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Trial by fire! Spare ribs and beef ribs both for the first time...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
So tomorrow is set to be one of those days where my wife and daughter and I have nowhere to go and nothing to do other than sit around and watch football and maybe do some chores... Thought it would be the perfect day to do a little experimenting. 2 1.79/lb. racks of spareribs and a rack of beef ribs for 1.99 lbs. have me ready to experiment...1st time smoking either cut of meat. Rubbed the beef ribs with some Montreal steak seasoning

Rubbed the spare ribs with my sweet and spicy dry rub:

Couple of questions for anyone who sees this before I start them tomorrow around noon eastern time...

What kind of wood would be good for both?

Ballpark cooking time for each cut and for what percent of that time should I add smoke?

I have an idea for the spare ribs but if I were to baste or spray the beef ribs what kind of savory mop or spray can I use?

Since I have two racks of spares I might try the 3-2-1 for one rack and the keep the other one naked...wish me luck!
post #2 of 11

What kind of wood do you have? Cherry, apple, maple, oak, hickory in that order are my choices for wood.

3-2-1 may work for both, but use the bend test for doneness.

If you mop or spray do so sparingly, once an hour at the most and not for at least a couple of hours in for the first application. For the beef ribs I would use beef broth. You also want to make sure that your mop liquid is hot when you use it, applying cold liquid to the meat will extend cooking time.

post #3 of 11

Spritzing, Moping, spraying are all fine for a fire burner. Spareribs: I always used a simple butter, Apple cider vinegar, salt & Pepper warmed in a sauce pan to mop with. With Electric smoker I don't spritz, mop, or sauce and I use the 3 2 1 method for the most part. When foiled oddly I use squeeze butter, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. The bend test as stated above if the definitive method for testing doneness on a fire burner. With an electric after a 2 hour foil chances are good its going to break easily. You'll see a meat drawback exposing bone and cooked protein exiting the rib bones.


Beef ribs, are just salt and pepper, maybe a nice massage with Lea & Perins.


Spares by 3 2 1, obviously about 6 hours, usually. non-3 2 1 about 7 hours.


Beef ribs I use the toothpick test like with a brisket, looking for a 160/165 IT


Beef broth, butter, salt/pepper, Lea & Perins, Jacque Daniels or beer?


Vinegar is usually used because it help break down the collagen or connective tissues to make the meat tender. Oil/butter is for flavor and browning.


I use fruitie with my poultry but not normally with my meats.


Course these are just my observations, you need to figure out what you like. Then how to make that work for you.


Oh and if you are using electric, moping spritzing are really not needed.


Hope ya have full and enjoy the smoke.

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the suggestions! I have only chips and I know chunks are more desirable...but I want to use up what I have... I have a bag of everything as I got a little clearance sale happy at Walmart . I'll be using propane on my masterbuilt two door dual fuel pro.

Starting a little earlier than I initially thought maybe 11am. What about a mixture of beef broth and red wine? For cooking that's a classic combination for sauces for beef or will wine react strangely to smoking?

Again, thanks for all your advice, definitely going to use it and i'll post some pics along the way!
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Wow, today was a tough one... The wind was insane and even with propane as my fuel I could not keep a constant temp! I tried every vent position, tinkering with the propane knob...nothing worked... Every half hour or so the wind just blew out the propane burner all together so the temp started to plummet. I was determined to keep it going at least for the three hours I wanted to apply smoke. I went as far as jury rigging a wall to block the wind out of three old shelves I found in my garage.

After three hours of stress using a mix of Apple and hickory chips, the burner kept getting blown out so I brought it inside with this set up in a 225 degree oven

This was my first time with spare ribs or a full rack of beef ribs so I was really worried about how they would come out. As you can see in the pic I 3-2-1'd one rack and did the other naked. The beef rack was naked all the way.

So despite my struggles the end result was pretty good:

Beef Rack whole

Beef rib sliced

Spare ribs racks

Spare rib sliced

Have to say they all had a nice smokey flavor but not over the top... The bark on the ribs was really dark but didn't taste charred or burned at all. I preferred the spare ribs that weren't foiled because I like when hey are tender but stay on the bones and you see your bite mark. The foiled ones weren't falling off the bone but when you bit down all the meat came off.

Overall a very trying day of smoking but it was worth it in the end! Thanks so much for your advice! I considered all that you shared about timing and tenderness and the types of wood and did a little bit of my own experimentation and got a pretty good end result!

post #6 of 11
Looks good. Yeh in windy conditions a wind block is mandatory. I keep mine outside and up against a wall and my back porch with some leftover 12'' tiles I have laying around for a block on the bottom around the smoker. Works like a charm for me. I've smoked in rain and wind. No problemo. Lol.
post #7 of 11

And you have more infomation and experience assimulated. Don't forget to write it down because believe me, nobody has perfect recall.


Nice smoke ring, looks juicy, no pictures of a dead pet. I assume you know to test on them pets, kids work also.


Loos good to me, grats.

post #8 of 11
Looks great nice job. icon14.gif
post #9 of 11

Nice job! Everything looks good.

Edited by Big Biscuit - 11/11/13 at 12:20pm
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the kind words everyone...a lot less windy today, should have smoked today! I do however need a little break from bbq food haha. Had the smoker for a little more than a week and have already used it 5 times. Maybe a nice bowl of pasta for dinner tonight. Definitely enjoying this new hobby haha and my friends and family are benefitting from my trials!
post #11 of 11

Some BBQ spaghetti perhaps?

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