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- 23 Posts. Joined 2/2014
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80% of the time the biggest problem is patience. Relax feel the zen, achieve that perfect chi, have another cold beer instead of running and checking the meat. The best smokes I have are when I just least care. When its important like a family gathering, that when I screw up. BUt then again I never get complaints.
Remember you are always your biggest critique. You picture in your mind what they SHOULD look like and smell and taste like and it only happens like that when you just don't care. If you can nail it exactly how you want it everytime, you need to put wheels under that smoker and hit the circuit!
15% preparation, 5% dumb luck, and 80% patience.
If 3,2,1, is tuff try 3. 2.5.1. If still tuff go to 2.5 3, 1. That last one is just to allow for saucing and to firm up the meat after steaming for tender in the second part. I have always found that the meat is good to eat after the steam mode, then I throw in to dry a little.
I usually just leave 'em on the grate without foiling. If you regulate temps, its less work and I kind of like 'em better that way.
BTW your ribs look fine, if you think they are dry look at your foiling sauce/foiling time. Each pit is different, the formula works but you have to refine it for the pit's temperment and the outside temperature.
What Master Foamheart said I too have a WSM. I throw my SLC spares in a 235F smoker, sometimes a dry smoke (because I usually forget to add the water), sometimes wet. I smoke SLC ribs at 235F and never foil unless I want them fall-off-the-bone for my wife and kids. Don't even look at them for three hours. A quick spirtz, and I mean quick, then leave them alone for 90 minutes, then another quick spritz. I do a quick visual check at this point, 4.5 hours, to check color and look at the draw. By this point you'll see a little draw up on the bones. I usually do a bend test at 5.5 hours and check the draw to get an idea when they'll be done, then figure my 30 minute sauce point. 3.5 to 4 lb SLC racks are almost always done between 6 and 6.5 hours. If the temp spikes when I'm saucing I don't worry about it.
My wife and one of our daughters considers a "competition bite" tough and dry. I think they are perfect and juicy, as does my other daughter. When I make my wife and the one daughter FOTB ribs by 3.5-1.5-1 they think they are perfect and I think they are overcooked and mushy. I usually wrap them with a half cup of apple cider.
I smoke to the crowd.
BTW, when I used my gas grill to BBQ ribs it probably took me 30 tries to get them perfect. Took only a few tries when I started smoking because the knowledge transferred nicely. You'll get that perfect rack soon enough. Then you'll get a new idea and you're off to the races again.
Get heavy duty foil and the tears won't be a problem. Also, if you get a tear, you can double wrap. Also, use the bend test and toothpick test to check for to see if they are done. When bending, they should bend pretty much 90 degrees and the bark on the meat will crack. When using a toothpick, the toothpick should penetrate the meat easily.
The color looks off and not like anything I foil. They should be much darker. And much like the bend test, having the meat shrink up the bone is another good indicator. The pictures tend to show meat still tight to the ends of the bone. Once you foil, feel free to crank the heat up a bit, 250. The foil phase is mostly about producing some steam.
No foil and keep the temps down around 250° in your chamber. Use a little bit of brown sugar in the rub and let the ribs sit on the counter for about 15-20 minutes - the sugar will melt and make a nice coating. Put the ribs in your WSM and leave them alone for at least 4 hrs. - starting at the 4 hr. mark you can check them for the bend test, if not ready put lid on and wait another hour. Once they pass the bend test wrap in double layer of heavy foil and let them rest for at least 30 minutes - usually while you work on other stuff for the feast!
They will bite cleanly from the bone and be nice and moist!
No puppies were harmed in the making of this dinner!