Rubbed each half with a different rub. The smaller half on the bottom has Jeff's rub (which I fully expected to be inedible because of the high temp/sugar combo.). The larger half has just SPOG :
Put the Vortex on one side of the weber 26 and filled it with KBB. Lit it with a weber starter cube and let it go for about a half hour.
Threw the spares on the other side of the grill and put a chunk of hickory over the vortex:
Granted lid therms are not too accurate. Mine reads about 25-50 degrees hotter than actual temp. Here it is with the therm over the vortex side:
And over the indirect side:
After an hour they are getting close:
The appearance of the Jeff's ribs scared me. I was expecting a mouth full of ash tray.
I probed them with a toothpick and they were getting close to done. Added a chunk of apple over he vortex. I decided to set my alarm for 20 minutes and see what happens.
Well after twenty minutes the toothpick slid through with little to no resistance so I decided to pull them off.
Some sliced shots. Decent smoke ring.
And the perfect bite:
SPOG... Texture was amazing. Crispy bark similar to the mouth feel of a perfectly seared steak without any burnt flavor. You can see by the picture that it had the perfect bite through texture (at least for me). Nice medium smoke taste. Really juicy.
Jeff's verdict: same great texture but a little more burnt taste (obviously because the sugar burned). However, I loved that taste because it reminded me of bark on a butt when I smoke them in the 300-325 range which is my go to temp range for butts. Nice and juicy with the same smokiness as the SPOG ribs.
Overall,this experiment blew my mind. With a total cooking time of 1 hour 20 minutes I made whole spare ribs that usually take anywhere between 5-8 hours depending on cooking temp. And they were great! In fact the SPOG half I actually preferred the texture and flavor of the bark because it had that real fatty crispiness I described. Like a cross between pork butt bark and the seared crust on a steak. If you have a vortex or can achieve high temps like this, give it a shot. I think you'll be happy.
Thanks for looking everyone!