive road!!!

Captain Dave
04-09-2011, 10:39 AM
I do foil, sometimes but never more than 40 minutes. Trust me, if you do you'll have mush.

Captain Dave
04-09-2011, 10:49 AM
Also, I've had good luck with letting my ribs rest in foil 40 min to an hour after pulling off the uds before sliceing.

Captain Dave
04-09-2011, 10:51 AM
Since you have two racks, it's a great time to experiment with two different methods.

Dallas Dan
04-09-2011, 10:56 AM
Why are you waiting 45 minutes between the time the coals are ready and your putting the ribs on?

Be sure to let the ribs come to almost room temp before putting on the smoker and rest after you smoke them.

Arlin_MacRae
04-09-2011, 11:11 AM
I would NOT sauce with a whole hour to go. Especially if you are using a thicker sauce with sugar as it will likely burn (the sugar that is) and make them very dark. When I sauce ribs (and I always do) I wait until the ribs are done and ready to come off, then sauce liberally, then let them cook for only about 10 more minutes, then pull them and foil to rest. iF you're using a thinner, mop style sauce, you should be fine. I like molasses based sauces, so I only cook for enough time to "set" the sauce.

Also, personally, I do NOT foil at all during the cook. Many do, though, so if that's what you're after, give it a shot. I would say, though, that 2 hours foiled is risky. You may have mush ribs with that long. You'll either have to check them (which is a PIA with the foil.....the main reason I don't do it) or just go with 1 hour foiled. The last time I did 3-2-1 ribs, it was actually more like 2.5-1-1.

The real secret with BBQ is doing what YOU want and learning from it.
The above is only my advice. Take it or leave it. I'm no pro....this is just what works for me.


Good luck bro!!

At least you're Q'ing!!!
You're about to venture down an addictive road!!!
Wampus is dead on here. The 3-2-1 and foil methods work, but they're just what some folks like to do. They've worked for me, but they're not set in stone.

Since you have two racks, it's a great time to experiment with two different methods. Awesome advice here, too. Vary something between the two racks and you'll learn twice as much.
Good luck and don't forget to let us know what you found out!

Arlin

High Q
04-09-2011, 11:12 AM
I think he's given himself 45m to light the coals, find his beer and let the uds temp settle out.

I like that you have a plan. Take the time to make a couple of notes during the cook of what you are seeing, how the ribs feel, etc.

I would skip the foil. Not because foil is bad, I sometimes use it myself, but since this is your first time, I would want to keep the moving parts to a minimum. It will give you a better learning base for the next time, and the next time, etc.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out. Manage your fire well and use the bend test to look for doneness. Have faith and keep the lid down.

Boshizzle
04-09-2011, 12:54 PM
Some good advice given already. The only thing I'd add is don't get in a hurry and sugar in rubs and sauces likes to burn so use it carefully. The ribs will be done when they are done. Also, don't get too concerned about seasonings and techniques. As long as you keep your temps in the range you listed just let the ribs cook. Keep things simple and the ribs will turn out really good.

LMAJ
04-09-2011, 01:27 PM
Here's how I do ribs.
Take ribs out of fridge.
Light the pit.
Rub the ribs
When the pit is where I like it (230 for me) throw on the ribs
Leave them alone for 4 hours then peek.
When they pull back from the bone and bend nicely I take them off the pit and wrap them in foil and into a warm dry cooler to hold - about an hour.
Like the other folks have said - you can take into account what others do, and learn from their experience, but it really comes down to what you like.
Don't be in a rush, Enjoy the fruits of your labor, and most of all - have fun!
Let us know how you make out.

OakPit
04-09-2011, 01:39 PM
Your basic approach is fine. You learn by doing, both in terms of recipe factors like what you use to add flavor and the time/temp you cook AND you'll learn your pit. From the results of this cook, adjust as you think necessary to make your results even better! That's the fun of this hobby.

Great commentary. Enjoy and you'll know what to do next time to improve or change.

jestridge
04-09-2011, 01:46 PM
The main thing you have a plan. I'm sure they will turn out good of course with more experience you will add to and take away. Some people say they will get too done but most people like falling off the bone ribs,

Elfmaze
04-09-2011, 02:21 PM
Got the pit lit off. Was using a thermo in the lid bung hole. APPARENTLY this reads about 100* off from the center of the grate. I dropped a probe thermometer on the cooking grate when the lid said 200* and the center of grate read 312* (all vents now closed and ball valve set to a quarter to try bring it back down). And now some PRON!
Last Night:
http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/216290_654318493728_39700867_34850096_7195479_n.jp g
Today :

Lighting off.
http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/206687_654447759678_39700867_34851622_8243330_n.jp g

http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/206855_654447809578_39700867_34851623_4763306_n.jp g

Waiting to get to temp, and blow past it ;(

http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/215018_654447954288_39700867_34851624_178916_n.jpg

JediDog
04-09-2011, 02:44 PM
Seems like your cook is going along nice, Elf. Prepare to enjoy some great que. :thumb:

PORQY
04-09-2011, 03:41 PM
Why are you waiting 45 minutes between the time the coals are ready and your putting the ribs on?

