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My First Smoke - with Q-View!

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

Well, thanks to all the folks here, I had my very first successful (for the most part) smoke on Saturday.

Overall, I was very pleased with the results for my first smoke.

I smoked 3 racks of pork spare ribs using 3 different rub recipes (2 home-made, 1 store bought). I used the 3-2-1 method, which worked well for me. In the end I realized I should have used much more rub (the rub flavor didn't really come through all that much) and I needed to let them sit in the fridge longer with the rub on. I also should have let the ribs come to room temp before I put them in the smoker. I knew little mistakes like this would be made, and I didn't let them disappoint me that much. A couple adult beverages took care of my worries. Here's what they looked like, pre-smoker:

And here's me saying goodbye to my status as a smoking "virgin" with a celebratory beverage. Trust me, I am happy and excited in this picture, just very tired from a long Friday night!

Here's the ribs at about the 2 hour mark, after their second mop:

So far so good... By this point, I was already planning my next smoke (you guys were right, I'm hooked already!)

Here we are at about the 5 hour, 30 minute mark (after the 2 hours in foil and apple juice). Boy, was I excited to see them bones sticking out!

One final picture (a thing of beauty), this was about 45 minutes before they came out of the smoker:

I don't have any Q-view of the finished product for a couple reasons. a) It was dark outside when they came out and my camera phone's flash really bites. b) Time restrictions: As soon as they were done, I had to leave to go to my job as a DJ. So, I split them in half, wrapped them all up and took half of each rack with me to the bar I work at. I refrigerated the other halves. Once we got to the bar and unwrapped the ribs to share, the wonderful hickory smell filled the bar and had people gawking. The reviews were terrific. Seems the crowd was happier with the results than I was. I was somewhat disappointed with the lack of rub flavor and a couple other minor imperfections. However, people's comments really made me feel better about the whole thing.

I took the other halves with me to the bar yesterday for the Pats-Cowboys game. Covered with Sweet Baby Ray's and re-heated in the oven. The reviews were even better the second time around. They were devoured in minutes. I even got a "these are some of the best ribs I've ever tasted" remark, which really made this smoke feel like a success. Definitely not bad for my first time!

I need to make some minor adjustments next time. First and foremost, the rubber seal on the door to my MES is just not cutting it. I either need to replace it or re-seat it so I don't have so many leaks. I was getting more smoke coming out of the door than I was through the vent, which didn't sit well with me. At times, the smoker had a hard time coming up to temp, and I believe it was heat loss from those trouble areas in the door. I had read that this was a frequent issue with the MES, so I was prepared for that. Also, I think I would have fared better if I let the smoker come up to temp before putting the meat in. I realize that I was a little impatient and next time I'll give myself more time.

Other than that, I felt it was a very successful day, and I couldn't have done it without the help of all the wonderful people here on SMF. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for all your help and advice!
post #2 of 24
Congrats on getting that first one under your belt..........successfully at that. icon_mrgreen.gif

Sounds like you already have a great plan for the next smoke with things you want to change. Welcome to the addiction. icon_twisted.gif
post #3 of 24
Way to go Monstah! Those look great!!PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #4 of 24
Great job, especially for your first time. It's great to hear that your friends enjoy your efforts, isn't it? Makes it even sweeter. Congrats.
post #5 of 24
You're now ahead of the game, a lot of first smokes don't go that good, and
you also are now officially hookedPDT_Armataz_01_23.gifPDT_Armataz_01_12.gif
post #6 of 24
Nice job Monstah, you got it now! PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #7 of 24
Great job on the ribs man, now that you are hooked on smokin what is your next item to be smoked?

oh..ya..love the Q-viewPDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #8 of 24
Way to go! Nice smoke!

Take care, have fun, and do good!


post #9 of 24
Looks good too me!! Nice first smoke!
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Great question, DeerMeat... I'm not 100% sure, but I may do a chicken so I can get some poultry practice in before Thanksgiving. I would really love to do a Turkey on Turkey day, and I've already promised the family that we'd do it, so I need to get a practice bird in there before the big day.

