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Old 10-28-2004, 09:52 PM   #1
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Smoking Pork Spare Ribs question...

I have 4.2 lbs of pork spare ribs cut up into 4 pieces, i have a small small grill, and a 2 rack eletric smoker that gets up to about 150F during the day in WA (about 55-60F right now outside), tonight i have the ribs sitting in the fridge with a rub on them and just waiting till tomorrow around 2pm when i get home. Now my question is will the smoker at 150F be able to fully cook the ribs in about 5-7 hours or should i put them on the small charcoal grill after about 4-5 hours in the smoker and cook them till they are about 220F?

Is there any other way i should go about this? I was hoping to smoke them completely through, but i figure 30m-1hr on the grill should tender them up enough to be pretty good as long as i can control the heat well enough, but is there some other way to go about this? I have enough apple chips to last me either way. Thanks for the input.


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Old 10-28-2004, 09:59 PM   #2
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Hope this will help.

BBQ Ribs on a Weber

Adapted from an article in the Portland, ME Times Record. The Moose and Lobster Preservation Society, winners of "Best Ribs in New England" at the KCBS sanctioned Pig and Pepper 1996 competition in Carlisle, MA, describe their technique for slow-cooking ribs on a Weber kettle style grill.

Buy one or more whole racks of ribs (end-on or "St. Louis Style" -- ask your butcher) and coat lightly with olive or vebetable oil using your hand or a brush. Sprinkle lots of "rub" on both sides and ends, patting and slapping it firmly into place. Surface of meat should be completely covered with a layer of rub. Wrap each rib in two layers of plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours.

Bank a small amount of coals on one side of the grill and let smoker warm up for 20-30 minutes. Stick a meat thermometer in the top or side of the grill (you may need to drill a hole), and work the fire to stabilize the temperature around 200-300 degrees. Hotter fires will significantly shorten cooking times and not allow slow-cooking of the meat.

Soak hickory, mesquite, cherry, apple or other wood chips in a bowl of water for 20 minutes or more, and sprinkle small amounts on the coals every 20-30 minutes or as often as desired.

Optional: Partially fill a small disposable aluminum pan with water and place at the bottom of the Weber or partially over the coals. Fill as necessary during the cooking process.

Place ribs away from the heat source, on the side opposite the banked coals. If you have two or more racks of ribs, use a 'rib rack' purchased at your local hardware store for $10 to help stand the rib racks on their side next to each other. Place rib racks thick side up/bone-end down, so the small ends stay moist.

That's it! Sit back for 4 to 6 hours, watch the smoke rise, and drink your favorite beverage. Don't forget to add soaked wood chips every so often, and keep the water pan half full. You may want to turn the meat in-place to give each rib end or side equal time nearest the heat source. If you're curious whether the ribs are done, try cutting one off and eating it (cook's privilege). The meat should be pink around the edges (called a 'smoke ring'), pull cleanly from the bone and taste nice and smoky.

Before serving or for the last 10 minutes of cooking, lightly brush each rack with your homemade barbecue sauce. Cut between each rib, brush again with sauce if desired, and serve. Make sure you save a few ribs for yourself -- they'll go quickly! You're now a real, slow cookin', wood smokin' barbecue chef.
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Old 04-28-2005, 10:03 AM   #3
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Wow, thank you very much for posting that Rainee! I'm definitely trying that this summer.
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Old 04-28-2005, 02:32 PM   #4
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That's the way I cook chickens and a turkey on my 22" Weber kettle.. works great. I've never done ribs on my kettle though.. so I defer to Rainee's expertise on that one.

A couple of comments though..

1. In case it's confusing, my Weber kettle only has a vent at the bottom, not two sides as shown here.. but that doesn't change the concept. It's super important to have your top vent fully open because to partially close it will possibly allow creosote to build up inside.. and on your meat. Only use your bottom vent to control your heat.

2. Using that method, I have to almost totally close my bottom vent... and even then it's difficult to keep your temp below 300 degrees.. that works fine for chickens and a turkey but might be a bit too high for ribs.. unless they are baby backs.. again, Rainee would know more about that.

3. I'm not sure the water pan to the left of your meat adds anything.. it won't add moisture to my knowledge/experience and you'll probably have to refill during cooking if you want to keep water in there... to do that you have to remove the top, lose all your heat... That will slow your cooking by half hour at least. I'd skip the water thingy.

4. If you're using a Weber kettle, you can get a couple of hours or bit more from one chimney of charcoal... then you'll have to add some more. One way around this is to use what they call the "minion" method.. that is to place unlit coals in first, then place your lighted coals on top.. that way you'll get 4-5 hours without disturbing things. I don't know about other brands of kettles though.. only the Weber.

5. A better way to measure the temp is to stick your probe (I use a Maverick remove but a Polder or equivalent works too.. just be sure you keep your cable/probe away from anything over 400 degrees or you'll burn it out) in a potato and set it beside your meat. That measures the grill temp. If you measure at the top, your dome temp will typically be 25 degrees HOTTER than your grill temp.

Think this is more than enough for now.. getting finger cramps
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Old 04-29-2005, 06:54 AM   #5
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Lutzz the water will help control the temp, will help deflect the heat some.
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Old 05-13-2005, 02:57 PM   #6
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Rainee, that's a GREAT picture and explaination! Why the **** could I not have found you guys before I tossed my Weber grill? *sigh* I still regret it. Maybe one day I'll get another one.
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