Last night was my first attempt at smoking ribs. Over the past winter, I have been baking spare ribs in the oven (gasp). I have assumed that smoking ribs would be too difficult. A few weeks ago, I stumbled onto this site and convinced myself I had to try this.
Earlier this week, I purchased a Master Forge Charcoal Smoker from Lowes. I have not seen many reviews for this smoker, but as far as I can tell it is similar to a Brinkman Deluxe. I decided to try out the smoker in its stock setup to see how she cooks out of the box.
I tried starting with a ring of unlit coals in the smoker followed by a small chimney full of lit coals. This turned out too be too much heat. After an hour of trying to bring the temp down from 300, I removed about half of the coals and the temp settled down to 220. On went the the ribs. The first half of the smoke went well with temps a little on the low side around 215. After three hours, when I removed the ribs to wrap in foil, I added a half chimney of pre lit coals. This did the trick and the last half of the smoke was at 350.
The ribs came out delicious using the 3-2-1 method. My wife said they were much better than the oven baked ribs I had tried before. She has given me permission to continue in this hobby. Next week, I might attempt a pork butt. For now, I will work on air flow management under the coals using some mods from this site.
The Ribs were spread with mustard and rub and left to sit overnight in the fridge.
One Hour into the smoke. As you can see, the Ribs just barely fit on. I will measure the width of the grill next time and trim accordingly.
Three hours in, time to wrap in foil.
My first smoke ring. Dry ribs on the left, Apple-Cider Glazed on the right.