Re: New To Smoking
Welcome to the forums...
I started out on a vertical brinkmann smoker many years ago and with a little patience you can put out a good piece of meat. I have done turkeys, ribs, pork shoulder, brisket, fish, chicken, just about anything smokeable.. I have done it on the brinkmann.
You are interested in ribs (my personal favorite) :) and so I will tell you what I know and perhaps others will follow suit and do the same to give you a well rounded answer.
I quickly saw that the ribs would not fit on mine just laying flat so I had to roll mine up and used a skewer to keep it together. I then set it upright in barrel formation on the rack.
Let me back up though.. I always remove the membrane which is on the underside of the ribs.. the bone side. This is accomplished by using a spoon, screwdriver or other sharp object to get it started and then using a paper towel to grip and smoothly pull off. This may seem difficult at first but with a little practice it gets easier.
This allows the smoke to better penetrate the meat and makes for a more pleasant eating experience.
I then rub mine generously with my famous dry rub called "Jeff's Naked Rib Rub" (so named because you eat the ribs naked with just the rub.. no sauce is needed)
You can order my famous rib rub recipe here
or there are many dry rubs available online if you care to do some searching in Google. I also have a few free recipes at the website
I put the rub on both sides liberally about an hour before smoking... the easiest way to apply the rub is to squirt some French's yellow mustard onto the ribs.. about a teaspoon or so and rub it all over the meat. Then sprinkle the rub onto the meat and it will adhere to the ribs really well.
Don't worry cause the mustard loses it's flavor during the smoking process and leaves you with a beautiful brown crust.
You can also just squirt a teaspoon or so of mustard on the ribs and then pour on a generous amount of rub and rub it all over together that way.
It is not a science... just whatever is easier for you.
Build a 225 degree fire and maintain the temp by adding coals as needed.
I like to use mesquite in the brinkmann.. get some mesquite wood chips or hickory if you prefer and wrap them in foil. Poke some holes in the foil package so the smoke can get out and lay it holes up on top of the coals.
You may want to add a better temperature guage to the brinkmann if possible... mine had the warm/ideal/hot thermometer and I finally figured out where to have it to maintain about 225 but it was a lot easier after I added a "real" temperature guage" to the lid.
I also drilled some holes in the lid in like a 6 inch round area and made a flap out of some scrap aluminum attached with one screw in the corner so I could open it to allow some damper control.
I also drilled some holes in the charcoal pan on both sides to allow more draw of air for the fire.
I keep smoke to the ribs for at least the first 3-4 hours in the brinkmann and then let them finish with only heat from the coals. I noticed that it took at least 7 hours to get the ribs done in my brinkmann but normally about 6 to 6.5 hours is plenty.
It all depends on how you like them... I like mine falling off the bone pretty much so I cook mine to 170 degrees internal temp.
There are some other good methods that you may want to explore... the 3-2-1 method is one you will probaly hear a lot in here... it is basically 3 hours in the smoker unwrapped, then 2 hours wrapped in foil and splashed with apple juice, then the last hour unwrapped to crisp things up a bit.
Let us know if you need further explanation on anything..