BB - rack too wide, split in half?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by slingerland, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. Good morning!

    This weekend I'll be smoking my first sets of babyback ribs on my smoker.  This morning I discovered a slight slitch in my plans... the racks are about 2" longer than the interior width of my smoker.  They won't quite fit diagonally either.  So to get the ribs into the smoker, something's gotta bit trimmed.

    So what would everybody recommend:
    • Simply cut the racks in half.  Half-rack is a serving size at my home anyway. Or..
    • Trim a couple of bones off the end and throw them away (shudder...)
    I guess part of my question is whether there is a technical reason to cook the entire slab intact.  I plan to use the 2-2-1 method.


  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Howard, morning...  Some folks have rolled the rack and pinned or tied with string to get a compact rack that fits in the smoke chamber...  

  3. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hi, Howard.  Dave's idea of rolling the racks is a good one.  If you chose to cut the racks, I don't see a reason you couldn't cut 'em right in half.  One thing that might affect is cook time, it would be shorter. 

    Good luck, and don't forget the Qview!

  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  5. Thanks!  And the ribs will draw in during cook, so they maybe/should fit after a couple of hours of smoke.

    I'm going to be using a new propane cabinet smoker (Smoke Hollow #6) instead of my Weber-Cajun Bandit hybrid.  I was planning on using the upper rack space for smoking some veggies or potatoes.  I could roll them, smoke for 2, unroll to wrap and the upper space might be available then.
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hi Howard,

    I have tried all 3 ways (When I was using an MES 30).

    #1   I just cut enough off to fit, and kept the small end pieces together.

    #2   I cut them in half.

    #3   Roll them up.

    Of those 3 methods, I liked them cut in half best.

    I do not like them rolled, because then you have meat against meat keeping the outside from looking nice, and messing up the bark.

    They also won't get the good smoke flavor where meat touches meat.

    I don't even let them touch each other. Why would I want to roll them. That would be like stacking them, in my book.

    I guess people that roll ribs hide the off colored areas with sauce.

    The best thing was when I got an MES 40, and got rid of my MES 30. Now the whole rack fits, and I still don't allow them to touch each other.

    Maybe I'm just too picky.

    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013
  7. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I don't think that cook time would be shorter as you still have the same mass of meat.  This is completely different than cutting a 4 inch thick roast through the center ending up with 2  2 in thick roasts.
  8. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Not "too picky" at all.   I ran into the same problems for years of using my smaller Smoke  Hollow.  Problem was solved just last month when my brother gave me a Smoke Hollow 44 as a Bday present.  

    Slinger, I'd go with cutting them into half racks and not letting them touch each other.   I can get three half racks of BB's on each shelf of my smaller Smoke Hollow laying them flat.    If you are smoking a bunch of ribs and want to use rib racks, just be careful not to overstack them.  You want good air flow between each rack.  As Bear said, where the meat touches, you won't get good smoke flavor.  
  9. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have to cur my racks in half to fir in the Mini-WSM. Still use the same cook methods and times. Since I'm not competing with anyone except myself I see no problems, especially since I cut them into single pieces for serving most of the time anyhow!
  10. Well, I broke down and actually took the racks and slabs and compared.  If I trim the ragged ends, they'll fit diagonally! 


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