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Oldpro1946
10-04-2011, 12:16 PM
I am new to this discussion board and to using a smoker. Just bought a Smoke Hollow electric smoker and wish to use it tonight. Going to smoke some St. Louis ribs. I am not sure how long to smoke them, I have read anywhere from 2 hrs to 8 hrs. I plan to make a mop sauce that I am going to spray on them every 45-60 min. Apple cider vinegar and vegetable oil. I am also going to use apple wood chips. I could use some advice/tips. Thanks.

Ron_L
10-04-2011, 12:20 PM
The time depends on the weight of the ribs and the cook temp, and then whether you a going to foil or not. I cook St. Louis trimmed spares at 250 for about 5 - 5 1/2 hours for an average rack with out foil, and a total of about 4 1/2 using foil (2 1/2 no foil then 1.5 in foil and then 15 minutes or so out of foil to set the glaze.

Divemaster
10-04-2011, 12:23 PM
First of all Welcome to the Addiction!!!!

The first thing you are going to need to do is cure your new smoker. Spray down the inside of the cooker with 'Pam' and let it cook with the racks but other wise empty for an hour minimum at 300* (2 hours would be better but that's just me).

As for the ribs, I like to cook mine for about 6 hours at 250* but there are others that have methods just as good.

Jason TQ
10-04-2011, 12:24 PM
Welcome!! I too started with an electric smoker and liked how easy it was to use. I normally run st louis ribs around 225-240ish for 5-6hrs. Each smoker does cook a little differently so I would say start checking around 5hrs at that temp to see if they are done. The meat should be pulled back from the bones and there is a bend test where the ribs bend down about 90 degrees. There is a good picture of it in the link below toward the bottom of the page. Good luck and ask more questions if you have them.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=45468

deguerre
10-04-2011, 12:27 PM
I target 275 for my pit temp and never foil so they take a little less time than Ron said for his. Keep up with the chips too and replace as needed. The manufacturer also stresses on their website to NOT soak the chips for their smokers. Which I'd recommend myself anyway...

Divemaster
10-04-2011, 12:33 PM
I target 275 for my pit temp and never foil so they take a little less time than Ron said for his. Keep up with the chips too and replace as needed. The manufacturer also stresses on their website to NOT soak the chips for their smokers. Which I'd recommend myself anyway...

While I agree with my buddy above, don't overload with the chips... To much smoke is far worse than not enough....

Oldpro1946
10-04-2011, 01:02 PM
I don't want to bother with foil towards the end of the smoking. Will the ribs be dry if I smoke them at about 240 for 5 hours? Must they be wrapped in foil towards the end?

Ron_L
10-04-2011, 01:04 PM
No, they shouldn't be dry, but I'm not familiar with your smoker. Foiling is purely optional. BTW, opening the smoker to spritz will increase your overall cook time. How much it affects it depends on how long you have to door open and how fast the smoker recovers and gets back to temp. Typically each time you open the door will extend the cook time by 10 - 15 minutes.

cameraman
10-04-2011, 02:01 PM
I did a couple of racks of St Louis ribs this weekend on the WSM. Started out at 225 ramped up to 250 at hour 2 and up to 275 at hour 3. At hour 4 they passed the bend test and were out of this world. The top stayed on until I did the bend test. I think you lose more than you gain opening up the smoker to mop.

Divemaster
10-04-2011, 04:05 PM
Actually, you may loose more than heat when you take off the lid... You are also going to loose most of the moisture that is just floating around in your cooker too...

Oldpro1946
10-04-2011, 04:32 PM
This may sound silly but does anyone spray the grates and inside of the smoker to make cleanup easy? How do you keep the smoker clean?

Cook
10-04-2011, 05:43 PM
The first thing you are going to need to do is cure your new smoker.

Dude, just put the meat in there and start cooking. That's all the "curing" you need to do.

You have some great advise so far. As said, you don't have to use foil...that is completely optional and will change the dynamics of your cook. I'd recommend checking your ribs via the bend test (search that here to find out how) at around hour four. If they are still stiff, check them at hour five. If, at hour four, they bend slightly I would suggest checking them again in 30 minutes. But to be honest I would not even attempt to open the lid until hour four (so long as you aren't cooking at too high of a temperature).

DirtyDirty00
10-04-2011, 05:59 PM
This may sound silly but does anyone spray the grates and inside of the smoker to make cleanup easy? How do you keep the smoker clean?

I never clean my grates. Once in a blue moon ill give em a 10 second swipe with a ball of foil. I like to keep the grates nice and seasoned and junked up. Flavor!!!


As for the ribs. Foil or no foil. Don't matter. I never used to foil. I still don't foil when making dry rub ribs. But when I make my glazed/sauced ribs I do. I dunno why. Just how ive been doin em. I feel I can add more flavor and different elements by foiling em up with things like a butter honey and brown sugar mix. I don't foil em with liquid tho. I just paint on that mix as if it was sauce n foil em up.

jcpetro97
10-05-2011, 01:17 PM
When I do St. Louis spares.. I put them on my smoker somewhere between 225 and 250 then I smoke them for 3 hours. Foil them for one hour( put some brown sugar, and butter on the foil, lay the rack of ribs on it, then do the same on the top ) then remove from foil, and finish foe another hour.

I have tried other methods a few times, and this is just the method that works best for me. This is definitely going to be about experimentation, and finding what works best for you. Have fun with it, and don't be afraid to make mistakes.

Finally, about the cleanup, I usually just scrape any of the loose stuff off with a wire brush and leave the rest. If things get bad, then I'll run the grillwith nothing in it and the charcoal directly under the grates, then scrape the grates off real good. Just like what you would do with a gas grill. I probably do that once or twice a season depending on how much I have used it.

Oldpro1946
10-05-2011, 05:02 PM
I am planing to brush sauce on my ribs just before they are done. Is there a problem doing this? I thought I'd smoke them around 240 for 4 1/2 hrs then sauce them for 30 min. OK?

Quemaster
10-05-2011, 05:21 PM
You are close on time. Time will vary with a little for each rack of ribs for various reasons.

In general, keep the lid closed as much as you can to keep the heat and moisture in. Spritz the ribs each time you go in to inspect or move the ribs. I would not even look at the ribs during the first 2.5 hours unless your recipe requires you to Spritz or Mop on a time schedule.

I like to mop & re-season lightly mid cook. No foil required.

Check for doneness with bend test or piercing with toothpick (easy in/out).

Sauce at the end is a good idea if you prefer wet ribs vs dry.

Good luck and enjoy.

Oldpro1946
10-05-2011, 07:03 PM
Just made my first smoked St. Louis ribs. Some observations: I smoked them for 4:45. The bark seemed dry but the meat was very moist. We ate them dry for the first time. Usually I make wet ribs. How can I make wet ribs in the smoker? Also if I try baby back ribs next time will they take less time because they are less meaty?

RangerJ
10-05-2011, 07:16 PM
Just made my first smoked St. Louis ribs. Some observations: I smoked them for 4:45. The bark seemed dry but the meat was very moist. We ate them dry for the first time. Usually I make wet ribs. How can I make wet ribs in the smoker? Also if I try baby back ribs next time will they take less time because they are less meaty?

I find there is no true time standard for anything. There are guide lines but practice is going to tell you what works for your smoker and your cooking style.

As for "wet", to me that just means add sauce. The search feature here will probably provide all the information you need for almost any cut of meat.

Good luck and post up some pics!

Oldpro1946
10-05-2011, 08:20 PM
Is it common that smoked ribs would have a black bark that is dry?