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what went wrong

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

1st time smoking and using WSM.  Started with 3 nice baby backs..used "rudimentary rub" in Low and Slow cookbook...paprika, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder.  Rubbed ribs with prepared mustard before spreading on the rub.  Started with Kingsford coals 3/4 filled coal holder and 3-4 chunks of applewood.  Cooked about 4 1/2 hours.  Top thermometer on the grill stayed at about 270 degrees and refilled coals and water pan after about 2 hours.  Ribs came out slightly burnt, salty and dry.  Can't be the cook so I must have bought dry ribs???

post #2 of 14

I think you may find most people here are smoking 225-250 degrees it may have been to hot.May also need to cut back on the salt. I am sure more will chime in here. Good luck.worthless.gif

 

post #3 of 14

First off don't trust factory therms, first thing we replace. Next most of us get a digital therm or three, I have 3 digitals and 3 analog therms myself. I run my smokers at 250* constant. One thing about salt on Q is that it will draw out moisture and make the meat dry, one exception is when you brine poultry which actually puts moisture into the meat. Sounds like alot at first but just sit back and read alot here and you'll be a pro in no time. By the way just holler if you have a question and someone will come along. 

post #4 of 14

My guess would be the factory thermo, There never accurate.

If you have a good thermo( I use the maverick ET-73) Try another smoke with it to see just where the factory thermo is running

 

post #5 of 14

I agree with these guys. The factory therm on my WSM is off about 40 degrees and it reads low, so if yours is the same & it read 270, then you may have been smoking at over 300 degrees, which is way too high for ribs. That would definitely have dried them out.

post #6 of 14

What Al said....never trust a factory therm and check the new therm you buy in a boiling water bath....should be at 212 degrees, give or take a degree. Give it another go with some cheap chicken parts or something so you can learn the way your new smoker performs.I run a gasser but from what I see on here most guys love the WSM....don't forget the Q/views...

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

great feedback..sounds like I need a thermometer.. I'm looking at a Maverick ET-732 from BBQ-Guru and bracket eyelets to avoid drilling this young smoker...Noticed that the ET-732 probes won't fit through the  1/4" eyelet holes.  Is there another good thermometer that reads both cooker and meat whose probes will fit the hole or another solution besides drilling?  thanks in advance

post #8 of 14

There are several different manufacturers that sell inexpensive digital probes. I have several Taylors & Accu-rites. As long as you check them every couple of smokes in boiling water to make sure they are still accurate they will work fine. The other thing to remember is don't clean the probe by putting it in water. I just clean mine with rubbing alcohol. Wally world sells several digital therms for under $20. The only probes that I have heard of that don't fit thru the Guru eyelets are the Maverick. Since BBQ Guru is selling the Mavericks, maybe they have a special eyelet for them. I think it would be worth a call or email to them to find out.

post #9 of 14

I would also use a water pan over your coals. It makes steam that keeps your meat from drying out. I never smoke in my charcoal smoker without a water pan. Just make sure to keep water in the pan as it boils out rather quickly.

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by meateater View Post

First off don't trust factory therms, first thing we replace. Next most of us get a digital therm or three, I have 3 digitals and 3 analog therms myself. I run my smokers at 250* constant. One thing about salt on Q is that it will draw out moisture and make the meat dry, one exception is when you brine poultry which actually puts moisture into the meat. Sounds like alot at first but just sit back and read alot here and you'll be a pro in no time. By the way just holler if you have a question and someone will come along. 



He is spot on about most factory therms. As he said, keep reading and you'll be speeding through the learning curve. It's all good my friend.

 

post #11 of 14

Take it from a newbie!!!  There's a TON of good info on SMF.  And I agree with all the pros here, a good therm is your best friend . . . next to a good beer. 

 

As far as the salt, I found a recipe that called for seasoned salt, smoked salt, onion salt and celery salt.  That's a lot of salt!   I eliminated the seasoned salt and smoked salt, substituted the onion salt with onion powder and kept only the celery salt.  Best ribs I ever had.  I'll pass down some good advice I once received - always use the recipe as written the first time and then change it up to make it your own later.

 

Also, check out this wiki on the Minion Method.  It's a way to keep the smoker going without having to replenish your coals. 
Click this link http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/wiki/minion-method or search for "Minion Method" here on SMF.

 

Please always remember and never forget - Low and slow is the way to go!

post #12 of 14

Not much to add here but would highly recommend the ET732 if you cant mod it to fit, get a few Taylors , sometimes you can pick them up for about $12.00 a piece.

Also try the 3-2-1 method and keep temps to about 225°

Not much salt needed in the rub also.

 

here is my general rub

  • 1/3 cup coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • 1-1/2 cup (packed) Sugar in the Raw(brown sugar is ok)
  • 1-1/4 cup paprika
  • 1 Tbsp freshly coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cup dried onion flakes
  • ¼ cup onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp coriander or Ginger
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary
post #13 of 14

You might try different charcoal too.  This site has tons of info on charcoal.

 

http://www.nakedwhiz.com/lump.htm

post #14 of 14

Also keep in mind that no matter what therm you have the WSM will have differant heat levels on each rack and at the dome lid. Best way to really know what is going on inside is to fire up your WSM with a probe located in the middle of each rack, get your smoker running at 250° steady on the lid therm, then check to see what each rack is doing. Make a note of the temp. differance between the three and factor that into future smokes. My lid therm is actually fairly accurate, it reads 212° ±5° in boiling water.

 

Specifically regarding ribs on the WSM, keep the temps down around 220-240°, and you will have much better results.

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