Ribs in electric smoker no good?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by hunt to eat, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. hunt to eat

    hunt to eat Newbie

    Hello all, I am here out of frustration.  I have tried three times now to cook baby back ribs in my masterbilt electric smoker with fair at best results.  First attempt was the traditional 3-2-1 and they turned out ok but not great by any means.  I then tried a "fast smoke" recipe I found on this forum and they were again ok but not great.  I recently bought Miron Mixons book on smoking and tried his entire step by step approach over fathers day.  3 racks marinaded for 4 hrs, dried, rubbed, smoked for 2 hrs @250 spritzing every 15 min, remove, baste with glaze,  wrap with apple juice in the tray cook 1 more hour remove and let rest for 30 min.  Excellent flavor but still not tender.  That's my biggest issue is that there consistently not tender (no where near fall off the bone) and not very heavily smoke flavor, I would like them much smokier.  I used apple wood this last time.  What exactly can I do differently to get better results?  Can you just not get great results with electric?  Any help is appreciated.
  2. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    3-2-1 is too long for BabyBacks.

    Check my Step by Step out---They came out Great in my MES 40: (Electric)


    Baby Back Ribs

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
  5. hunt to eat

    hunt to eat Newbie


    Like I said i have tried them multiple ways only once 3-2-1 this last time was Mixons 2-1 and they still were not tender.  Well I shouldnt say not tender because eating them was fine but i would like to get them so you dont need utensils just a light pull with your teeth to get them off the bone.  I will check out your link as well.
  6. hunt to eat

    hunt to eat Newbie


    I see your using the ANPS to get extra smoke.  i would like to have more smoke as well.  I have been running the vent on top closed to try and retain that smoke.  Am i going the wrong way with that?  Should i leave it open for more air flow?
  7. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Get yourself a good instant read therm. A thermapen if you can afford it.

    Go by IT. 195 is tender & juicy, 200 is fall off the bone. This works no matter what method you use to cook the ribs.

  8. hunt to eat

    hunt to eat Newbie

    I read your thread on the topic last night Al and I decided to throw my current ribs back in the smoker.  I brought them up to 195 as you suggested with the meat probe in the smoker and they turned out wonderfully.  must just not have been getting the temp up there high enough.  Thanks for the input!
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You can't beat an AMNPS for getting nice even smoke. I use Hickory almost all the time. 

    For me, the AMNPS is not for extra smoke----It's my ONLY smoke.

    I keep my top vent open all the way whenever I'm smoking, unless it's windy.

    Closing the vent will give you bitter taste.

    Try a rack of BBs exactly like that Step by Step. Let me know how you like it.

    For BB, 3-2-1 is too long, and 2-1 is too  short.

    If you're using an MES, don't open your door a lot, like for basting or trying to get an accurate internal temp.

  10. Just ran across this site.

    FYI, I have been smoking meats for about 20 years. I replaced my first electric smoker last year because it was worn-out.

    I use hickory, apple, cherry woods, and have had good success with all.

    I smoke with the vent closed to hold the temperature consistently.

    I preheat the smoker to 200-225 degrees before putting in ribs, pork shoulder, etc.; then lower temperature to about 145 and smoke for about 6 hours.

    I then raise temperature to maximum, and continue smoking until the meat temperature is at least 205-210 degrees. My reading and experience indicates

    the meat must reach that temperature to eliminate all of the connective tissue and get them most tender meat (fall-off-the-bone).

    I was reluctant to switch to the electric smoker, but received one from my family as a Christmas present. Now refuse to "mess" with charcoal, etc. 

    I also use the smoker for chicken, turkey, trout, salmon, etc. The brined/smoked turkey was a hit with family and in-laws last Christmas.

  11. westby

    westby Smoking Fanatic

    I've read of two people that close the vent on their MES in this thread.  I think most would recommend having it at least halfway open.  You need to get that smoke out of there - it can get stale otherwise, which doesn't taste good at all (creosote / acidic).  Other benefits are driving off some of that moisture inside the unit.

    I also think the OP is opening his unit too much, causing temp recovery issues.  May also want to validate your actual smoker temps with an independent thermometer.

    Interested in what others have to say.

  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome Arcajun[​IMG]!  

    Sounds like you did really great with that smoker----20 years is a long time!!

    As for the vent, all smokers are different, many older ones didn't seal as well as some of the newer ones. 

    When we say "The top vent should stay open 100%", we're talking about on an MES unit, and many other smokers.

    If you close the top vent on an MES, you're going to have bad tasting food.

    BTW: Please go to "Roll Call" and introduce yourself, so you can be properly welcomed.

  13. Thanks Bear.

    My post not clear. Been smoking for 20+ years. The smoker retired was about 6-7 years old.

  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    OK Thanks!!

    One of mine is 7 years old, and I believe if we take care of them, they could last 20 years.

    You must have taken care of it anyway to last 6-7 years.

    My son had a more expensive electric smoker that only lasted 3 years, but he left it out in the rain all the time.

    Thanks for clearing that up.[​IMG]

  15. Kept mine covered or under deck roof, but literally "wore it out."

    Replaced with an identical one from SAM's Club.

    Just moved to new house recently and still rebuilding my outdoor kitchen.  Two problems yet to solve:

    Old had separate breaker box and grounded circuits, but no convenient power for new deck except a

    long HD cord. Also I plumbed old deck and had triple sink tied into sewer, and H & C water. Now best

    is garden hose, but I have some ideas.

  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yup---That's they way to take care of them. 

    Mine is under roof on my front porch, and only gets a little snow during a blizzard with wind, (once a year) but that's only on the cover until we sweep it off.

    I can't help you with that other stuff, but there's a bunch of guys here that could probably take care of any electric or plumbing questions.

    Any questions you have, just start a new thread on the matching forum category with the question, and somebody will get there.

    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
  17. hunt to eat

    hunt to eat Newbie

    Bear have you any experience with the smoke daddy vortex cold smoker tray? Looks like a similar prouduct to the amnps but takes up less room.
  18. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    LW morning....    When adding smoke to meat, it is best to have the exhaust wide open..   Provides good clean smoke...  after smoke, it is fine to close the exhaust 90% to turn the smoker into an electric oven to finish the meat....
    westby likes this.
  19. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    No I haven't used one.

    It looks like a Wire mesh screen, similar to the Sink Drain I use to keep the bugs out of my top smoker vent, only bigger.

    It works in a circular manner. Doesn't look constructed anything like the AMNPS or the rest of the Amazing Family. Wouldn't hold up as well. IMO


    On Edit:  Wow I just looked it up---It's $29.99---No way---Maybe $9.99, but not $29.99.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
  20. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm not sure how it can take up less room than the 5"x8" footprint of the AMNPS 5x8???

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