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321 Ribs Question

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm trying the 321 method, and due to cool temps my MES has only been able to get up to 215* for the first hour and a half of the smoke. It is slowly climbing but when I open the door to wrap them in foil, it could again take awhile to get to 225*. Should I extend my smoking times or????

PS- Thanks everyone. This has been a great place to learn. I've read quite a bit here for the last couple weeks, but my first time to post. I'll head over to the welcome board when I get a chance.

post #2 of 14
Maybe extent it a little bit but I wouldn't worry about it too much. I have times where my smoker falls down around the 200 mark and I have not had a problem. I try to get it back up around 225 but I don't sweat it.
post #3 of 14
Try to go by LOOKS instead of time really...

The 3-2-1 Method is really different for almost everyone because of this very reason, everyone's smoker is different. I would look for the description of the 'bend' method of checking your ribs and try that also.

Can someone here describe that to Jeff better than me???
post #4 of 14
In my opinion you are still putting the nice low and slow heat to the meat which will make it nice a tender so all should be well. As Eagle mentioned everyone has their own little way and own temp of cooking. Some guys cook a little higher some stay at the 225 mark. As long as I am in the 215-275 mark I don't get too worked up if my smoker floats up and down a bit.
post #5 of 14
I agree 100%, I don't get to caught on steady temps. If I can get a nice steady burn then that's cool but if it's one of those days where the temps float around, I don't sweat it.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. Those were some quick answers. It will be nice to have a place to turn to for help while I try to figure out smoking.
post #7 of 14
eaglewing is right on track...Looks and doneness overide time; When you first start out, pay close attention to time (lots of us keep a log and track time temp etc). After a few smokes you will be able to "look and feel" to know doneness.

The "bend" method; some people like to eat ribs that the meat does NOT fall off the bone but prefer to be able to bite the meat off the bone...if this is your preference the bend method will work for you! simply pick up your rack with tongs at one end and lift them up...they should bend easily (baby backs more so than spares) and have a look like they might just break apart in the middle but don't.
I prefer to eat my ribs where I can give the bone a "sharp quick twist" and the bone comes out clean white and shiny! but thats just me... If I am cooking them for me thats how I do it...If I am cooking them for most others the bend method seems to work.

In the end its all about preference. log your times and temps (cooking temp and outside temp), then pay attention to what the ribs look and feel (and most importantly) TASTE like! If you like em, then you did it right!
post #8 of 14
Badfrog brought up an excellent, but seldom stressed, point in keeping a log of each and every time you smoke something. Here is a link to a couple of logs from Weber's web site. If you're like me and can't remember diddly it is a very useful tool.

post #9 of 14
THX Badfrog... good job PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

I'm bad about this too.... it's called Laziness!!!! redface.gif
post #10 of 14
Off-topic, but it seems weird to me that you're having trouble getting up to temp in your MES. Do you have the big 40" with the smaller heating element? I have the smaller old 30" and I've never had trouble maxing out temperature even on a cold Montana winter day . . . how bout the rest of you MES owners?
post #11 of 14
Can you stop into Roll Call please so we can give you the welcome we like to give to new members. It looks as you have gotten some really good info here and thats what we do here is show, tell, teach folks how to do what we really love to do ourselfs.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have the MES 30, and now I'm not having any trouble with temp. I think I just didn't let it preheat to hot enough, then the temp dropped when I opened the door to start the smoke, and it took awhile to get back up to 225. I pinched back the vent and that seemed to help get it there faster.

How long do you usually leave the brisket (rib tips) on the smoker? They're currently in foil with about an hour left of the two-hr segment.

I'll head over to the roll call.
post #13 of 14
I have the 30"...what I do is preheat the smoker all the way up to 275. I also put water in the pan and I have two bricks in the bottom to help hold heat. Once I put the meat in, it recovers quickly, depending on ambient temps, sometimes right where you want it @ 225. Then I just reset the temp to target and smoke away! My $0.02
post #14 of 14
Good reply, it can vary without much concern.
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