Rib Experiment... some good... some not so good results

Discussion in 'Pork' started by graystratcat, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. Well, I had a  nice rack of spares rubbed and sitting in the garage fridge ready to be smoked yesterday.  Well, as luck would have it, something came up and I wasn't going to have 6 hours to smoke them in the smoker... but I was dead set on ribs for dinner... so I decided to go with the Weber and indirect cooking/smoking.  I can usually turn out a very respectable rib in the Weber in about 3 1/2 hours....That wasn't the experimental part of this cook....

    I've been wanting to try out my AMNPS in the Weber for a while for this type cooking but hadn't gotten to is.. well here was the opportunity....

    So I filled up a little more than 1 row in the AMNPS with a mix of 75% Hickory and 25% Oak... lit it off and let it burn for a good 10 minutes... the lump coals were ready by the time the AMNPS was ready to go.  Bottom and top vents on the Weber were wide open....So everything in the kettle and we're off....

    Here's the set up.  You can't see the smoke from the AMNPS in this shot but it was definitely putting out smoke.


    Well this is where the experiment encountered the 'not so good' results... after having the lid on the Weber for about 15 minutes I noticed there was no TBS rolling from the top vent....pulled the lid and the AMNPS was completely snuffed....lit it again with a plumbers torch and gave it a good 10 minutes of more burn time....on went the lid... after about 10 minutes... same results....I have come to the conclusion that I love the AMNPS for cold smoking but after 3 attempts to use it for hot smoking with anything but an electric, it appears to get oxygen depleted.  I've had this result with my gasser and now with charcoal in the Weber.  I truly thought that if there was enough oxygen to keep the charcoal burning there would be enough to keep the AMNPS going as well in this set up... but wasn't the case.  I haven't given up on the AMNPS by any means and the engineer in me already has a couple ideas how to make the AMNPS work better in my gasser...I was really hoping the AMNPS was going to work in the Weber like the above set up, especially since I love to use the rotisserie on the Weber and the AMNPS would be perfect for a spit/smoke... oh well.. back to the drawing board.

    As for the rest of the story  (this is the 'good' part of the experiment)

    Reverted back to soaked hickory chunks and kept on going... adapt, improvise, overcome!

    Finally some nice steady TBS rolling


    Ribs are done after 3 1/2 hours... nice pull back and I was happy with the bark.

    (although there's foil in the shot, I don't foil my ribs)


    Tossed on a few chicken thighs as well....


    Ready to plate up


    Money shot....


    This is kind of a personal thing, but one of the ways I judge my own ribs - other than taste obviously - is with final bone pull.

    This is exactly what I like....the ribs weren't truly fall from the bone but there wasn't any major tug in them either...


    Thanks for taking the time to take a look....

  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thanks for the Qview,  always like looking at good food!  Thats curious about the AMNPS.  Wonder what would happen if you where able to place right by the lower vents,  where the air being drawn in passes over the AMNPS?
  3. Thanks for the comp on the food, Al.  As for putting the AMNPS right on top of the bottom vent holes, that's exactly what I was thinking for my next 'test'.  If that doesn't work in the Weber... well.. I'm not sure what will.  As for my gasser... I'm thinking I may have to go to an aquarium pump and some copper tubing....

    Thanks again for the comp, Al.

  4. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Ribs look like they turned out great. 

    I am playing with an aquarium pump to add some air movement to my SmokinTex  to improve the AMNPS performance. It has been too windy here the last few days to run the test. With wind there is enough airflow so the test would not be conclusive and no help to Todd 
  5. Thank Gary!  For doing a quick smoke/cook in the Weber instead of the smoker.. I have to tell ya, the ribs come out pretty good in a pinch....

    I've had some luck with the AMNPS in my Master Forge gasser as well when it was a bit windy and I ran the side vents completely open.  Problem with that approach is the heat loss...as you well know.  I already have a rough design of the copper tubing for inside the MF...just need to find the right aquarium pump.

  6. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Now thats a platter of food that I would be very proud to serve in my house. You did one great job on it to.
  7. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Why not just do the obvious and put it on the coals?
  8. Hey cliffcarter, if you mean put the AMNPS on the coals that really defeats the purpose of the AMNPS....plus the pellets would burn out in about 2 minutes.  The main purpose of the AMNPS is to produce a nice light TBS for up to 11 hours without having to do anything to it....putting the AMNPS on the coals would be no better than just using hickory chunks but would burn out much quicker and probably warp the AMNPS.....

    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012

  9. Thanks Mark... it was just me and the wife last night but she was very happy with the outcome.. as was I.

  10. davidhef88

    davidhef88 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice looking bone. That's exactly how I like mine. 
  11. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It looks great the ribs looks amazing i love my ribs not to soft and when you pull they must have slight grip to the  bone.nice job.
  12. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I do ribs on my kettle a lot, but I use wood chunks mixed in with the charcoal and just start a real small fire on the edge with maybe 6-8 lit briquettes. It will give nice TBS for hours.

    But even with all your problems your ribs look fantastic, & the plate looks delicious.

    Here's a shot of how I set up the fire in our kettle.


  13. Thanks for all the comps guys.... very much appreciated.

    Al, your set up is very similar to mine except I run 2 Weber charcoal baskets... one on each side of the kettle... works great like you said.  I just toss a few hickory chunks on now and again and I think the method really works great and produces some very good ribs when ya don't have 6 hours to smoke them.  Thanks for sharing the pictures, Al.

  14. they look awesome Salt!

    I would love some ribs now
  15. Thanks Harry!

    I could go for some ribs right now too!  [​IMG]

    Those are LONG gone... LOL


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