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My first attempt Baby Backs and St Louis

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
After a busy weekend and barely able to hold back my inner kid to try my new smoker, I finally got to use it Sunday.

I had made 3 different rubs to try, so Saturday night late I sprinkled the rub on and wrapped them in plastic wrap and set them in the fridge overnight.

I just purchased the new Cajun Injector Electric smoker with a meat probe and a rib rack, so I was all set.

I preheated the smoker to 250 (I figured this would help with the temp drop) and after letting the meat reach room temp I put them into the smoker. The lowest the temp dropped to was 165 after about 15 min and then I lowered the temp of the smoker down to 225. I then started to add my wood pellets/chips I smoked for about 2.5 hours. I contunied to cook at 225 for another 3 hours until my meat probe/thermometer read 175 (spraying with apple juice about every hour until I took them out.

A few thing I learned on my first journey.

The Good
1. My smoker held temperature perfectly, I put 2 cups of heated apple juice in my pan

2. I didn't have TBS but it sure was a sweet smoke and the ribs came out with a perfect smoke flavor.

The Bad
1. My meat thermometer was all over the place after 1 hour it was reading 150 degrees, then it shot up to about 185. So I figured I didn't have it inserted correctly, so I moved it to a different set of ribs but it read the same. I plan on purchasing a new thermometer this week as a secondary check.
2. My rub was way to salty and or I put to much on. I guess I should have bought Jeff's receipt. Anyway I plan on cuttiing back on both salt and the amount I put on.

3. My ribs were not as tender as I wanted. My next batch I will try 2-2-1.

4. As I suspected the smoker seemed to have a hot spot above the element (is there any way to work around this?

I will try to load some Qview for everyone to see

post #2 of 12
I did my first butt and ribs this weekend too. The butt took about 5.5 hrs to get an internal temp of 205. I sprayed it w/apply juice every hour beginning at the 2nd hour. When I pulled it off, I wrapped in foil and placed in a cooler for about an hour or so. It was very tender and juicy, but the next time, I will skip the foil step and just place in a cooler to rest. I want the dark crispy bark next time. It took about 3 hrs for the ribs and they were very tender. Only problem I had was the temps were fluctuating from 250-275. But the ribs were fall off the bone tender. The last 30 minutes I sauced them with Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce. I used Bad Byrons Butt Rub that I bought at a local grocery store and added brown sugar. I am trying to come up with a recipe for a pork and poultry rub as I can't seem to find a store bought one that I really like.

Good luck on your next smoke.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 


2 Baby Backs and 1 St Louis cut to fit my smoker rack

post #4 of 12
Glad all went well Ribs are one of the few things we go by time and looks instead of internal temps its very hard to get an accurate temp on ribs. I'd suggest getting Jeff's rub it will save money over time over store bought rubs and is much better than most or all. It also saves a lot of trial and error trying to perfect one if its not exactly the way you want it you can add or delete stuff but at least you have a good rub to start with
post #5 of 12
What Piney said.... ribs are kinda an art form almost. You have very little meat to get a probe into, so you have to learn what works on your smoker. I usually mustard and rub right before they go on the smoker, then I leave them alone for the first two hours - NO PEAKING! biggrin.gif

After two hours I check the bone end for about 1/4" of pull back (meaning the meat will pull back from the end of the bone about 1/4" or so). If I see pull back I know it is time to foil (if you foil - some people don't). If you do foil I find it is not necissary to a lot of liquid - about 4-6 sprays of apple juice from a spray bottle is plenty. If you don't foil, then just spray the ribs and keep on cooking (spray about 1X per hr. after the first 2 or 3 hrs.).

OK... so if you have foiled check the ribs after they have been in the foil for about 1.5 hrs. Open the foil and use the tongs to pick up a slab, you are wanting to see the meat start to want to tear appart just a tiny bit where it bends. If you don't see it keep them foiled for another half hour or so, but don't forget to check them. If you do see the tiny bit of tearing it's time to pull them out of the foil and put them back on the smoker to firm up for about 1 hr. Some people call this the "bend" test.

