Help me diagnose what went wrong...

Discussion in 'Pork' started by smoking in ft. collins, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. Fathers day smoke.  9 racks of Danish Babyback Ribs from a buddy at Chili's.  Rubbed them and put them in the refrigerator overnight.  Plan was as follows...

    Fire up the smoker at noon - Chargriller with a side smoke box.  Plan to use Hickory and Apple with charcoal.

    Put the ribs on at 1PM - 2 hours smoking between 225 and 250.  I used a maverick wireless hanging off the grate.

    Wrap in foil with apple juice at 3PM - 2 hours getting tender.  Temp also between 225 and 250

    Unwap and firm up - 1 hour.  Same temp.

    The plan seemed like a winner.  The results hardly were.  The ribs were way overcooked and in many places burned so bad I just threw them away.  The family and friends were good sports and ate what they could, but I definitely dropped a couple of spots on the "Smoke Meister" scale.

    As I said above, I used a maverick wireless thermometer with the probe hanging from the grate.  So it was hanging in the lower half of the barrel below the ribs.  That could be a cause.

    Another possibility was that the grill was very cramped, so some the ribs were closer to the smoke box and it will send flames out into the barrel.  That could also be a contributor.

    Any other suggestions?  Any "smoking" gun (I can joke about it now).

  2. austinl

    austinl Smoking Fanatic

    With horizontal offsets you should have gotten a higher temperature the lower in the cooking chamber you measure it because the fireboxes are always lower so the heat and smoke can rise through the cooking area.  This maybe a dumb question but you got the ribs from a chili's restaurant via an employee you knew?  I know a lot of those chain restaurants that serve ribs will get them precooked so all they have to do it heat, sauce, and serve.  Could that have been the case or were they obviously raw?
  3. Good question.  They appeared raw to me.

    So the temp in the lower half of the barrel would be higher than the temp in the higher half?  I see that logically but that makes my result all the more curious.
  4. austinl

    austinl Smoking Fanatic

    I agree, that is curious.  Have you checked your thermometers for accuracy?
  5. While the thermometer could have decided to go nuts just then, I don't think so.  My probes are very accurate right now.
  6. austinl

    austinl Smoking Fanatic

    Really I'd say there are two logical explanations for your result; the cooking temperature was much higher than you think or the ribs were actually pre-cooked and you totally nuked them.  Try getting some inexpensive spare ribs from the store and use the same exact method you used there and compare the results.
  7. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    "9 racks of Danish Babyback Ribs from a buddy at Chili's."

    There's your problem. Those things are so freaking small they cook in minutes.


    "Danish ribs. Small slabs of baby backs usually from Denmark, but not always. One guy I know says "I think they're possum ribs. They look like baby backs, only smaller, thinner, and meatless!" Never heard a good word about them."
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
  8. They looked really small.

    I guess I will try regular BB ribs.

    So what type of rib is easiest to smoke?
  9. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    As was said Danish Ribs cook very fast. Get either baby backs and do 2-2-1 or get spares and do 3-2-1 personally I prefer the spare ribs
  10. rowdyrawhide

    rowdyrawhide Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Is it possible your therm was getting dripped on by a rack and thus cooling it giving you a cooler reading than it actually was as well as the aforementioned points?
  11. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    When I smoke on my unmodified NB with SFB, I rotate the rib closer and away from the Fire side every thirty minutes throughout the cook. I am a big fan of St.Louis cut Spares and only do BB if they are really cheap at the time...JJ
  12. My vote is those Danish Ribs were precooked (without sauce) when you got them. I would guess they sauce them, throw them on the grill to caramelize the ribs to give it off the smoker look and put a little more sauce on them before serving. I could be wrong though...

  13. Ok so I just noticed this thread since it was bumbed. I used to work at Chilis as a cook and I can put to rest the precooked rib theory. They even had us taking off the membrane on the back of the ribs. Chilis smokes all of their ribs on site every morning (same for the smoked chicken they started serving). After the smoke they go in the cooler where they are then cooled, wrapped, and then when it comes time to serve them they are grilled with whatever sauce/rub you want on them for like 6 to 8 minutes or until heated through and then served. My guess on your delima would be that the ribs are smaller than normal baby back ribs and thus you over cooked them. Im partial to spare ribs because honestly I think they are more forgiving. That and they are cheaper.
  14. OK, so I gather that the problem I had is most likely that I cooked the heck out of the ribs.  2-2-1 is not good for Danish Baby Backs.

    I will try Spares and post my results.  Thanks for your help!
  15. Thanks for clarifying!

  16. Yeah I think with those danish ribs Id probably have gone something like 1.5-1.5-1 tops and then just look at them and see what you think. They are just a small rib. No problem clarifying just wanting to help you get the info you need to make some good Q.

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