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Old 07-29-2019, 12:17 PM   #1
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Rib Rack vs. Elevated Grate

I'm looking at ways to smoke 2 racks of ribs on my Weber kettle with the Slow N Sear. The Slow N Sear takes up a little less than half of the kettle, and smoking is done on the remaining cooler side of the kettle. My options are a rib rack, where the rack of ribs stands on end in the rack, and an elevated half moon grate, which is about 3 inches above the main grate.

I'm gathering that when using a rib rack the ribs need to be rotated and flipped occasionally to ensure even cooking. When I open the lid of the kettle with the Slow N Sear, the temperature will jump 30 degrees or more, and will take about 20 minutes or more to settle back down, so I don't want to open the lid any more than I absolutely have to.

I'm guessing the elevated grate will be pretty close to the temperature of the main grate, so I probably won't need to swap the ribs between grates. If I do, I'm guessing not more than once. I've seen elevated grates for various Kamado type grills, so I'm assuming that performance would be similar.

Does anyone have experience with these?

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Old 07-29-2019, 02:00 PM   #2
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I do use a rib rack. You don't have to do a lot of turning. Just once is enough. If your ribs take 4, 5 or 6 hours, just rotate 180º halfway through.
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Old 07-29-2019, 09:18 PM   #3
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Either way, you will want to rotate the ribs.

On the elevated rack, the heat will be different from top to bottom. My Weber Smokey Mountain had two grates, and the temps were not the same, so I had to swap places from time to time.

On my Weber Kettle on indirect cooking/smoking, if I do two racks, I use a rib rack, because it is really quick and easy to rotate by just picking up the rib rack, and turning it around.

That's my two-cents.

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Old 07-29-2019, 11:44 PM   #4
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Agree withCD.

Keep your fire small. I use a rib rack and a single charcoal basket. I fill it with unlit charcoal then add 4 or 5 lit coals to one end. Once I get the temperature to settle around 250 to 275f, I add the ribs. Make sure the vent in the lid is on the opposite side from the fire. It will hold temp for 2 1/2 hours. Open lid, 180 ribs, add more unlit charcoal. Finish cook. Wrapping is optional.
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Old 07-30-2019, 08:58 AM   #5
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Rib rack 3, elevated grate 0. I guess it's settled. Thanks.

I was under the impression that with a rack you flip the ribs from top to bottom, as the top of the kettle dome is hotter than the grate. If I understand correctly, you guys just rotate the rack. Is this the case?
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:07 AM   #6
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I just rotate. Place the thicker edge of the ribs on the bottom/thinner edge at the top. That will accommodate any temperature differences.
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Old 07-31-2019, 03:48 PM   #7
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I don't have an elevated grate so for 2 racks of ribs I usually cut each rack in half and arrange them on the grate, flat. Tight fit, but doable.
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:14 AM   #8
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Grate. My Weber's lid would touch the ribs if they were on a rack. Back ribs would be fine.
Beer can chicken is very very close to touching. Thats why I started doing the chicken on the gas Weber.
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