I have a rack of spareribs on now, only the third time I've tried ribs. I cannot seem to keep the temp down in the 200-225 range. Same thing happened last time. Normally, my drum is rock-solid.
I'm using a Maverick 732 thermometer with the pit probe clipped under the rack the ribs are on. The ribs are smack in the center of the upper rack of the drum,with an el-cheapo BigLots kettle grill lid. The drum came up to temp as usual, settled in around 230, I put the ribs on and the temp started going up. After closing the intake a bit at a time, and watching the tempcontinue to rise to 280, I finally closed it down completely, and the temp stabilized at 300. I went out to put a couple 1/2 gallon ice jugs on the bottom rack, and I noticed the drum didn't "feel" that hot at all--neither the drum itself or the air coming out when I removed the lid. The stem thermometer in the side of the drum was reading right at 225.
I moved the probe out from under the ribs, clipped it on the rack along side them. After the ice blocks being added, the temp did start to drop, and I reopened the valve a bit. We seem to be stabilized in the 240 range right now, and both thermometers are within 5 degrees of each other.
My first thought was an air leak, since the temp kept rising with the intakes totally closed. Then I got to wondering--is it possible that the width of the ribs was blocking the air flow in the drum, creating a hot spot directly under them?? I "think" I've clipped the probe directly under a brisket a time or two and had no problems, but my memory is totally unreliable, so I'm not positive.
Any more-experienced folks out there have any thoughts on what's going on?
By the way, that 732 has been pretty much indestructible. It's been dropped, forgotten in the rain (I told you my memory sucks...) left in the 110 degree sun a few days (the display disappears, but comes right back after it cools down) left running for a week at a time because I forgot to turn it off, you name it, I've abused it in most every way I can think of, and it continues to do a John Cameron Swayze. Thanks, Todd!