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First Smoke woes

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hey all, i just finished my uds this week and decided to break it in today with some beef ribs i had in the freezer. I put some rub on them this morning and got the drum up to 250 deg and put em on. I checked about once an hour, 3 hrs in they were lookin good. Just went and checked on them on the 4th hour and they looked like they were dried up, tried pulling a rib off and the meat does look dry. Should i be checking them more often or was the heat to high? This was my first time smoking anything so trying not to get discoraged.
post #2 of 17
Maybe they were dried out from the freezer? Sometimes you get a less than quality piece of meat and don't know it until it's been cooked. In all the beef ribs I've smoked, I've never had the meat dry out at during the 4th hour at 250.
post #3 of 17
I have had some appear to be dry on the surface before, but I just spritz with a 50/50 mix of apple juice and apple cider vinegar. Once you pop them in the foil for the 2 hours, they'll moisten up real good.
post #4 of 17
Is the 250° reading at the grate or on your installed therm? If that is what your installed therm is reading your mid grate temp is most likely higher.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
It was 250 on my installed therm, the probe on it isn't very long. I havent gotten a therm with probes yet, should i get one that has multiple probes and use one for reading temps at the grates?
post #6 of 17
It does help to have another. I use the installed to monitor side grate temp and an ET-73 for mid grate. If you were running 250° at the side your middle was probably at 265° or so. I try to run the insalled therm at about 200° or so, usually the grate tem is around 230° os so then.
post #7 of 17
Yep, the middle grate temp could be upwards of 300F if the installed therm was reading 250F. The middle of my uds is around 40 degree hotter than the side temps.

Don't feel bad, we've all had a smoke or two that went south. Smoke and learn.
post #8 of 17
Yea, but 265 would not dry his ribs out, at least I would not think so. Most of my smoking is done in the 250 - 270 range, only because thats the temps i can hold it steady at for the longest, i got a cheapie brinkman vertical charcoal smoker. I have now done 2 pork shoulders, a very small brisket, 3 fatties, 3 tins of beans, and 4 racks of ribs, and nothing came out dry at those temps.

But I have noticed my installed Therm is 70 - 90 degrees off, not 15 or 20, and THAT can make a big difference.
post #9 of 17
Home depot sells some nice cheap therm's for about $8 that seem to read well. I have mine installed at grate level on a horizontal, but I bet you could install them at each grate on a vertical no problem. You just drill a 3/8 dia hole, feed the therm in and tighten a wingnut on the inside - I also put some fireplace sealant around mine for good measure. I just checked mine with a pot of boiling water before I installed them to make sure they worked correctly. I find them a handy way to monitor your chamber temp at a glance.
post #10 of 17
Even at 265 those beefies should take 5 to 6 hours. Bet it was over 300 big time.
post #11 of 17
More than likely if they were dry its due to the meat, not the smoke.

Also spritzing with a mop helps and wrapping with foil after 3 or so hours in for about 2hrs really helps out a lot.

Just dont give up.
post #12 of 17
what kind of beef ribs were these? if they were short ribs, then the replies above would definitely make sense.

if they were beef back ribs, i've noticed that some stores cut these quite thin (they trim most of the "good" meat off" and they can dry faster than they cook.

regarding thermometers, i only have one digital probe thermometer, but have lately gotten into the habit of using it on the grate only throughout the smoke. i shove it through a chunk of potato with an inch or so of the probe sticking out and get a very accurate reading that way. i keep it out of the meat until it's been on long enough to start looking like it might be done, then start checking with the thermometer every 45 minutes or so until i reach the temperature i want.

in ieither case, one thing that can help is to put a little oil in whatever mop or spritz you are using. i've seen people use everything from canola oil to melted butter with good results. i prefer olive oil but that is not anything that is cut in stone. a good mop for beef is simply a two sticks of butter melted into a can of beer, brushed on whenever you have the chance.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
They were beef back ribs, they were cut a little thin. I ordered a ET-73 today so i can monitor my temps better. I'm going to fire it up this weekend and see what the tempature difference is between the gauge and the grate.
post #14 of 17
Never. 4 to 4 1/2 hours tops. I don't like well done beef. PDT_Armataz_01_07.gif
post #15 of 17
Sounds like too high temp for too long to me. You are on the right track by finding out what your actual rack temp is. Low and slow is the trick. I smoke beef ribs between 225 and 250 rack temp. You can tell they are done by the way they pull back from the bone. Another thing is... there isn't much meat on the back ribs compared to the short ribs. I do mine much like the pork ribs. 2.5 hours smokin... wrap for a an hour or so..... then back out for 30 or 40 minutes. Good luck.... looks like your gonna have to try again.
post #16 of 17
>>>looks like your gonna have to try again.<<<

and that's the beauty of BBQ!
post #17 of 17
Your gonna love the ET-73! Nice purchase!
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