On the other hand, people at work have been hounding me for some ribs ever since they saw my Q-View from this weekend! So, I may be doing another 3 or 4 racks sooner than I think.

I also really want to try a Boston Butt soon for pulled pork. It's a favorite in my house for takeout so let's see how mine compares.

Right now, I'm 50/50 between a chicken and the pulled pork.

I'll mull it over tonight over a few frosty ones. That always helps me to think more clearly! icon_lol.gif
post #11 of 24
Pulled pork is always a hit and very forgiving. Also, consider doing a beef roast, like a pot roast or a shoulder... doing them SmokyOkie style. Very easy and incredibly tasty.

Also, meatloaf is an awesome crowd pleaser... again, very easy and very good!

What ever you decide, have fun with it! PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #12 of 24
Congrats on your first smoke!
As far as your next smoke
Why not do both if you got the room?
post #13 of 24
Great looking first smoke. It is so nice when your plan comes together.
post #14 of 24
They look great! Glad you jumped in feet first. For me, ribs are the easiest meat I have tried. If you want more flavor make sure you get all of the membrane off the ribs ( you did take off the membrane didnt you) I have found that makes the whole difference between good ribs and ribs so great that your tongue will knock your teeth out trying to get them in your mouth faster. Anyways practice makes perfect.
post #15 of 24

Go for the Butt

I'm still trying to get ribs right. Man those looked good for your first try,
I'm jealous. PDT_Armataz_01_32.gif
I would go with pulled pork next, it is very forgiving and it will get you use to longer cooking times.
Here is my suggestion: Buy a Boston butt. Rub it down with your favorite rub, You may or may not want to put a light coat of Mustard on first. I've done them both ways and I can't tell the taste difference, Some say it will help give it a nicer bark??? Any who getting back to the Pulled Pork: Take the butt and put in your smoker at a temp of 210 put a remote thermometer in the pork and let her rip. Then just sit back you can figure on about 2 hours a pound but that is just a rough guide line. The Butt will probably stall out around 160 degrees don't worry thats called the plateau. It is the point in which all the collagen and fat is breaking down and cooking off. In a little while the temps will start going back up. When the pork hits 200 internal, Take it out of the smoker double wrap it in foil and put it in a cooler stuffed with towels or newspaper ( I kid you not!) and let it sit for a few hours, this will help the juices settle. Take it out of the cooler and open the foil. Let it sit for an other half hour so you can handle it then just pull it apart. It should just fall apart at this time, You can chop it if you like or just pull it into thumb size piece. Next, make your self a nice Eastern North Carolina sauce of vinegar, Red Pepper flakes and some Molasses. Make the sauce a day or 2 a head so it has time to build it flavor. Take the sauce and pour it over your pork. Get some good rolls, pile the pork on top, ad slaw if you want to and enjoy the best sammy you ever had! Damn now I'll have to go and make one.
Good Luck and keep smoking.
post #16 of 24
Those are great looking ribs Monstah Matty!!! Congratulations!!!!
post #17 of 24

to steal a vinnie jones line from euro trip

purty good... purty d*mn good lad....now someday you'll come scream into my studio & trade that shiny silver thing for a big black cold steel wood burning pit....lol- great job monstah....looks like yer smoking out of a new refrigerator....icon_twisted.gificon_twisted.gif
post #18 of 24
Congrats on a job well done!
post #19 of 24
Great looking ribs Matty!!!! And to solve your dilema over the chicken or pulled pork.....Do 'em BOTH!!! and let us all know what time to be at your place. PDT_Armataz_01_40.gif
post #20 of 24
Congrats on the good smoke. Dont be afraid to cake on the rub on ribs. I find it hard to over season ribs. Plus a good bark is always nice...

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