Well, everything went great! Except one tiny little detail......we forgot to pack the camera and I only took pictures with my new smartphone that I am having some issues getting the pictures off of.
Here's a Cliff Notes version of the process:
Friday night I applied a smokehouse rub and wrapped the ribs in plastic to sit in the refrigerator overnight. Saturday morning I unwrapped them and got them into the smoker around 10:30. The smoker was preheated to 220 and I put the ribs in on two rib racks and one flat grate. (12 half slabs in total). I used apple wood for the smoke. After about a half hour the temp only got back up to 180 so I bumped the dial up a little and checked again in about 45 minutes and it was 280 in the smoker. that became the "battle" of the day regulating the temperature! I sprayed them with an apple juice/water combo after about 90 minutes. After about 2 1/2 hours, I wrapped the ribs in foil and cooked them for about 2 hours. After that I took them out of the foil and they were about 140 degrees. So, I applied my favorite sauce to them and put them back in for another hour until they hit 160 degrees and were ready to go!
Those are the pics from the finished product in the smoker, in the pan on the table and also how clean the bones were when they were finished being devoured!
Now, I have a question. When the smoke was flowing very nicely out of the smoker, it was also escaping through the edges of the door (lots of it!!) so I trust that the heat was also escaping during the cooking process! Is there a way to gasket the door or something like that to keep the smoke (and heat) in the smoker where it belongs?? Also, we like more sauce on the ribs than the amount I was able to put on in one application (I usually put 3 or 4 layers on them when grilling them but the smoker would never get hot enough to cook them if I keep opening the door to add sauce.)