If you didn't foil and the ribs have been on for about 5 hrs. do the bend test as well. Like I said looking for the fibers of the meat to start to tear appart where it bends. If you see some tearing it is a good time to sauce your ribs if you like to sauce them while cooking, if no sauce then just pull from smoker double wrap in foil and rest in a cooler for 1 hr.

This is all very subjective, but it gives you some good visual and time referances to keep in mind. Every smoker is differant, and everybody has differant tastes, so keep on experamenting till you find what you like best. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #6 of 12

Not bad

I'm new to this also, and I'm taking the approach to this, as I do anything I try, if at first I fail, I'll just keep trying, sooner or later I'll get it, so look at it this way, they were edible, and you learned, that's what makes this forum great, you have somewhere to go for help. points.gif for your first ribs.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for everyones help, a lot of good info. I think I am going to take off tomorrow and give it another try.
post #8 of 12
Now ribs are something that I don't even break out the thermo meter for I smoke them by time. But as far as the rub I'm with Jerry on this one cause Jeff's rub is really good and if you make your own you will sonn find it to be alot cheaper to do that then buying it in the stores. But your ribs look good but maybe alittle dry but I usaully suace mine at the last 30 minutes or so.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yes the ribs were a bit dry but not really bad, I just received Jeff's rub, I 'll give it a try tomorrow. Thanks for all the input
post #10 of 12
Remember. Peeking is not cooking. If you doing BB's you want to use the 2-2-1 method. If you don't want your ribs to fall off of the bone, cut back on the foiling time by 30 minutes. If you're doing spares, the 3-2-1 method works as well. Same deal if you don't want fall off of the meat ribs. Can't go wrong with the time. With ribs, I only use the themo for checking my temps at grate level. Good luck & have fun with it.
post #11 of 12
Yo chiligumbo, 1st you have purchased a great smoker, Congrats on your new smoker! The MES will get the job done, and makes smoking meat fairly easy. Of course there are some basics which apply pretty much across the board not matter which type of smoker and meat.

On your 1st rib smoke, its already been mentioned, time not temp. Well time plus the right cooking temp is important. Fortunately BB ribs are fairly easy and forgiving. Spares and your pics look like spares are a little more difficult.

The MES makes it easy to know what temp your actually cooking at.
You mentioned spritzing. Because the MES has a water pan, the cooking environment inside is a moist heat instead of a dry heat like on a wood smoker. Spritzing is used to keep the meat from drying out, however thanks to the MES water pan if your cook temp is correct spritzing isn't necessary.
One big negative to spritzing is every time you open the MES door to spritz, you are adding time to your cook for the MES to recover to set cook temp. Since the newer MES units have higher watt elements that recovery time is minimized but it still adds to cook time. In a 5 hour smoke if you spritz 5 times it could add 10-20 minutes x 5. So 10 x 5 or 50 minutes, if you didn't add that time back into the smoke then your ribs are not going to be tender.

Foiling wasn't mentioned in you description of the cook. While learning the basics, using the Texas Crutch (foiling) isn't a bad thing, it will make you look like you really know what your doing when you serve nice and tender juicy ribs. BTW if you want your ribs dry you can still foil but don't add any liquid, the meat will still give up juice and steam in its own liquid.

Pullback, super key factor before deciding to when to foil. JIRodriguez did a good job on describing when to foil and what to look for.

When the foiling stage is done, wet or dry is the next question. Do a taste test, tear off a rib from the small bone end and take a taste. Depending on how dry or moist you will know what to do.

Rub, by all means buy Jeff's to get going. However there are rub recipes galore. Rub and sauce are your two opportunities to put your signature on your Q. Do a search on BRITU and there is a link to a real popular rib rug that is very good.

Hope some of the above and below info is a little help.

MES New Owner Tips:
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Delta thanks, I really appreciate all the info I receive from SMF. It truly is a great wealth website.
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