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New Smoker & Baby Backs!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hey all, I joined this forum back in October with a Brinkmann Upright Electric smoker, which always turned out great fish and poultry, I tried ribs on a cold day in the old bullet and couldn't maintain temp so my old man and I decided to take the plunge and buy a shiny new MES 40!

Dad just made a bunch of Chicken: Legs, halves and game hens last night.

And today I'm making ribs!

I soaked them for a few hours in some unfiltered apple juice which I've never done before, I'm hoping it really sweetened up the meat, and I'm trying out Oak Ridge BBQ's Secret Weapon Rub.

I'm going to use the 2 2 1 method and I'm expecting great results! My mouth is alread watering!
post #2 of 6

Good luck, looks like you're off to a good start. Looking forward to seeing the finish!

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hey all, sorry to come back to an old thread, (that I never updated, sorry!) But I wanted to share another MES experience with you!

Back in February when I made this post was my first time using my dad's MES 40. The ribs as I remember turned out pretty damn good. Everything had went smoothly and the ribs were melting in my mouth with a delicate cherry smoke flavor.

Well it's been awhile and I decided to give it another go this past weekend. I used the same 221 method but did not achieve the same results as last winter. The ribs sucked. Sucked sucked sucked.

The ribs lacked that mahogany bark color, little to no smoke flavor and texture was just about fall off the bone but not quite. Still had chewy pull to them.

I've been doing a lot of research on smoking and bbq this year and was itching to get another cook in. I was incredibly disappointed. Recollecting on the cook I think I've found my mistakes.

I put the ribs in the cooker set at 225 degrees and loaded the chips which last about 20 to 30 mins then headed to Walmart real quick for squeeze butter. By time I got back the ribs were over an hour in and I loaded more chips asap before I pulled for the wrap. This lack of smoke before temp reaching too high to take smoke I think played into my lack of mahogany bark and no smoke flavor. I wrapped the typical way and put back in cooker for 2 hours. When I pulled from wrap the ribs looked soggy and kind of light brown but again, no bark. They actually looked kind of gross. I sauced and put back in cooker and out of desperation I loaded more chips and finished for 1 hour.

The end result was an ok rib... still a bit tough and lacking tremendous flavor. But when I went for some cold leftovers the next day I bit into a rib and all I could taste was bitter smoke and nothing else! I threw the failure right into the trash! That was the last straw. All in all I had fun and made some crucial mistakes that I hope I am accurate with my diagnosis so that I do not fail this bad again. Sorry for the long read, but what do you guys think?
post #4 of 6

What ribs did you use? Were they baby backs or spares? If spares then 3-2-1 could be used. Do you like the fall off the bone rib? If so, increase the wrapped stage time and add some liquid such as apple juice, or butter and bbq sauce, some add butter and brown sugar and bbq sauce (like me!) Make sure you are getting the thin blue smoke before you put the ribs in. The white smoke gives that bitter smoke taste you had.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
I used baby backs with the 2-2-1 method. When I wrapped them I added Butter, Honey, and Brown Sugar. After unwrapping I sauced them and put them back in the MES for that last hour. I think I botched up when I added more chips out of desperation because I knew I didn't get enough smoke in the beginning. If I'm right then that's what caused the bitterness... but as far as the toughness goes, like I said they were ALMOST falling off the bone but still had decent pull which was not my goal. Im thinking this could be due to a lack of temperature and the 5 hours cook time wasnt long enough. I read that MES smokers can be up to 20 degrees off! That's insane, I'll be purchasing a Maverick really soon now.
post #6 of 6

Did you put the ribs in the foil meat side down?

That will let the juices move back into the meat.

You are very smart to get a Mav, because the MES controllers are notoriously inaccurate.

If you didn't get FOTB ribs it's because they weren't cooked long enough.

I smoke my ribs to IT, not time. 200-205 degrees IT is fall off the bone.

It doesn't matter if you foil or not at that IT they will be FOTB.

Here's the way I do them.

Maybe this will give you some ideas.





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