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First 3-2-1 ribs in the MES

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I was too lazy to take pics, but here's what's left of them smile.gif

I used "Head Country" rub on them which was good, but I like a Memphis-style rub for ribs, so I'll make my own next time.

They came out very tender -- I followed the 3-2-1 technique strictly and used apple juice in the foil.

I just wanted to point out that I left the vent closed on the MES this time, and it was much better at producing smoke (I would have to add dry chips with the vent open), and the temp that it read was always within 2° of my probe (it would read about 15-20° higher with the vent open). I did leave the vent open during the last hour and set the temp to 240° thinking that it would help them brown. This worked, and I'll do it again next time.

I filled the water pan about ¾ full, BTW, and it lasted the whole smoke. Also, I set the MES to 230° for the first 5 hours, and the temp stayed within 220-230°.

I trimmed and rubbed them the night before. They're so much better without the membrane, and I still can't believe that the local BBQ joints don't do this -- even the Boneyard Grill which has the best ribs in town!

Next time I'll try to cut them St. Louis style and use a homemade Memphis rub. I certainly don't have any complaints about this first effort, though! They were mighty tender and tasty!! I served them up with some homemade french fries (my secret is to fry them up in 100% corn oil), garlic toast, beer, and some Sweet Baby Ray's sauce on the side (I haven't tried to make my own sauce yet).

Anyway, thanks for looking, and I'm sorry that I don't have more and better pics. PDT_Armataz_01_01.gif
post #2 of 11
Congrats on your first, and sure not your last.PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #3 of 11


Nice looking ribs (at least what's left).
have never tried my mes w/ the vent closed.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Sorry about the pic quality (the lighting in my kitchen sucks). They're all gone now, lol!

People here have told me to keep the vent open, and I'm sure that they have their reasons -- maybe the meat will brown better with it open (which is why I opened it for the last hour). But the manual says to keep it closed to retain heat and moisture, so I did this time. And as I mentioned above, it produced better smoke, and the temp was spot on with the probe when I had the vent closed. So I think that I'll keep it closed from now on unless someone can give me some reasons for leaving it open. It's nothing personal, of course -- I just want to have the best smoking experience possible with the equipment that I have.
post #5 of 11
They look great and I am sure they tasted the same..Thats what its all about is developing your own style.
post #6 of 11
Do you have the older 800 watt MES or the new 1200 watt model? I have the 1200 watt and leave the vent closed also. The first smoke I did I left the vent opened and it seems on the new model the burner stays on too much and you get the nasty white bitter smoke. The second smoke I closed the vent and only used a small handful of chips filling the chip holder about half full, it seemed to smoke a lot better with just a trickle of smoke coming out of the vent and had a nice smoked flavor in the ribs.
I also changed up the times a little and they seemed to come out juicier, I went with 2.5 - 2 - .5.
Sorry for no Q-view but my digital camera isn't working.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
It's the older 800W. I don't fill up the chip tray either. Seems to work best with just a few chips at a time, and once it gets going it lasts a pretty long while before I have to add more.
post #8 of 11
Same here, for ribs I only add chips twice.
post #9 of 11
I always close my vent, because almost every MES owner on this forum says to leave it wide open to avoid stale smoke, creosote, and other ungodly happenings.

Now you got me wondering----Oh no, more experimenting !

post #10 of 11
I have the 800w model and in cold temps I somtimes close the vent partly to bring the box up to heat after opening the door, but now that it is warm out I leave it open unless not in use. Chip usage depends on how much meat and how long to smoke it all.
post #11 of 11
First post but have had my 40" MES for over a year. This forum is awesome. I was shocked to learn everyone swears to leave vent open. I always leave mine fully closed. Masterbuilt people told me it controls moisture and shouldnt affect heat. I also had a problem with the chips burning. They advised me not to soak chips more than 30 minutes and add them while its building temps, so far great success.
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