Last weekend I did my first truly smoked ribs. I planned on using my AMNS but it didn't come in yet. But no fear, it's here now and I will be using it this weekend for the SB! Therefore, for these ribs, I used my big custom because my cheapo gas grill was too small and my UDS was at my parents' house. This cooker is gas, and has one burner running down the middle from left side to right. I used two foil pouches of hickory laid right on the burner. I wanted a fruit wood, but all I could find at the grocery store was hickory or mesquite. I went with hickory. I had two racks and did one with the 2-2-1 method, and one just low and slow to compare the differences. I removed the membrane the night before, and the morning of smoke day I rubbed them down with some generic pork rub from the store. Here they are all rubbed. No, I did not use Old Bay (even though I freaking love that stuff), I just had to move it out of the spice cabinet to get to the others:
So I got the grill rolling. Yes, I'm a huge Gamecock fan. I always take my cooker to tailgate at least a few times a year, still trying to make it on Gameday!:
The ribs got rolling and the grill held around 220*:
With the ribs rolling, I decided to give the world famous wicked beans a try. I also did some gouda and country ham mac n cheese:
Here they are after finishing before I threw them on a hot grill to sauce up. I used the toothpick to remember in case I forgot which one was 2-2-1 and which was not. When I foiled the 2-2-1 rib, I put some apple juice in the pouch. My girlfriend's dog, Chloe, looks like she would love to dig in:
Meanwhile, the beans were done as was the mac n cheese. The beans were excellent, even though I'm typically not a big fan of baked beans. The mac was good, but it was trial run. It was a little dry, so I need to add more liquid and not bake it. It was a very simple heavy cream sauce reduced and with the cheese melted in. I should have stopped right there. BUT, I baked it to cook the cheese sauce in while the ribs finished, and I think it cooked a lot of the liquid out:
Finally, the ribs were done. Here they are sauced up. I used store-bought sauce. Used Stubbs on one and KC Hickory on the other: (I love Sweet Baby Ray's, so I had it out to dip in if need be)
Here is a decent picture showing the smoke ring. I think this is the non-2-2-1 method rib. It seemed to get more smoke penetration. Oh, and after the first two hours, I spritzed it with apple juice.
The 2-2-1 ribs were phenomenal. However, they were almost too tender. I'm sure my girlfriend loved them, she likes them "fall-off-the-bone." The non-2-2-1 ribs were great too. They ended up cooking around 5.5 hours. But I think they needed just a touch longer. I did the 90-degree bend test and they were just a hair shy of 90 degrees. Maybe I'll try an extra 15 or 30 minutes next time. Also, the apple flavor on both was a little too much for me. I think I'd rather taste more rub, sauce, and of course smoke. Maybe I should use something else instead of apple juice? Finally, I have GOT to find a good rub and sauce or make my own. The rub and sauces I used got the job done, but the flavor wasn't amazing. I've been toying with buying Jeff's stuff, but I'm a broke law student and trying to pinch pennies. I'll break down and buy them one day, but I'd love to make my own. I finally perfected my vinegar/pepper barbecue gravy, just need to do a rib sauce. The only problem is that barbecue sauce for ribs usually has sooooo many ingredients and it's a pain. Oh well, any suggestions? Enjoy. I'm trying my first chicken cordon bluuuh this weekend with the AMNS.