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First time newb, ribs and wings today

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm new at all this and decided today to try some ribs with Jeff's rub.  I have a Masterbuilt 30" which I just got with some cashed in Lowes gift cards I received for Christmas.  I had an old Cabelas kettle type about 20 years ago and had little success with it, just not knowing what I was doing.  I felt an electric would be more user friendly to a neophyte.

Because of the size of the smoker racks it was necessary to cut the ribs in half.



Ribs fresh into hot smoker @225°  Note that fresh clean interior.  With only one chicken smoked to date in this smoker, it's time to get it broken in!


First time with the 3-2-1 method,  after 3 hours,  I sprinkled some of the rub mixed with more brown sugar (2:1 rub to sugar) into some hd foil and added three pats of butter then placed the ribs on top, meat side down, and double wrapped.  Then I threw them back into the smoker.   At the 4 hour mark I added some wings with Jeff's rub on them.  At the 5 hour mark, I removed the ribs from the foil and put them back in the smoker, and ramped the heat up to 250° for the last hour.


Everything is looking good now!


So at the 6 hour mark, I removed the wings and dipped them in Franks Hot Sauce cut 50:50 with cider vinegar, then threw them on a hot grill to crisp the skin up a bit.  Not sure it was necessary as I couldn't resist trying one right off the smoker and it was great.  Nevertheless, onto the grill the rest went, about two minutes then flipped for around another two minutes.


I took the ribs off and let them rest about 10 minutes.



Then I cut up the ribs and we dug in!




The wings were pretty darn good.  With the Franks or just Jeff's rub, just superb.



Some thoughts:

I could probably back off on the time with the wings a bit.  They were not dried out though, and were much better than ones I've made just on the grill.  I probably  err on the side of overcooked on the grill and have a tendency to dry them out.  So considering these were not dried out and right tasty too, maybe I hit it right after all.


The ribs:  The rack was thicker on one half and thinner on the other.  The thinner half was maybe a touch dry.  I'd say the thick half was just right.  These were much better than any I've eaten in restaurants.  I'm always disappointed in restaurant ribs, always feeling like they were cooked last week and reheated when I ordered them.  So I'm happy with that.  Still not entirely satisfied. 


Maybe with both, I should not have ramped the heat up that last hour.  Right before I took off the ribs, I stuck a thermometer between two bones and registered about 189°.  Don't know, maybe I should have dropped down to 175°-200° instead of going up.


I used mesquite wood.  While I don't think the smoke flavor was overpowering, it is a quite flavorful smoke.  Almost leaving an oily aftertaste in my mouth.  Not as noticeable with the wings.  I did a whole chicken as my maiden voyage with this smoker using hickory and was overall pleased.  But this mesquite seemed a bit,  I don't know how to describe other than it seemed to leave an aftertaste with the ribs.  Maybe I should use a fruit wood next time.


I realized at some point I hadn't added any water in the pan and decided not to at that point.  Don't know if this made any difference or not.


All that was minor as I am overall pleased.:yahoo:   Just need to try some tweaking and learn my smoker's tendencies.  Maybe try some different seasonings.  The meat thermometer probe that comes attached to the smoker is off by 30°-35° so I wonder as to the accuracy of the interior thermometer.  I'll need to test that.


But like I said, I'm overall pleased, the wings were great and the ribs were better than restaurant so I consider this a successful smoke for a newbie!


Any criticisms or suggestions/advice appreciated!:smile:

post #2 of 11
Looks great,at the rate your going that smoker will be well broken in in no time!
post #3 of 11

Lookin good there!. Overall very well done for your second smoke.:thumbsup:

post #4 of 11

It all looks good.  On the ribs forget about IT go by pull back on the bone and probed with a tooth pick. On the wood choice I would go a little milder Apple as you mentioned is a good choice for most things. Try a little experimenting till you find what you like.

Happy smoken.


post #5 of 11

Everything looks great and you learned a good lesson. You don't need water in the water pan. Especially not for fowl. Next time use just a bit of apple juice or cider in the foil with the ribs. That will solve that dry end problem out. I don't know if you get much better than what you had going on there. Off to a great start!

post #6 of 11

I remember when my smoker looked that clean before the first smoke.  Keep smoken and get that thing black. But a little advice would be to use aluminum foil to help with the clean up on the drip pans below.  Happy smoken.

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses and advice. I forgot about adding some cider or juice at the foil stage. I'll do that next time. Also need to get some apple wood. That shouldn't be too difficult living in one of the top apple producing counties in the US!

I'll also cover that drip pan with foil. So far it just required some elbow grease and a scouring pad but after 6 hours that pan right above the burner really bakes it on. I can see that becoming a baked on mess with time, so the foil makes sense.

Any other tips are welcome and thanks again.
post #8 of 11

I cover all the pans , my water tray is removed and I keep 2 bricks wrapped in foil, to help maintain temp. The probes are not reliable get a maverick or another type to monitor temp in CC and your food.

post #9 of 11

Nice job on the cook.


If you want some easy, juicy ribs you should try out the 3-2-1 method.  You can read about it all over the internet.  Just be cognizant of what temp you and cooking at and if you are using baby backs vs spares with that method as you may have to reduce the times.

post #10 of 11

nice looking ribs and wangs there.


post #11 of 11

I have the same MES model. My meat probe is spot on but I have seen plenty of others say theirs is off so definitely use a separate probe thermo to check it.


I cover the drip tray over the heating element and the tray at the bottom with foil. I line the water pan with foil and let the fat collect in it (I don't let it get all the way to the collection tray under the unit because when it gets full it makes a mess trying to remove it). Make sure you clean the two temp sensors on the back wall every time you use it so you don't have under/over heating problems.


Other than that, good job on the ribs/wings and good luck on future smokes.

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