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two rack's of spares and butt - weekend smoke!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
This weekend I'm doing two racks of spares that I trimmed up st. louis style, and a 7 lb pork butt. Also doing the extra trimmings from the spares and probably some abt's sometime during the day. Bout to drop em in the smoke but here's some qview of the prep!

I think I found some pretty decent racks from the butchers. this is after they've been trimmed.

Close up, pretty decent fat content i think.

all the extras, I hear they're delicious!

Ribs, freshly rubbed

overhead view.

close up of the special rub, some of you probably recognize it :)

diff view, I took this extra shot to make sure I was trimming correctly :/

Fresh pork butt from the butcher, 6.8 lbs.


after the mustard/rub bath

This weekends entire smoke (sans peppers)

some bacon end pieces I found at the butcher shop, i'm sure I can find a good use for these although I haven't thought of one yet, except maybe beans.

whole smoke ready to go in the heat.

ribs/rib tips

pork butt ready to go!

More to come, thanks for looking!
post #2 of 15
Looking good to me.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
taking a LONG time for the smoker to get up to temp, Been on since 8 (2 hours ago) and it's just now hitting 208....getting a bit worried.
post #4 of 15
Prep looks really good. Toss some fuel in that baby!
post #5 of 15
Lookin pretty good so far! Gotta love smokin on cold days!
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 


ok, just checked the ACTUAL internal temp of the smoker and it was like 256, crap. The MES display said 208. The ribs looked alright still, a little charred on on side of the underside of one rack, I foiled them right away and hopefully they'll be fine..i'm so pissed right now.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
as excited as I was for this weekend's smoke session i'm going to throw it all away, I have never been so frustrated in all my life, the mes, which has always been dependable, has just lost some point in my book, I had it set on 225 and the thermo on the smoker wouldn't get past 208, so then i stick the analog thermo in the smoker to see what the actual temperature is, and it says 256, so basically I cooked my ribs and butt to death for about 3 hours before I did anything about it, to make matters worse, the mes will heat up until it gets to the temperature that you set it at, if that's all screwy, as it is on mine, than it's going to just heat until it gets to an unattainable temperature, all the food is ****, and I'm taking the rest of the day off. cheers.
post #8 of 15
Bummer man, I feel for ya.
post #9 of 15
I have to do with you
post #10 of 15
NewFlame, before addressing the MES, a lot of people smoke ribs in the 250º range up to 300º, so throwing those ribs away could be a big mistake unless they are all seriously charred, just wrap in foil with some apple juice and tenderize them, for an hour or two, and then sauce them they should be fine.

I don't know where you live, so I haven't a clue about the outdoor ambient?
What MES do you have 30" or 40"?
How old is your MES?
Was your water pan full?
Did you pre-heat the MES and for how long?

As for the MES operating at set cooking temp, you have to have read many times here on SMF that most of us use an external probe inserted into either chunk of wood or potato around mid cabinet or on the rack with most meat? The reason is most of us don't rely on the MES temp for accuracy. There is a lot of reasons for this, the MES sensor is on the back wall, and doesn't protrude into the cabinet more tha 3/8". If you are cooking in a cold ambient condition that wall is losing heat as heat always goes to cold, so in that particular area the temp could be 220º, and the actual temp around the meat could be 250º or higher. If your MES is working normally watch in the summer an external probe at the grate and the MES sensor will report almost the same temp, only as the ambient gets colder will the temps reported begin to vary.

Personally I am down to one external probe (my other two I burned the cables) so I use my probe to monitor internal meat temp. Like you I have a cheap oven thermometer hanging on the grate with meat. I have it angled so I can crack the door and peak at the temp. According to that thermometer my MES is cooking at 15-20º hotter than what the MES is showing. So which is it, is the MES fighting to keep the MES at the set temp due to heat loss or is the MES sensor and controller bad? I think heat loss.

But it doesn't matter which reason, as the cook it is my responsibility to check for doneness, with meat that is sensitive to easily being over cooked I check early in the cook, more forgiving cuts I check later.

I have some suggestions that will help, but want to see the answers to the above questions first.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
just pulled the ribs (couldn't bear to throw them away), they weren't pretty, no smoke ring to speak of, but they weren't bad..my wife liked them and they were moist and had the right amount of pull, apologies for the freak out, I went to the store and bought two extra thermometers, one is a pen thermo, digital, which i put right into the damper, the other was a cheap over thermo, which i put on the middle grate, and I also have a digital probe in my pork butt, and the thermo on the mes, right now, the mes is saying 210, and the oven thermo is saying 224, the pen thermo is burned and not working anymore, and the pork butt is at 159.
post #12 of 15
As soon as I saw the first line I knew the 2nd line was coming either sooner or later....

We all learn...

I did the same thing with a pro. quality quick read dial face, my son gave it to me when he worked at Marie Calendars, it was adjustable, and what cooks used to quick check meat temp. I used it for 2 years, and then pushed it into some piece on my BBQ grill and closed the lid for a few seconds... I didn't realize it had a plastic face........... booohoooo sad......
post #13 of 15
I smoke my ribs at 250* (cause my gosm will not go lower in the summer) and even higher without a problem. I've had mine hit 275*, so don't worry if it goes a little higher. Just do what you did, foil and hit it w/ a little liquid to let it braise. If you're going to stick a therm right in the damper, I've used an old crappy analog pen therm. It sucks having to read the temps off the lines instead of seeing it pop up, but then again I guess I'm lazy.
post #14 of 15


Sorry bout your bad energy but I just wanted to say that you did one sexy job trimming those ribs. They look perfect!

Hope everything worked out for you. Didn't read the whole thread.

post #15 of 15
Well it looks like your gonna be smoking and eatin pretty darn good here shortly. I cann't wait for the finish Qview.
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