I just became a member of the site a few weeks ago and I'm super stoked about it. Tons of good and interesting reads here. Now onto my first post on the site and the details of my smoke today.
I'm currently deployed and have been bouncing around the Mediterranean and Middle East for a few months now, most recently Kuwait. I have an unknown amount of time here, but on my first day saw that pork spare ribs were sold at the store here. Long story short, I managed to find the smoker, rub ingredients, charcoal and everything else you need to accompany the 12 racks I bought for the guys I work with. I tell what, you don't realize how many small things you need until you have zero and have to start from scratch. That being said the one major item I couldn't find was a temp gauge/thermometer and there wasn't even one one the smoker.
Back home I smoke with the Bayou Classic Ceramic smoker from Lowe's and this was my first cook with an offset. It was also my first time with spares, as I usually smoke baby backs. Todays equipment:
-New Braunfels offset smoker
-The rub was 2lbs brown sugar with some (quantities un-measured, but proportionate for a rub) cumin, paprika, garlic salt, and some allspice.
-Charcoal was Match light :-/ (not a fan)
-Mesquite wood chips
-cleaning the grill
-starting up the pit with Match Light
-getting the racks ready with the rub
-the cook with some thin blue smoke
Overall it was a success but the biggest downfall was not knowing the temp of the pit. That's an intense challenge if you really want to test your skills. One of my fears was not being able to have enough heat and end up with a 7 hour cook. I REALLY didn't want those ribs to go to waste. So the only mod I did was raise the fire pit grill height by cramming a few rocks under it. Then I had a water pan on the lower level of the smoke chamber in order to spread out the heat and not burn the first rack closest to the fire. I ended up cooking 6 racks at a time; the first with no foiling, and the second with foiling (3-2-1ish). My cook times were about 4 hours a piece leading me to believe the pit was well above the 225 we all know is good. (Maybe 300*? Or higher?)This lead to delicious, but not super tender, fall off the bone ribs. However the second batch I foiled turned out better.
I was happy with the cook as it was the first time I was able to do anything in over 4 months. Thanks!!!