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1st time smoking

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi all,


I am new to the forums, and new to smoking. Last week, the wife and I picked up a new Oklahoma Joe offset smoker from Lowes. I followed the directions and burned it in ( seasoned) last weekend.

I am planning to smoke some spare ribs for the 4th of July, having some folks over my daughter, her husband and children.

So today I thought I would give it a trial run, and see how it went before I do the big 4th smoke.


I picked up a rack of spare ribs, and they are currently on the smoker - using the 3-2-1 method. ( I have done some reading up on the internet).

They are in the 2 phase now. I got a chimney starter, and started the charcoal using the minion method. All went well, but I think I perhaps started with too much charcoal?  I poured briquettes on the fire grate in the fire box, made them concave so the middle was lower than the outer ring, and poured the hot and ready coals on top in the middle area. I had the chimney about 2/3rd full.

I imagine probably somewhere around 6-7 lbs of charcoal overall.  I also have a bag of hickory chunks, and have been putting 2-3 of those on top of the coals as I went to keep the smoke going.


When I first got going , the temp rose to like 300 F before long, and that was reading the installed thermometer on the stack side of the barrel. I am sure it was hotter than that near the cooking grate and firepit side.


I pretty much shut completely the fire pit draft door, as it has a little gap around it and still pulls some air. I have the exhaust stack cover about 2/3rd closed. I also notice I have some smoke coming out around the fire pit cover door, the barrel cover door, and where the stack goes through the smoker. Would this contribute to me not being able to get the temp down? Or did I just build too big a fire?


Thanks for any tips for this newbie,




post #2 of 13
Hi Don! welcome1.gif to SMF!!! We're happy you found us! You've come to the right place, we have over 50,000 members who just love to share their experience and over 900,000 posts describing it!

The search bar at the top can be your best friend when you are trying to find answers to your questions but you can still ask too if you want!

We have an Articles section that is full of great information about smoking to include a lot of recipes and instructionals. Check it out there is a lot to learn in there!

Would you do us a favor and add your location to your profile, it helps others to know where you are when they offer advice, Thanks!

You might want to check out Jeff's Free 5 day E-Course, it will teach you all the basics plus a whole lot more!

Open the exhaust all the way, you don't want the smoke getting stagnant inside the chamber. If you have leaks around the firebox door then it could be getting too much air and that will make the fire burn hotter.
Edited by S2K9K - 6/30/13 at 6:20am
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tip Dave, going to open the exhaust all the way now.


Also, now that the fire is burning down, my temp is more in line with what it should be as well.

post #4 of 13

Hi Don and welcome, have fun and enjoy.



post #5 of 13
Welcome to the forums, Don! Glad you've joined us. You've found a great place to learn and share ideas on our favorite pastimes...grilling, smoking, and curing great food! There are lots of friendly and knowledgeable folks here who really enjoy helping one another. Just ask any time you need help and you'll get plenty!

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the warm welcome guys!

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey gang,


I thought I would report back - my first time smoke with the rack of spare ribs, turned out pretty darn good. I used a store bought pork rub - McCormick, and Sweet Baby Ray's Sweet N Spicey bbq sauce. I used the 3-2-1 method, and covered with the BBQ sauce for the 2 and 1. My wife thought they had a little too much hickory smoke flavor, I think I should cut back maybe and only smoke for like the first three hours.


I know, I am sure I could have done better on the rub choice, but this was more for a test run before the big smoke on the 4th. And I only got to marinate them for about an hour, rather than overnight.


For the 4th, I will probably be smoking 3 racks of spare ribs, and maybe throw some sausage on as well.


Ok, now for the dumb newbie question - the rack of spare ribs yesterday, I cooked for about 5.5 hours, maybe little more. Now when I throw three racks on and cook at the same time, does 3-2-1 still apply? In other words, cooking time about the same for three racks as it was for 1?





post #8 of 13
Welcome and congrats on your ribs... you must take pictures!
Your correct. . Your still gonna cook them around the 6 hour mark.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Great, thanks Mike!

I did take a pic, will try and post here when I get some time, probably later this afternoon or evening.

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Ok here is a pic, with them on smoker with about 30 minutes to go


post #11 of 13
Now thats what im talking about! I havent done ribs in a while... I think you just made up my mind for next weekends smoke...
You mentioned you just bought store bought rub.. if you want a good all around rub. Order Jeffs rub from this site... its good with everything.. easily adjustable to your likings... and It supports SMF! And his other site... I especially live it on pork and chicken!
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Great, I hope you enjoy yours as much as I did mine - plus I get to do again on the 4th, only more of them...


Thanks for the tip on the rub, I will have to order some and give it a try.




post #13 of 13
Originally Posted by dburne View Post

Great, I hope you enjoy yours as much as I did mine - plus I get to do again on the 4th, only more of them...

Thanks for the tip on the rub, I will have to order some and give it a try.

Thanks Don. HAPPY 4TH and happpy smoking if I dont run into you on here again before then.
And remeber to take pics to keep me and everyone else on here drooling and hungry ;)
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