So, got up at 4 in the morning. Pulled out the 5 slabs of spares that had been marinating in rub overnight. I was smoking ribs for the first time so I was a bit nervous as the ribs were for pregame for the Tennessee Titans game for a couple of friends and I. I had already bought 2 slabs but decided I should pick up and extra two the night before at Kroger when I went for some last minute supplies. When I scanned the St. Louis spares at checkout, they were scanning at $1.39/lb! I quickly got another one.
Anyone ever try smoking 5 racks on a single 22" Weber?
Well, it CAN be done. Talking about pushing the envelope for the first time.
As you can see, every cardinal rule under the sun is broken - ends touching, too close together, too close to the fire (at least on one side). And I made another critical mistake - after switching sides around an hour in, I found myself waking up around a quarter to 7 (they had gone on at 4:30.) When I went out there, the heat was almost gone. So I had to stoke it up again. The last picture is from that time. Obviously I was now behind where I needed to be. I left them alone for a while and turned them once or twice. It was obvious that I wasn't going to make my deadline of 10:30. At that point, which was around 9:30, I called my buddy and said that I wasn't going to be there until around 11:15 and that the ribs were going to have to wait until after the game. We were going to have to finish them in the oven.
Well, about 10:00, I took each one out and painted some maple syrup on them and put them back under the kettle for another 45 minutes or so.
I actually left the house at a quarter to eleven, just stacking the ribs up in an open disposable roasting pan. Very low tech.
Got to the house and put them in the oven at 185 and went to the game.
Conditions being pretty miserable, we ended up leaving after the first half (yeah yeah, I know...). When we got back to the house, there were about 10 adults there. So I'm glad that I bought the extra couple of racks.
I checked the ribs and one of them was done. Originally, I had bought two full racks and had cut them down to St. Louis myself. I didn't do that bad of a job, but I was really a bit too aggressive with my cuts and they were one the smaller side (which is why I had bought extras in the first place - the already butchered spares looked a lot meatier than mine.
So I cut up the small rack and cranked up the oven to 205. We all got a rib or two and they were pronounced tasty. It didn't take long for the other ribs to finish up.
People loved them, even the guy who does BBQ professionally (he's got a Lang 84, which he was proud to show me pics of!). I think he was being a bit charitable, but I also think he was surprised at the results for my first time and when I told him how I did them, he was even more surprised at how they turned out.
As you can probably see, I could have gone a bit longer and they would have been a little more tender .But when I cut off the end piece of the fattest one, while a little firmer than I was shooting for, the meat was really tasty. I'd compare it to a pork butt cooked for slicing instead of pulling.
So, here are the details.
I cheated and bought some rub instead of using my own (I was out and would have had to spend about $30 putting it back together because my cupboard was literally bare). I bought Kroger's Private Label Texas Rub in the small square tubs. I can highly recommend it if you like a really spicy rub. It's mostly various chiles. I'd recommend using a sweet glaze to cut the edge of the spiciness though. Or, I guess you could doctor it up and add some brown sugar and paprika to cut the chile bite. As I said, I used 100% uncut maple syrup. I did spray with apple juice about every thirty minutes, except for the time that I was asleep.
At no point did any foil enter the mix.
Despite some scrambling, some breath-holding, some envelope-pushing, I was happy with my first time.
I look forward to doing this again soon. Heck, maybe I'll do some Saturday before my evening shift and take some in for my co-workers. Especially if Kroger still has them priced like they did. Hell, the first uncut ones were 2.99/lb and St. Louis ones were $3.99 (a dollar each each). I bought the last ones at a different store. I need to go back and see.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed the Q-view, even the foggy ones...