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2nd smoke...1st wasn't right...help!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hey guys and gals...Newbie here from N.Georgia...Michigan transplant. I bought a Brinkmann verticle box smoker for my 1st smoker. Cheap from Home Depot. Seasoned it well and then tried my 1st smoke the next day.

3.34 Lbs Baby backs...membrane removed & trimmed. No brine soak...just dry rub and put in the fridge 12 hrs prior.

Regular Kingsford charcoal briquettes...started with a chimney.

8oz. Hickory chips.

Water only in the water pan...nothing special and I never let it dry out either.

Here's my qustions....

How long should a smoke like this take?? I smoked for about 3.5 hrs and the ribs seemed a bit tough. Not too dry...but they just didn't fall off the bone as easily as I would of liked. I had a difficult time getting the temp up to and maintaining *225. It was a nice sunny day...temps in the low 80's..no wind to speak of.

I went thru nearly 20lbs of charcoal. Seems excessive....no?

Did I smoke too long or not long enough ?? They tasted fine...

Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. I've got another 3.34 Lbs of babys in the fridge right now ready for the afternoon smoke. I'm trying to duplicate everything as much as possible and only make small changes to try to keep it consistant.

Any modification tips??

Thanks all..

post #2 of 19
Did you foil them with liquid? Read the 3-2-1 method, that should help. Good luck and share the QVIEW.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
No I did not. I will take a look.

post #4 of 19
I would go 2-2-1. It works for me every time. Good luck.
post #5 of 19
Same thing happened to me on my first attempt. Do what ronp says, read up on the 3-2-1 method. It sure made a difference for me. Good luck.
post #6 of 19
I agree with Wayside Ranch, for baby backs 2-2-1. Remember the times are just a guide
post #7 of 19
Ditto on the advice already given, and yes 20 lbs of charcoal does seem excessive for 3 lbs of ribs.

Good Luck and happy smokin'icon_smile.gif
post #8 of 19
Not if he has not modified the charcoal pan. You need a vegetable wok like this from home depot or lowes. That will definitely solve your temp issues. Leave the top vents open, and adjust temp by regulating the bottom vents. As far as the tenderness, use the afformentioned cooking techniques.

post #9 of 19
As stated from the get-go 321 is the way to be. hurry up and let's hear how great this next batch of ribs are.PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
good luck
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'm off to Home Depot for a veggie wok.

I had to cut the slab in half to fit it in my smoker. When I do the foil trick...how much apple juice should be added to each pouch??

Thanks 4 all the help guys. I WILL get this right!! LOL!!
post #11 of 19
I never add juice. I haven't tried a mop yet either, but I will soon enough. The only thing I have done is spritzed once with apple juice when foiling. I really don't think it's necessary....

You will always have to cut up full slabs to get them to fit in that smoker, it sucks. I have become accustomed to slicing all of my ribs into "singles" after completion probably because of the smoker. Not that I think about it, I can rarely eat an entire rack myself WITH sides too, so no biggie for the most part. I just hate having to cut a nice rack before it's cooked.

The one on the left, black from Lowe's $10, will have to be slightly bent. The other from Home Depot, stainless $12.98, slides right in the rack. I use the larger one for butts and long cooks, but the smaller works great for chickens and ribs. Hope that helps...
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks Pink. After the first smoke...I did a little research and found that a few guys had drilled 1" holes around the bottom half of the original charcoal pan to give it air. I'll do that and use it as a second pan.

No juice,eh??
post #13 of 19
I add apple juice to the ribs when I wrap. A single rack will get about two ounces of juice, and a good squirt of honey. I don't like mine falling off the bone, so I cut the time in the foil down a little. Works good, IMHO!
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips,Jack. Chimney is firing up now. How much wood to use,when and how often??
post #15 of 19
or even less if they are not thick baby backs. I do more of a 2-1.5-.5
Remember 3-2-1 is just a guideline.
If you continue to have problems with reaching and maintaing 225 to 250, try using playbox sand instead of water. Water is there as a heat sink, not to create moisture, although it does add a little. You can always spritz the ribs with apple juice for moisture. I use a 50/50 apple cider vinegar/apple juice. Make sure you place a sheet of foil over the sand to catch the drippings.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hey all....The ribs last weekend turned out FANTASTIC!! Absolutely FANTASTIC.

Pinkmeat: That veggie wok from the 'Depot did the trick. No more heating problems. in fact...I really had to choke it down to get the temp DOWN to 225*.

Jack2u2: The foil trick worked like a charm. Thanks !!

I did cheat a little this time hoping to beat the heat issue. I put a layer of Cowboy Lump (I know...but it's all I can get) on the bottom of the veggie wok and then added my chimney started briquettes. I only had to add a couple of briquettes and 1 or 2 pieces of CL to keep the fire burning at 225* throught the entire smoke.

Couple pics of my creations before they went in.
post #17 of 19
PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif Looks good , Any finished pics ?
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Uummm....no. :) When I went to taste test them and they turned out sooooo good......The camera was the last thing on my mind.

I will definitely take pics next time...maybe even tomorrow.
post #19 of 19
Great job man. Glad to hear everything turned out well!!!

With that smoker, you did the right thing by adding some lit briquettes to unlit lump. If you ever do a long smoke, like for a butt, try closing down one side of the intake vents completely. Then fill the charcoal pan to one side with lump (next to the closed side of the wok), and add the lit briquettes next to the open intake vent. The fire will naturally burn across the pan and you can easily maintain your temps using one vent and occassionally adding some unburnt coals. Works like a charm!
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