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Pork Butt & Spare Ribs on new WSM 18"

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, I am new to smoking, and yesterday gave it a shot. I smoked 2 butts last year on a Brinkman smoke and grill and was discouraged due to the lack of air flow and constant need to add charcoal. Got the WSM 18" as a gift and what a beautiful smoker. I had a 9.5 LB butt from my local grocery store, and 2 racks of spare ribs in a cyrovac pack. I will get to that later. The evening before i put rub on the pork butt and put in fridge overnight. I got up early in the morning, 530AM Eastern Time. I prepared the smoker, got it up to about 300 degrees with a full chimney of charcoal, using the minion method. Put the butt on at around 640 AM. Around this time i added about 5 chunks of apple wood. About every 90 minutes would spray the butt with apple juice. I've watched how Aaron Franklin trims spare ribs so i kind of had an idea. I opened the cyrovac pack which, the smell, my goodness is awful. I have never purchased meat in a cyrovac and was nervous when i smelt this putrid odor. I did some research on the forums and found that this is normal and to rinse the meat with water, which i did and the smell dissipated. I started to trim the ribs, and remove the membrane. This left much extra meat, which i wound up putting in the freezer and will put on the BBQ this week. Any suggestions for that? :)  After trimming, put the rub on and put in fridge for about an hour.  When the butt got to 160 degrees, i took off the grill, wrapped, and poured a mixture over. Wrapped it back up, put back on and put thermometer back through it. Also at this time I put the ribs on, bone side down. Also found that the temp of the smoker was starting to decrease so figured this was a good time to light another chimney. It was probably around 11AM at this time. I also added 4 more chunks of apple wood for the ribs. After 2 hours, I wrapped the ribs, poured a mixture over and put back on for another 2 hours. Took ribs off, unwrapped, and finished with no foil for the last 45 minutes. Needless to say the food was delicious. I will post pictures, and also share with you some I wouldn't say problems, but maybe advice could be sent my way. 

 

1. What can i do with all the leftover trimmings of meat from the spare ribs.

2. I was able to constantly keep smoker temp between 225-275, but I feel the charcoal burned too quickly. Friends have told me a full chimney can last 12 hours easily. After 6 hours I had to add another chimney, and found that most of the original charcoal had ashed over and fell through the grate. 

3. The ribs were delicious, I was trying to have both meats finish at the same time. I know the 3-2-1 method but was up against the clock. Although the ribs were very tender, i feel like they could have been more and more fall of the bone. If i stretched to 3-2-1 from the 2-2- 45 minutes, would it have made much difference?

4. Used apple wood, I also have cherry, hickory, and mesquite. What else can I use with pork? Mixing woods?

 

Thanks for the input guys!

post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 
post #3 of 4

1. What can i do with all the leftover trimmings of meat from the spare ribs.

 

Great in beans! But I never have any left, even the dogs have to eat dog food around here when its off the grill.

 

2. I was able to constantly keep smoker temp between 225-275, but I feel the charcoal burned too quickly. Friends have told me a full chimney can last 12 hours easily. After 6 hours I had to add another chimney, and found that most of the original charcoal had ashed over and fell through the grate. 

 

Sounds like you figured that one out

 

3. The ribs were delicious, I was trying to have both meats finish at the same time. I know the 3-2-1 method but was up against the clock. Although the ribs were very tender, i feel like they could have been more and more fall of the bone. If i stretched to 3-2-1 from the 2-2- 45 minutes, would it have made much difference?

 

3/2/1 method varies with meat, pit, as well as weather conditions It just takes practice. AND that's a good thing right?

 

4. Used apple wood, I also have cherry, hickory, and mesquite. What else can I use with pork? Mixing woods?

 

Hickory and Mequite are both Hard Smokes, very heavy smoke flavors. The nuts and fruits for the most part are a lighter smoke. Hickory and apple are a pretty much accepted pork smoke. Mesquite used on long beef smokes is great. Its a Texas kinda thing.

 

 

 

Oh and BTW those ribs look great to me! And I like a bit of a tug with 'em. I believe you could sell those and the PP on any street corner all day long.

post #4 of 4

I will offer one piece of note.... Don't worry so much about the timing; trying to get everything to finish at the same time. You start will a rough approximation and then go from there. The butt can sit for a few hours if needed before eating so if that finishes first - no sweat. Just wrap it and let it rest. The ribs can sit for little while if they happen to finish first. I usually don't wrap them to let them sit, but you will find what works for you.

I have pulled pork with ribs all the time and i just plan on the pork butt finishing an hour or 2 before the ribs and then from then on - check the temps. Depending on the day, temp, humidity, thickness of meat, etc. etc. etc. - each smoke will be take just a little different amount of time.

Don't worry about it. Enjoy the perfectly smoked meat when it is done, whenever that is..............

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