OK...this was my first smoke, baby backs. I used Stubbs charcoal briquettes and hickory for smoke. Set up was the doughnut with a half chimney of red hot coals with 3 chunks of wood. The temp came up quick so I had to close the lower vents 3/4 shut and the top vent the same to get below 250 at the start. The temp bounced between 225 and 240 for the first 2 hours...it was a windy low 70's degree day. Every hour I sprayed them down with a 50/50 mix of water and apple cider vinegar. At the three hour mark, I removed the water pan, sauced the ribs and loaded them on the lower rack for just a few minutes on each side. The result was not expected...some of the ribs were a bit dry, some very juicy and tender. The vinegar ended up being to much, and I think there was to much smoke as well...edible but I can do a lot better. After the smoke, I have questions:
1. the lid and the door leaked. I picked up a gasket hit but I honestly dont know if i should continue to use the crappy front door. I only found one aftermarket door on this site...but they are sold out! Need help on locating a new door!
2. hickory may not have been a wise choice, apple or mesquite would probably have dialed it down a bit.
3. too much coal...probably only needed half of what I loaded. I will re-use the leftover coals though. The Stubbs coal has a lot of flavor as is...IMO.
4. Whats the vest way to monitor grill temp? I picked up a Maverick and used one probe to monitor temp, placed about 3inches in from the edge of the WSM. However, if i am using both probes in meat, how should i monitor grill temp and any suggestions on what thermometer to pick up?
5. Is replacing the lid thermometer worth it? The stock thermometer was 24-50 degrees off on the lid.
6. Would it have been better to put half the ribs on the lower grill in the center and the other half on the top rack? Thinking the edge is the hot part, maybe moving them to the middle would even out the hot spots.
Long post...but I really want to fire this back up for a second attempt...after mods though!