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cooking Ribs, have question

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I have four big slabs of ribs sitting in my freezer I really need to get smoked before they go to waste. I was wondering if they can be finished off in the oven and be alright since I am having trouble getting my smoker to keep a steady heat long enough?
post #2 of 23
Yes they can be finished in the oven but what temps are you running at and how long are you able to keep the temps up for? Are you running out of wood or why are you only able to keep the temp up for a little while?
post #3 of 23
you sure can
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Well my firebox gets red hot, but the thermometer on the smoker reads low ideal. I haven't done any mods yet, because I don't have the money or supplies at the moment.
post #5 of 23
Is it possible the thermometer is malfunctioning, are you getting what you think would be a higher heat than the thermometer is reading?

Have you tried utilizing another thermometer to see if you get the same reading?
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
I don't think I am getting enough heat from the firebox, and what heat I do get doesn't last long enough.
post #7 of 23
Yea you need to get another thermometer for sure so you know what temp you are at for sure. Those thermometers that say, low, ideal, high etc. are junk.
post #8 of 23
What are you cooking on?
What are you using for fuel?
How much fuel are you putting in your fire box at one time?
How long is "not long enough"?
How often do you refill the fire box?
post #9 of 23
I agree, start with a new thermometer and work your way from that, for the time being finish your ribs off in the oven if need be
post #10 of 23
Yep - you sure can finish them off in the oven.
I too question your thermo, if your firebox is red hot I can't imagine you aren't getting some good heat into the smoking chamber.
post #11 of 23
you can absolutely finish then in the oven; BUT...

lets get that smoker workin right!!!! what kind of smoker do you have? There may be mods that you can do to help with very little if any cost. Tell what you have and let the collective thoughts of the SMF go to work for you!!!!
post #12 of 23
You don't say what kind of smoker you are using. Most factory thermometers are way off, tell us a little about the smoker you are using and everyone can be more precise on helping you. Also what fuel, wood or charcoal you are using...
post #13 of 23
If you need a source for a new thermometer you might try one of these sellers.


post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
It is a Char-Broil off-set charcoal smoker (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Char-Broil...moker/13056698
) it looks almost identical to the Brinkmann Smoke N Pit, I was using hardwood charcoal, Cowboy something or another, I poured maybe 2" in the firebox and hollowed out the center, and added a hot chimney full. I was using a 12" long probe thermometer that I stuck/clipped onto the opposite side of the firebox, on the bottom sidw of the lid, and it was reading 250 when the stock thermometer read at about 1/4 - 1/3 of the way into ideal. It only seems to keep a good heat for an hour or two. I added a second chimney full when the temp dropped, but I couldn't get it to go back up, and the charcoal rack was glowing red, and warping on the outside of the firebox.
The last thing I smoked was 6lb of boneless chicken breast, and a fattie which I ended up finishing off in the oven because I couldn't get them upto 160-165, the would go past 140. I am wanting to do ribs, but I have no idea how to keep the heat going steady for that long.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
I did buy a couple of probe thermometers from Walmart, a 12" one, and a smaller pocket one. I do plan on getting one or two of the wired digital thermometers when I can afford it. My wife works for Walmart so I tend to buy there since we get a 10% discount.

Those thermometers are to replace the original, right? How do I know how long of one I need?
post #16 of 23
I got that same smoker a couple weeks ago. The first thing I did was a brisket and I went through a 13 or 14 lb bag of Kingsford in 5 hours. I ended up finishing it in my MES because I was out of charcoal. I did some ribs this past weekend and started out with a probably 3 or 4 layer high pyramid in about half of the fire box, then added lump after it got burning. Testing with another thermometer the d in Ideal is about 230 on the middle rack of mine. The lump was fairly easy to keep at that temp. I only did the first 3 hours on the Char Broil and went through a 3rd or so of the bag of lump. I don't remember how much it weighs but it's the Royal Oak from WM. In hindsight I think maybe I started the fire too low the first time and was chasing it trying to get it hotter. The second time I figured I'd get it really hot and start the cook and maintain it as it cooled down. The lump is supposed to burn hotter too so that helped.

I haven't done any mods on mine yet either but I did put a pretty big pan of water right at the opening between the firebox and cooking chamber when I did the ribs.
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
I just remembered I grilled some burgers and hotdogs the night before, and I lowered the charcoal tray for that, and forgot to raise it back up. I wonder if that could have been part of the problem?
Would using a pan of water help for what I am having a problem with?
post #18 of 23
Just measure the original and order one the same size and probe length, it should be an easy swap.

You might want to check out some of the mods for that type smoker.

post #19 of 23
I've had my tray at the bottom for both of the smokes I've done. In my opinion, that gives the biggest opening, thus more heat should get through. Raising it might help spread the heat more evenly, similar to the piece of steel people put towards the left side above the opening.

Also, the water pan should drop temps if anything but I had good temps with it. Again, I attribute it to the lump.
post #20 of 23
Myt opinion is that a good thermometer that you can calibrate and know what your cooking chamber is will turn out to be one of your most important pieces of your smoker...I wouldn't settle for a wolly world therm for that...but if that's what you gotta make do with then do it. just look at getting a good therm that can be calibrated someday if you get real serious.

also water pans will not drop temps it helps stablize temps.
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