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Pushing the envelope of the Smoke Vault 24- Q-view

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
This is my Independence Day smoke. I didn't take pics of the entire process...we've all seen that.


The rub I used for all 6 slabs is pretty basic and simple, nothing fancy. I do use dried chopped onion, and powder it in a coffee grinder to get the most aroma and flavor from it. I also like to re-grind the bulk of my other spices for the same reason. The reason I've started powdering the kosher salt lately, is so I can use less and get a more even coverage, and a bit thinner bark:


6 Tbls powdered dried onion

2 Tbls powdered kosher salt

1 tsp chili powder

2 tsp extra fine ground black pepper (nearly powdered)

2 Tbls garlic powder

2 tsp mild smoked paprika



I had 6 slabs of spares to smoke, 32 lbs total on rib/potato racks (4 were ours, 2 were for friends), and 2 batches of large ABTs (46 total, max of 24/rack). Combined together, this took up all 5 rack spaces on the Smoke Vault biggrin.gif...I love a full smoker!

I started out slow @ 175*, and worked it up to 225* withing the first hour. Smoked for 4.5 hours total, brasing for 1 hour @ 260-280*, and firming up for 1 hour @ 325*.

This is about 3 hours into the smoke with Mequite:


3 slabs into a full-size foil steam pan with OJ/Lime juice:


After 30 minutes brasing I rotated the rack positions.
After brasing another 30 minutes, we're back on the grate:


And, out for devouring:


What can I say...nice?:


Zuccini/cheese bake (before baking...I missed finished pics on this):


Potatoes Augratin:


Other Appetizer tray:


Pasta Salad:



These were very, very tender. I lost a couple bone ends a rib or two during the transfer back to the grates...the OJ/Lime juice really works fast to breakdown the tissues in the meat. As you can see, they still held alot of natural juices and some fat, even though it was a long smoke and they were tipped on edge on the rib racks during the smoke phase.

My wife said these were perfectly seasoned, and finished to perfection...but, I had to ask myself, OK, what is the definition of a perfect spare rib? I guess it would have to be defined by your personal preferences. Our friends who were over for the festivities really like 'em alot...they ate more ribs than anything else (the hubby actually ate nearly a full slab on his own). I do have to agree that they were really good ribs, amoung the best I've ever done...probably in the top 3. For my own seasoning preferences, I like a bit of heat in mt Bbq, but this was just a nice and simple change that worked really well with the meat and smoke.


I tried to get still frame shots of some aerial displays while I played with the digicam...man that's tough to follow when they're screaming upwards at 200 (or more) MPH!

Here's some of the evening's show that I was able to somewhat capture:

I couldn't resist this one:


One of many Parachutes with multiple flares, during it's decent back to earth:




This is the finale of a ground display called a "Keg Party":


I hope everyone is having a safe and enjoyable weekend for the 4th!

OK, gotta go...a hailstorm just blew into the area...stuff is getting dinged-up already.

Thanks!

Eric
post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 
OK everyone...I'm guessing that you didn't quite know how to reply to this thread without me possibly taking offense, due to the last 2 pics of the ribs? There is a reason for my choice of the title to this thread...maybe my clue to you was a bit too vague...my mistake.

I didn't intend to put anyone on the spot like this, but, I wanted to see what the responses would be, and how many would notice. In the future, at least with me, and I would hope other members as well, just speak your mind. As long as you're being sincere, I will take no offense, and, I would expect others will react in the same manner.

I found upon slicing the ribs that part of one slab wasn't going to make it to the table as is. Reason being, there were 2 very large slabs along with an average slab paired-up on one grate. The rib racks were not tall enough to support the un-trimmed slabs, and the largest 2 slabs partially layed down on each other, causing the slab I pictured to not cook evenly. It looked great a first, but upon closer inspection I found no grey in the very center line of the cross-section. I knew exactly where I went wrong. It was a combination of 2 things.

I just wanted to share a lesson learned here. I will make mods to these rib racks in the future for use on un-trimmed spares in order to avoid this situation. They would work fine for BBs or St Luis style spares as is. They just aren't tall enough for un-trimmed spares.

Starting at the lower temps may not have been the best idea either, though I intended to run a bit hotter after the initial hour of smoking to take up the slack. Another 15-20* from hours 2 thru 4.5 would have made a big difference.

Remember, this is a forum...sharing of our success as well as our mistakes is a part of how we educate each other about the craft we all love so much...and, no, none of us are perfect at what we do, but we do the best we can with what we have (equipment/skills/knowledge)...just speak your mind.

I hope this clears up the air a bit.

Thanks everyone.

Eric
post #3 of 8
I still don't understand. PDT_Armataz_01_03.gif
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
If you click on the image of the close-up of the cross section of the sliced ribs, you can see a small area of grey near the center of the main rib bone on the farthest rib to the left. Then, look at the remaining 4 ribs to the right...no grey meat near the main bone.

I'm pretty good at getting great smoke rings with my spares, but these last 4 weren't quite ready to go under the knife. I didn't thoroughly examine the slabs after brasing and setting the bark, and that slab should have stayed in for another 30 minutes or so. Or, I could have cut the slab in half and put this unfinished end back in by itself.

Eric
post #5 of 8
I can't believe I missed this one.
You really had a feast going on there. That had to be one great 4th party.
post #6 of 8
Eric when hot smoking I personally see no advantage and many disadvantages to starting the smoker out at lower temps. Maybe you can tell us what you were trying to accomplish with the lower starting temps. I must admit I missed the rib thing to. It does look like a great smoke I just don't understand the low temp start. A full smoker is a happy smoker and you must have had it pretty full biggrin.gif
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
OK Jerry. I was starting out at lower temps for a more gradual onset of the smoke from the pan (it actually was lower than I wanted), and in order to bring the surface temp of the meat up a bit slower for longer smoke penetration. Sometimes when I add a chunk or 2 of smoke wood, it comes on pretty heavy for a few minutes. Maybe I shouldn't sweat that, and just let it ride. Turns out, I get plenty of penetration anyway, so I really didn't need to do it that way.

When I posted the original thread, I got cut short by a storm before I could review it and make sure all the info was correct.

I think I started pulling the temps up gradually after about 30 minutes, and my target was 230-235* for the 2nd through the 4th hour. I just wasn't getting the real fine adjustment that I wanted, so opted to go a little lower for a longer smoke time. Seems like my GOSM gets a little finicky that way, too. And, there again, if I would just watch the peaks and valleys of the temp readings, it would likely be well within an acceptable range. This Vault does seem to run alot steadier temps than my small GOSM. Steady temp is best, but not always achievable.

I've still got a couple things to learn about this Vault, but she's a pretty good rig to smoke with.

The use of the rib racks in the Vault was a first for this smoke, and I was really crowding the chamber space to get everything into the smoker. I do feel a mod coming for those rib racks, and it should correct the situation I ran into with these ribs.


And, yes, she was pretty full...most space I've used in it for that long of a smoke, ever icon_smile.gifbiggrin.gif!

It definately was a good day for smoking, and great time with the family and friends we had over.

Thanks Jerry!

Eric
post #8 of 8
Well it certainly looked great Eric. I just would rather see you get stuff thru the 40-140 as fast as possible then if you want to lower the temps a bit go ahead but as you said I think the smoke penetration will be fine without the added time.
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