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post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I posted earlier this week wondering if anyone would like to see a side by side cook gas vs coal/stick. So here it is, the entire cook posted with end results. This is not my competition style this is just an at home experiment and dinner for my family and some friends. Please feel free to share ideas or ask any questions along the way but do not post negative or tell me i dont know what i'm doing, i win ribbons on ribs but like i said suggestions are welcome. This is also a thread for people new to smoking meat that would like to learn about ribs so please no question is a dumb one. So here it goes guys!


To start and to also make this experiment even more interesting i bought ribs from two suppliers, one rack from a local butcher and one from a supermarket. Both racks are St. Louis style but i still had to so some minor trimming and remove membrane. Keep in mind this is not for competition so i just did a quick and easy trim.


This is the butchers cut before trimming and membrane removal




This is the supermarket




The membrane removal of the supermarket




Now the butcher, notice how much better the trimming and quality job the butcher did.




Now I did a mustard slather that is very simple, i got this one out of "the baron of bbq's" book i picked up on sale. does a very good job. some poeple don't use the mustard but i feel that once everything sets up it makes a flavor "paste" that sticks well and helps break down into the meat.





This seasoning i used is very complex but it is well worth the time and money if you are using it for comp. it will make the difference when it comes time to hear the names called at the end.I put a good heavy even coating on both racks




Next step is to wrap in plastic wrap and let it set up for at least 3 hours in the fridge




Next while i waited and checked my new et-73, it was spot on.




Next i cleaned the smokers and lit the coals




took the ribs out after they sat in the fridge and wow do they look good




Next a give one last light coating




Now i placed in the smoker both with apple wood and around 225. I prefer to use these racks just for sanitary reasons. i can pull these things out and put in the dish washer and know they are clean everytime plus it makes it easy to take in and out.





Finally TBS!




After 1 hour i start spritzing with a simple mixture of apple juices and cider vinegar. then every 30 after that





Over Smoke!



post #2 of 14

Looks-Great.gifCan't wait to see finished comparison.   110.gif

post #3 of 14

Great thread.

post #4 of 14

Thanks for sharing.  Looking good so far.

post #5 of 14

Great thread! I'll keep watching it

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you guys, i'll keep it coming!

post #7 of 14

Looks so good! And I'm here at work, eating a salad. icon_sad.gif

post #8 of 14
Looking good. Cant wait for the results show.
post #9 of 14

What is the rub recipe?

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

okay so three hours in i'm going to foil. I'm using the 3-2-1 method just to keep it simple. In competition i find using a mixture of foil on and off gets it right where it needs to be. For any new smokers out there that are reading my thread and don't understand the 3-2-1 method it's simply 3 hours unfoiled, 2 hours foiled and 1 hour unfoiled with your choice of finishing sauce if you prefer. For my foil step i chose to use a slight baste of Tiger sauce and then another light coat of seasoning on top. So far it seems that the gas ribs look a little dryer but that it really the only noticable difference. here's the pics


This is the stick/coal rack after the Tiger and seasoning




This is the gas after




Afterwards i wrapped them up and threw them in the gas smoker due to ease of use and i had to run down to home depot to get emergency hot water heater parts.




at this point they have about 40ish minutes left in the foil i have been burning sticks and have a nice apple coal bed, no more charcoal and i'm going to switch to the stick burner to save gas.  I plan on using my peach glaze and maybe half of one cherry chipoltle. stay tuned!

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Moved to stick burner and WOW these things are tender!


post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

waiting on the beans to get done and these things are coming out. Everything was basted and returned to smokers. camera died but when i get some battery life i will upload those pictures and the finsihed product!


post #13 of 14

So what's the result?

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

first off i'd like to appologize for anyone that was following me yesterday we had a water heater emergency that required me to get away from the computer til way after midnight but the hot water is back on and here are the results!


Right after i unwrapped and right before glazing and returning to the gas. my camera died after this picture so i did not get a picture of the stick burner but to my surprise they were nearly identical. These things were so incredibly tender i was worried about them firming back up like i like.





I glazed both racks with my peach glaze which is great for anyone that likes a sweet rib but not a candy like rib. I let the heat slowly die down for 30 minutes then i opened the firebox and turned the gas off of the other smoker and let them rest in the warm smokers for 20-30. this picture is after i pulled them out of the smoker. These things really turned out to be beautiful. the one on the bottom is the stick burner top is gas.





In this picutre i am displaying the smoke rings. the one on the left is the stick burner and you can see a noticable amount of difference in the smoke rings. The stick burner has a much nicer and defined smoke ring. Not even close on this one. If you want a good smoke ring you need coals and sticks.





In this picture I'm going to display the bark. Both smokers made a very good even bark. This is where using a good even coating of rub and using mustard helps a lot. As far as bark they were about even but the gas smoker's bark was more dry. this can easily be overcome by a water pan and more frequent spritzing. I appologize for the heavy glaze but you can still see bark. Stick on left




Tenderness was just about dead even but i give credit to the cooks over the smokers when it comes to tenderness. You have to know your smokers, times, rubs, etc. These things were perfect not too firm not too tender and look at the smoke in this bite. This is the stick burnt





The taste was excellent, the rub was great, good apple wood smoke is not over powering but adds a great flavor with pork. The only difference in flavor was the great wood and coal flavor that you can only get from sticks and coals.


As far as being easy to use the gas smoker did well. As advertised its basically set and forget. I only added wood 1 time right in the middle so roughly 3 hours of smoke per cast iron skillet. The sticks/coals of course took for effort but i know my smoker pretty well so even on the little cheap smoker i can keep it decently consistant just have to knock down the flames every once in a while. Using the et-73 made keeping up with the temperature a breeze. i highly recommend the et-73.



In my opinion the sticker burner is the winner by far. It just gives the meat a look and flavor you can get from anything else. If you want to make easy ribs with a medium light smoke flavor the gas smoker will do great for you. I will use the gas smoker for ribs when the temps get too low to enjoy being outside but in my opinion NOTHING beats ribs the old fashion way. STICKS AND COALS


here's a happy pit and the winner!




Thank you everyone that has been following. please feel free to discuss and ask questions! I hope i have helped those wanting to learn and those curious! Happy smoking!




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