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Newbie with a Question

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I am a pretty rookie smoker. I have done a half dozen or so briskets smokes with decent results (the last brisket was fantastic). I recently got a "real" smoker as I was smoking on a grill before.

My question is regarding rubs. I did a smoke of pork ribs over the weekend. I used a lot of rub, putting a thick layer all over the ribs a full 24 hours in advance. When I smoked the ribs (200-225 for 5.5 hours), they came out a little tough, but the rub seemed to dry, burn and cake on.

Am I using too much rub? How much rub should you put on the meat?

Thanks in advance,

post #2 of 18

Re: Newbie with a Question


Welcome to the forum. I would suggest that you look in the pork forum for posts that discuss the 3-2-1 method for ribs. Many smokers have used this method with great success.

Please think about subscribing for Jeff's 5-Day E-Course on smoking basics.

Let us know how you make out.

Don't forget to ask questions. The folks here know smoke.


post #3 of 18
Welcome John. Do you foil, What is in your rub? Is there a sugar in the rub, what type? Do you mop?

These are things which will have an impact on the rub while cooking.

Grab a cold one, and jump right into the fray. Looking forward to hearing more about your cooks.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

Re: Newbie with a Question

Hello, I will try to answer. I followed the following recipe for the ribs


for the basic smoking recipe and


for the rub. The rub has 1/2 cup brown sugar in it.

I did not foil and I smoked using only Hickory & Mesquite chunks. I did not mop because the author above seemed to recommend against it.

Many posts talk about charcoal. I am confused, how do you smoke when using charcoal?

Thanks all, I have a lot to learn!

post #5 of 18

Re: Newbie with a Question

Hi John,

Check this thread out. If you still have questions then post back and I will be glad to help but this should answer all questions:

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

Re: Newbie with a Question

Thanks Guys!

OK, so here is what I learned today (I only found this site today).

Don't ever try to smoke anything without first looking it up here! The way I did the ribs was just wrong and I knew it after trying them out. What a waste of good meat!

Next time will be different!

post #7 of 18

Re: Newbie with a Question

Good luck with your ribs wink.gif and we all sure do love pictures :)
post #8 of 18

Re: Newbie with a Question

Welcome. These people are extremely helpful and nice. I sure do miss Colorado.

post #9 of 18
John, Welcome to SMF. From reading your intro post is sounds like you may have overdone the rub. What I like to do with my ribs is to shake on the rub, place them in the fridge overnight and then just before placing them in the smoker, give the ribs another dusting with the rub. Once the second layer of rub becomes wet looking I place the ribs into the smoker. The technique with using charcoal is to use the charcoal for your heat source and your wood for flavor.Also, check out the sticky in the Woods for Smoking forum to see the different woods that can be used and their characteristics
post #10 of 18

Re: Newbie with a Question

Hi John, Don't feel bad about the ribs not coming out well.. we all been there and done that. So now that you found us Welcome to SMF here you learn from others and our mistakes. The beauty here is that if you have a question, someone will try to help you out but you have to be patient and wait for the answer .. kinda like smoking ribs .. ya have to wait .. for the record I seen that guy's web page before .. I wasn't impressed .. kinda like a Dear Abby type of columist.

post #11 of 18
One thing that I have tried is using yellow mustard slathered on then the dry rub. Not sure if that helps keep it moist but it tastes great.
post #12 of 18

Re: Newbie with a Question

one welcome glad to have you here!!!

two. the charcoal there refering to i am assuming is not the briqette type but actual charcoal. you buy it at any store really that has grill supplies, i found (from this site) its a lot better to get a charcoal starter and utilize it before throwing it in your fire box.

i use the same smoker you use it looks like, if its the one in your pic. its ok, but after a few smokes i knew i had already out grown it.
post #13 of 18
thanks dutch, you are the king of smoke
post #14 of 18

Re: Newbie with a Question

Welcome John, looks like you are just up the road (I-25) from me. I rub my ribs just like Dutch describes, then 3-2-1 them. Were they Spares or Baby Backs? Spares will be tougher than BB's, it's just the cut. Glad to have you with us, enjoy!
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

Re: Newbie with a Question


Thanks for the reply. They were Kansas City cut spare ribs from King Soopers.

After reading all over the boards and attending and graduating :D from the 5 day e-course, I have determined that I did the following wrong in priority order:

1) No 3-2-1
2) No heat management (baffling of the smoker)
3) Not on long enough
4) Too much smoke (100% wood chunks, no charcoal)
5) No moping

My next smoke will be brisket which I am really comfortable with so it should go OK. I will try ribs again after that.

post #16 of 18

Re: Newbie with a Question


you can do what i do if you would like, that is make some ribs at the same time so you have something (else) to snack on while your brisket is getting done. after 6 hours of smoking im sure you will be hungry (or at least i am) and your brisket still should have a lot more time till its smoked to prefection.

oh poop, i forgot, im usually pretty drunk about 6 hours into smoking and cant eat...its the playing with fire im thinking of :shock:
post #17 of 18

Re: Newbie with a Question

It's not that you can't eat Buzzard, it's that you eat and can't remember what it tasted like :P
post #18 of 18

Re: Newbie with a Question

That is funny, I'm in the middle of a all nighter brisket and I can relate to the drinking part and the can't eat! I work afternoons now so the middle of the night stuff is my domain.
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