Be sure to let the ribs come to almost room temp before putting on the smoker and rest after you smoke them.


I heard you wanted your meat to go on while it's exactly 36 degrees, so it absorbs more smoke. I'm not saying your way is wrong, I'm just saying that I've heard what I just typed. I'd like to hear why you suggest to wait for room temp? Please, and thank you.

Elfmaze
04-09-2011, 05:12 PM
Just foiled them. its been two and a half hours. I regret that in the rush to get the lid back on i didn't take a real good mental note of what they looked like. Noticed maby a bit dry looking around the edges but i can't say i saw rib bones poking out. We will see in an hour where we are at.

ABT's have been on about an hour and a half. Starting to brown on the outside. Still need some more time

ABT's added
http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/217144_654470174758_39700867_34851789_3321869_n.jp g

martybob
04-09-2011, 06:29 PM
Just an observation, It looks like your drum is sitting on a piece of wood on your wooden deck. Wonder how hot thats gonna get?

Boshizzle
04-09-2011, 06:44 PM
Just an observation, It looks like your drum is sitting on a piece of wood on your wooden deck. Wonder how hot thats gonna get?

I saw aUDS melt the asphalt under it at a comp one time. It stank up the entire area. So, it can get pretty hot.

Dallas Dan
04-09-2011, 09:05 PM
I heard you wanted your meat to go on while it's exactly 36 degrees, so it absorbs more smoke. I'm not saying your way is wrong, I'm just saying that I've heard what I just typed. I'd like to hear why you suggest to wait for room temp? Please, and thank you.

"exactly 36 degrees, so it absorbs more smoke" Interesting. From everything I've learned and experimented with, the meat should be brought out of the frig and allowed to warm up a bit before it goes into the smoker. Given the hours it takes to smoke, putting them on cold would only increase the cook time and perhaps make them too smokey tasting. I'm just saying what has worked well for me, but I am certainly open to recommendations.

GreenDrake
04-09-2011, 09:24 PM
I sauce three times in the last hour, always. Everybody likes it their own way, so good on ya, have fun, eat well.

Elfmaze
04-10-2011, 09:25 AM
Here they are! Couldn't have done it without the great help of this forum!


http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/208662_654507075808_39700867_34852469_7587375_n.jp g
http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/207077_654507140678_39700867_34852470_2859292_n.jp g

http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/215075_654507170618_39700867_34852471_5453574_n.jp g

Elfmaze
04-10-2011, 09:31 AM
Everyone loved them, but i would have to say there is room for improvement. One of the racks had nice pullback and i was told it was more thender then the other rack.

i never got to the stage where the bones could just be pulled out off the meat, still needed a bit of work to clean the bone. Flavor was good though.

Temperature hung out around 250 most of the smoke. spikes to 170 when opening the lid. And one dip to 120 that i'm not real sure what caused that one. most of the cook held 150 +/- 15 degrees.

I used 2.5 / 1 / 1 But didn't really know what i was looking for at each stage so this was just follow the leader, i'll have to reserch more what "done" is.

Chris_R
04-10-2011, 09:31 AM
Looks good man. I'd most definitely hit that.

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
04-10-2011, 09:49 AM
The temps you report don't make sense. Did you really mean 200's not 100's?

The bend test is better than pull back to indicate doneness. You should cook each one until it is done, not necessarily pull both at the same time.

Those look a bit underdone to my eye.

Elfmaze
04-10-2011, 10:07 AM
Err yes, 200's. In retrospect, I would agree that they could have used more time.

Frank Grimes
04-10-2011, 10:34 AM
Nice job for first smoke, it's a hobby that takes a lot of trial and error. I look back on my first season of smoking (before I learned about this forum) and realized I knew very little. But from the trial and error I learned a lot, and now can turn out great food on every cook.

MrOneEyedBoh
04-10-2011, 11:59 AM
Im getting ready to do some st.louis style ones today too. should be interesting.

gtr
04-10-2011, 02:21 PM
Looking good! You're off to a good start of an extremely addicting pastime. :thumb

I use the bend test for mine. Grab one end with tongs & lift 'em & see if you make an "L". I have found this to be a better guide than pullback.

PORQY
04-10-2011, 04:55 PM
"exactly 36 degrees, so it absorbs more smoke" Interesting. From everything I've learned and experimented with, the meat should be brought out of the frig and allowed to warm up a bit before it goes into the smoker. Given the hours it takes to smoke, putting them on cold would only increase the cook time and perhaps make them too smokey tasting. I'm just saying what has worked well for me, but I am certainly open to recommendations.

I've not had problems w/ too much smoke flavor, and, yes, the cold meat does mean for a longer smoke. I heard this 36-degree thing from such a reliable source, I just took it as "law". I will try letting them come to room temp next time. Now I can't wait to do ribs again.

jestridge
04-10-2011, 07:30 PM
There are no ste rules in bbq , most of the time it someone opinion. As you smoke more you will have your own rules to stand on, Like what wood to use I bet half the people couldn't tell the differance in a blind taste test.

Jay Bird
04-10-2011, 07:39 PM
What jestridge said ^. A lot of good advice here. Keep good records & find out what suits your wife's taste. :wink: