Well, virgin no more. The Good One Open Range finally arrived, after some shipping issues. Seasoned it and decided today was a good day to break it in with a slab of St. Louis Ribs. Mixed up a variant of Jeff's rib rub (less heat elements) and applied over a thin mustard layer. Let sit in the fridge for 3 hours.
Started the Open Range with hardwood charcoal, got the temp range set and put the ribs on at 225 - 235 degrees. As this was my first smoke, the test was really about learning the working and control of the smoker, and strongly hoping for good,edible ribs. Ran in this temp range for 3 hrs, wrapped in foil and put back on for 1,5 hours, then opened the foil and brushed on a thin layer of sauce and let run out the heat for 30 minutes more.
Well, I know now that I can maintain a tight band on the temperature of the smokebox. The Open Range worked as well as I had read about it, and I expect good results going forward.
Oh, and yeah, the ribs were excellent with a nice smoke to them, and juicy. Sorry, no photos this time.
Christmas day will be the first prime rib smoking, but I feel real good after today and expect a pretty solid performance tomorrow. I'll try to remember the photos on that one!!!