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My First Smoke: Bourbon St. Louis Ribs

post #1 of 3
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I got my Camp Chef LP vertical water smoker for Christmas and I couldn't wait for prime smoking weather for my first smoke, so I picked the first day with a sunny forecast.  Unfortunately, that day in February in Northern New Jersey was about 20 degrees with 20-30 mph winds.  I had asked around about what people thought a good first smoke would be, and the best advice I got was smoke something that you want to eat. After poring through a few cookbooks, Bourbon Ribs was the way to go.

 

I ran into quite a few problems that day.  Aside from the learning curve, keeping temp was the most difficult thing.  If I kept the flame high, the smoker would get way too hot.  If I kept the flame low, the wind would blow it out.  It took a lot of standing out in the freezing cold monitoring my temp.  Fortunately ribs are a shorter smoke so it wasn't too painful.  I made a few beginner mistakes like not refilling my water tray often enough or letting the wood run too low (although, my ribs were quite smoky, so not a mistake after all).  Also, this recipe had quite a few steps.  As an aside,  I did not remove the membrane (a mistake in my opinion) and I did not foil the ribs (questionable).  In the end my ribs were just a little tough, though still tender, possibly due to too many heat spikes.  The membrane was a bit annoying, but the flavor was amazing.  It was hard to tell if the ribs were "fall off the bone" because the membrane was holding everything together.  I used pecan wood and was pleased with the result.

 

Overall, it was a lot of fun and I learned that if I could get a successful result in those weather conditions, then it is possible to smoke in any condition.  Truly a year round hobby with a fantastic pay off.  Attached is a picture of my first smoke and my first rack of ribs. I completed my second smoke today which I will post about next.

 

-Joe

 

 

Bourbon St. Louis Ribs 1,375k .jpg file
post #2 of 3

  That is tough weather to smoke in! Looks like they came out great though!

 

  Mike

post #3 of 3
Congrats, Joe! Looks like it went very nicely...

Red
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