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new member, first time smoker.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Planning on smoking 3 racks of pork spare ribs tomorrow for my beautiful wife (and kids) for mother's day. Using an offset smoker that my kids got me for fathers day, this coming June. (Yep they did that.) Shooting for dinner about 4:00 before my daughter goes to work. Any advice would be appreciated. Chips vs. logs? Charcoal under the wood? I can make a steak to rival anyone's but I know nothing about smoking. Haven't had time to take the 5 day course but I will. Soak the wood in water? If so how long? I love the taste of meat so I'm unsure about rubs and marinades. My opinion, if it needs sauce, it wasn't cooked right. Bring it on, please.
post #2 of 7

Well Howdy Grump-pa!  Welcome to the SMF family.  I love how your kids think, combining Mothers AND Fathers Day.


I'm assuming you've seasoned your smoker to burn out the manufacturing oils.  It not, just fire it up tonight with a load of charcoal and let it get as hot as it will go.


I'm a big proponent of simple is better and will address your questions.  I'm sure others will chime in too.  Since this is your first smoke, the only prep you'll need to do to the ribs is to remove the membrane from the bone side.


Chips vs. logs?   Charcoal under the wood?  3-4 Fist sized wood chunks of choice (hickory, apple, peach, pecan, etc) work best buried just under the top layer of charcoal, deeper too if you want.  If the chunks are golf ball sized, put several together until they are the size of a fist.  Lump or briquette charcoal?  Your choice.  After you have your charcoal and wood pile ready just heat up a chimney full of charcoal and dump it on the pile.   Close up the smoker then add the meat when the smoke starts to get hints of blue in it and you are within range of your desired temp.  Don't bother soaking the wood.  Avoid chips because they just smoke like crazy and burn up too quickly.


Rubs and marinades?  Smokers choice.  Oil or mustard the ribs then apply whatever rub you want to use.  You'll have to figure out what you like.  Making a rub is easy.  Rubs with brown or turbinado sugar work nicely on spares.  If you don't want to make your own just about any commercial rub works.  My recommendation would be go light on the rub though.  Videos show people piling on the rub.  Yeah, rub can easily overpower the flavor of the little meat that is on spares.  Heck, you can even do salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder, then sprinkle with brown sugar to add some sweetness and a little crust.  Add cayenne for heat and paprika for color it you want.


A 3-2-1 method works at 225-235F (3 hours bare in the smoke, 2 hours wrapped in aluminum foil with a little apple juice, then 1 hour bare to firm up the bark).  Personally, I just let them go bare for 5-6 hours in the smoke at that temp, spraying 2-3 times with apple juice, until they reach the doneness I desire.  A water pan in your smoker will help put more smoke flavor on the meat.  You might want to try it without water the first time to have a base reference to what you like.


Happy Mother's Day!  Have a great first smoke!

post #3 of 7



Welcome to the Smoking  forum.   You’ll find great , friendly people here, all more than willing to answer any question you may have.  Just ask and you’ll get about 10 different answers—all right.  LOL.   Don’t forget to post qviews.


Gary---------Great reply Noboundaries

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Well they turned out great. The family loved them, so they said. I loved them. I found it very difficult to maintain temp. Maybe because its very windy today in NE Oklahoma. I don't know. But they still turned out fantastic. Thanks for the tips.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
By the way, the only thing I put on them was a little Cavenders Greek seasoning and basted with Angry Orchard apple ale. And then smoked them with mesquite. Delicious! Next time I want to try the apple wood.
post #6 of 7
Welcome, glad ya joined us !
post #7 of 7

Hello and welcome from East Texas. Glad your ribs turned out. Good to have you here.


Gary S

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