I hadn't done beef ribs in a while so it was time. I also received the downdraft hood for my Traeger so of course I smoked the ribs on the Traeger.
For those that may not know, pellet smokers produce a rather light smoke relative to other types of smokers. Many folks, me included, augment the smoke production by adding an auxiliary smoker like the AMAZEN Tube or Smoke Daddy. I use the expandable AMAZEN Tube. Also, smoking at low temps (170-180*) for a few hours then raising the temp.
The concept of the downdraft hood is to force the smoke and heat downward, holding the smoke in the chamber a little longer and also helping to stabilize temps. I wasn't after stabilizing temps since I have already upgraded the controller to a Savanna Stoker PID controller. But was was curious to see if it would help increase the smoke flavor.
Now I have a Lil Tex Pro and had to cut off the upper shelf bracket. I did that last weekend in advance so I could just slap on hood when it arrived. I was about a t 10m minute job with a Dremel and a cutting wheel. BTW, I am a serial modder and I just accept it. I didn't think twice about cutting that puppy off to get to try the downdraft hood.
The hood went on in about 4 1/2 minutes.
It has a damper so you can open it so it operates like it doesn't have a hood.
I ran it dry for an hour and the smoker seemed fine with it.
I like to get the ribs in the vac pack form the butcher. This is what they trim to make short ribs. There are 2 racks in each vac pac:
I cut them individually. My theory is more surface area so more rub and bark. I had to do some trimming on these. Its a bit of a craps shoot when you buy them, but its worth it.
After some trimming and some rub. I used Big Poppa's Money Rub, perhaps my favorite all around rub. I add course black pepper when I do beef. I let them rest covered in the reefer.
I put them on with Smokin' Brothers 100% Pure Hickory pellets. I wanted to get a feel for how much smoke flavor I could get with the downdraft hood sans auxiliary smoker, so I left out the AMAZEN Tube.
I started them about 11:00pm and put the Traeger on 170* which = about 190* at meat level.
I woke about 6:00 am to use the boys room and checked on the ribs. They were at 168* IT so I when ahead and put them in a pan and covered them with foil.
I took em to ~ 195* or so, give or take a rib.
Some homemade slaw, and an au jus BBQ sauce with equal parts defatted drippings from the pan and BBQ sauce.
BTW, I do have actual real dinner ware, but when its just me, I use paper plates. Seems all my pics are with paper plates and bowls, but I figure why have something to distract the viewer from the meat!
These were nice. I have had better quality racks of beef ribs but they were still good. Bark was good too.
The verdict on the Don Godke downdraft hood is a thumbs up. I got good smoke flavor without the use of the Tube Smoker. I will probably use the tube for briskets and butts but for ribs and bird, I think this will work.