Well I did my first smoke today. I smoked a rack of ribs and some drumettes. It didn’t come out great, but not bad either. Now for the mistakes made that I could use advice on. First I left the Drumettes on too long, about one hour and forty five minutes on the bottom rack. I was thinking chicken about 1 ½ hours. I didn’t consider the size of the drumettes verses a whole chicken. Taste was excellent but of course a bit dry due to the amount of cooking time. I used basic brine plus a splash of lemon juice and bit of teriyaki sauce for 4 hours prior to putting them in the smoker. I also smoked using cherry chips for the entire time they were in the smoker. Taste was pleasant and not too Smokey, just over cooked. I think I have the answer for the next time I smoke drumettes, same as above but less time in the smoker.
Next the ribs: Need advice with the rub. It seemed very salty; I used a rub from the forum. Maybe there is a secret to applying the rub; the ribs were really salty in some portions more than other portions of the ribs. They were not so salty that they were not edible, just a little too salty for my taste. I rubbed them last night, wrapped them in saran wrap overnight and threw them in the smoker for 5 ½ hours this morning. Again I used Cherry wood chips; they did not have a very strong smoke flavor. I smoked for the first 3 hrs. Should I smoke longer or maybe try a hickory smoke flavor next? The flavor was excellent for the chicken but not so great for the pork ribs.
Temperature issues: I know how important the temperature is. Here in Central Texas, I woke up this morning with the outside temp at 79 degrees and now we are sitting at 98 degrees. Needless to say the smoker temperature went crazy for a while. I fluctuated from 220 all the way to 260 degrees. Finally the smoker temp settled in around 231 degrees about 3 hrs into the smoke. Is there an effective way to control the heat or will that come with more experience? How much of a difference does it make? I think that had a lot to do with the food being over cooked a bit. I don’t mind that too much, I’d rather over cook than under cook. Getting sick would really be bad. Anyway, on a scale of 1-10, I’d rate my first smoke at about a 5, average. I’ll give it another go next weekend. Thanks in advance for the assistance. Sorry for the long post. Wanted to get it all out there. Thanks