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Ribs for Tailgate

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

This weekend I picked up about 40 lbs of spare ribs (approximately 12 racks) to be smoked for a large group of fellow tailgaters (Go Pokes!). I am having trouble deciding the best method to get these done and tasting well for the group (though there will be lots of beer present). Time is not an issue here, so please consider that. I have 2 major considerations to keep in mind here. The first is the size of the smoker, and getting 12 racks on at one time. The picture below is a picture of my New Braunfels smoker. The second major consideration is the outside temperature. The weather is calling for a snowy mix, 47, the high, and 27, the low. Keeping the temperature at 225 is going to present a major hurdle, I believe. If you have any secrets, I'd love to know. 

 

I have pondered multiple methods of how to go about this.

 

The first method is to go all 3-2-1 all on the smoker at 225, however keeping the temperature is going to be a challenge, as I mentioned above. 

 

The second method I have pondered is to bake the ribs in the oven for 3 hours at about 225, followed by 2 hours on the smoker in foil, and 1 hour in the smoker with no foil. 3-2-1 with the first 3 in the oven.  

 

One last issue I have pondered is what my heat source should be. Shall I use only charcoal, shall I use firewood, or shall I use a mix of both? Temperature is something I struggle with so any help is appreciated. 

 

I would love to hear any input on this, and I am open to many ideas! 

 

post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by reese771 View Post
 

This weekend I picked up about 40 lbs of spare ribs (approximately 12 racks) to be smoked for a large group of fellow tailgaters (Go Pokes!). I am having trouble deciding the best method to get these done and tasting well for the group (though there will be lots of beer present). Time is not an issue here, so please consider that.  

 

I have 2 major considerations to keep in mind here. The first is the size of the smoker, and getting 12 racks on at one time. The picture below is a picture of my New Braunfels smoker. Go out and buy a couple of cheap rib racks that hold 5-6 racks each.  This is the off season but you can usually pick them up at Sears, HD, or Lowes.   

 

The second major consideration is the outside temperature. The weather is calling for a snowy mix, 47, the high, and 27, the low. Keeping the temperature at 225 is going to present a major hurdle, I believe. If you have any secrets, I'd love to know.  Either bump the temp up a little or go to Harbor Freight tools and buy a cheap welder's blanket to drape over the smoker to add some insulation.

 

I have pondered multiple methods of how to go about this.

 

The first method is to go all 3-2-1 all on the smoker at 225, however keeping the temperature is going to be a challenge, as I mentioned above. With that many racks, wrapping would be a PITB.   

 

The second method I have pondered is to bake the ribs in the oven for 3 hours at about 225, followed by 2 hours on the smoker in foil, and 1 hour in the smoker with no foil. 3-2-1 with the first 3 in the oven.  Don't bother with the foil. Just do them unwrapped. 

 

One last issue I have pondered is what my heat source should be. Shall I use only charcoal, shall I use firewood, or shall I use a mix of both? Use what you are familiar with.  Lots of hot charcoal then use smaller splits for the wood. 

 

Temperature is something I struggle with so any help is appreciated. Stable temps are nice but not absolutely necessary.  Just monitor the temps to keep them from running away in one direction or the other.  225-275F chamber temp will work.  If the chamber is running toward the hotter side take some time off the total smoke.  Avoid opening the smoker as much as possible.  Test for doneness with the bend test. 

 

I would love to hear any input on this, and I am open to many ideas! 

 

post #3 of 8
I would use wood cut short say
post #4 of 8
Sorry hit send on accident and can't figure out how to edit with tapatalk. Cut short say 8-10" and split small like 2-3"!
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noboundaries View Post


What does PITB stand for?
post #6 of 8
"Pain in the butt"
post #7 of 8

For more even temps, use a charcoal basket, with preferably Kingsford Competition briquets if you can find them, if not I use the original Kingsford blue bag with no problem.  I use a charcoal basket even in my big offset, just makes maintaining a fire and even heat so much easier.  You can add small splits of wood to the fire for the smoke or just chips or chunks.  This will give you the best chance at maintaining even heat and temps during the cook.  You're not going to hurt the ribs if you cook them at 250 either, I cook all my comp ribs at or around 250, with a 3-2-.5 method.  The last half hour is just to set a sauce (if you can find Head Country Original, go with it, if not Sweet baby Rays thinned with a bit of apple juice is great as a glaze).  If you need more space, pick up a couple of rib racks, this should allow you to fit all 12 racks in your smoker with one cook.  If you want any smoke on the ribs at all, do not cook them in the oven first.  I think the racks will do the trick for you.

Happy smoking! 

post #8 of 8

A couple of different versions of rib racks....

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