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rib smoking question

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi, I'm new to smoking and have a question for you seasoned pros... Should your equipment produce smoke continuously during the smoking process, or should it only smoke for a few minutes and then cook with indirect heat for the rest of the time? My smoke only seems to last for 20 min. or so. If only for a few minutes, what's the difference between putting them in the smoker for a short time and then using an oven? Also, I bought a brinkmann smoker from walmart and the temp. gauge says "warm, ideal, and hot" any ideas as to what those correlate to? thanks for any advice.
post #2 of 13
Wow... well, best quicky advice I can give is hit the Roll Call forum, give us an introduction...then read... ALOT. And sign up for the 5 day Ecourse <look to the left side of the main page> on smoking meats. Also you posted in the Beef forum you doing beef ribs?

There's alot of info here on ALL types of ribs, and I'd be re-hashing terribly. Do a search, also on the left side of the main page is an article titled 3-2-1 Method. Start there....

Welcome to SMF
post #3 of 13
My smoker does the same thing when it gets a lot of airflow. Smokes heavily for a little while then dissipates. I still get hellatious smoke rings!

Lately, I've been choking the charcoal a little bit to make it last longer and I notice that it smokes almost continuously. Hickory wood chunks go quick when my smoker's got airflow but when air intake is restricted some, the hickory chunks (for example) last a long time and yield a ton of smoke. Not that you NEED a lot of smoke to smoke. A thin whisp of smoke will yield just as much ring/flavor, if not more, than billowing smoke. Just an observation.

post #4 of 13
I set my chunks on the outside of the charcoal pan so as to smoulder and not ignite and burn.
post #5 of 13
The type of cooker and other things come into play here, go to roll call, intro yourself tell us about your cooker. We don't have a problem helping you out but we need more info.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
thanks for the quick responses.

the ribs are beef.

I didnt think of off-setting the wood from the charcoal...

I will def. post in the roll call....
post #7 of 13
My GOSM does that too. She's really particular about air flow. I gotta watch wind direction and speed fairly close or it might spell trouble. Sounds like some types/brands may be worse than others.

post #8 of 13
....and use chunks of wood, not chips. Chips burn to fast.
I believe the ideal is around 225 to 250 region, but would suggest you pick up a couple digital temp probe gauges to make sure your temps are right. Gauges that come with units are not very accurate.
post #9 of 13
In testing, when my SnP stock thermo was in the center of the "Ideal" range, my digital thermometers at the grate level were at about 325. eek.gifeek.gif Ideal if you are cooking chicken . . . not so good if you are trying to smoke porK. Plus, I don't think it that reading is consistent from one time to the next.

Do what Flash said and get some digital thermos. The ones that come with the unit are pretty worthless and usually mounted too high above the grate.

post #10 of 13
OK, went out and checked my old Brinkman R2D2 model. It has the same gauge and here is the temps:

Warm- 0 to 170
Ideal- 170 to 260
Hot- 260-360

I will point out the stock gauge in this unit was off by -65º
This was the reason my perfect smoking temp appeared to be around 185º when actually I was up around 250º, which is around what it should be.
post #11 of 13
Eric, do you set your coals on a grating or do you set them directly on top of a pan of some sort? The only "GOSM"'s I found on SMF/Google are gassers. Maybe I missed something. I use a homemade smoker and I started getting much better results when I started putting the charcoal in the ash pan that I built for it instead of on a grating above the ash pan. Nowadays, I only use the grating for flame-broiling and for quickies which isn't very often. I'll also point out that either method yields great results for smoking purposes although the ash pan method gives me awesome temp control as well as much longer charcoal/wood/lump burn time.

post #12 of 13
Yeah, my GOSM's a gasser too, so the charcoal thing isn't part of the equation. What I deal with is the fast burn-up of chips. I've done the soaking, and gave up on that, went to getting the smoke box really hot for a minute or two, then closing it up pretty tight to control the oxygen getting at the chips. Usually works, but not always. Haven't found a sure thing yet but will let folks here know if I do. I might be doing a smaller smoke on it in the next several days and give some other tactics a try.

It does seem that the flow through the outlet vent can sometimes change and this may have an effect on the premature burn-up of the smoke chips. Oh, I also use a 50-550 range thermometer on the outlet to monitor intetrnal goings-on better. Just stick it laying down and partly into the vent outlet, so it's just inside about an inch below the roof, and a bit to the side of the outlet ports. Started this just a few weeks ago, so not much use yet.

post #13 of 13
Try using chunks instead of chips. Chunks should be at least 1x1x1 or bigger.

Try replacing the smoke box with either a cut down coffee can or a 9x9 cake pan.

Leave the vents wide open if possible.
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