Saturday Spare Rib Headaches!

Discussion in 'Pork' started by gaffney982, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. gaffney982

    gaffney982 Fire Starter

    Because of the cold and terrible weather, I've been itching to get outside and do some smoking. So, I decided to have one of my best friends over for dinner tonight and picked up a two pack of spare ribs (6# each) and trimmed them into St. Louis cut so they'd fit more easily into my Smokey Mountain propane smoker. So last night I covered in some brown mustard and applied the rub. 

    This morning around 9am I figured I'd fire up the smoker and get them ready to go in. I went out to my shed and went to fire it up but low and behold! The regulator had frozen up and wasn't feeding into the burner. So I trudge back into the house and down into the basement where I keep my portable propane heater I had purchased from Tractor Supply Company and I brought it out into the shed. I hit the ignition button a few times only to find out the cylinder was empty............FML! Luckily enough I had a couple extras that were down in the basement, so down I went to fetch them. I got the heater turned on and let it sit with the shed doors closed for about a half hour. By this time it was 9:45 and I went out to check and see if everything had defrosted and still no luck. WELL, I have a oil electric heater I can plug into an outlet in the shed but where is it? Down in the basement lol. After getting both the electric and portable propane heater going the burner fires up in my smoker and I'm finally on my way. HOPEFULLY, this is the end of my headaches and everything else goes smoothly.......

    So I'm watching the temps on my Ivation wireless thermometer and the temp in the smoker is climbing suuuuuuppppeeeerrrrrr ssssslllllooooowwwwwwwww. After about another 30 minutes it finally reached 275 so I threw the ribs in and hopefully all goes well.

    I'm estimating the racks to take about 5-6 hours, which will put me right around 5:30-6:00pm EST and in time for dinner. The plan is to pull them at 3:30-4:00 and throw them in foil with some honey and apple juice and let them ride it out until it's dinner time!

    I hope everyone else has had more luck than myself this beautiful Saturday and I hope y'all enjoy the weekend!

    I'll be sure to get some pics when I pull them from the foil, but here's some before pics to get ya'll interested!

    SMOKE ON!!!

    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016
    disco likes this.
  2. Man Oh Man......what a day you had..

    Couple of questions???????????

    You said you were shooting for a smoker temp of 275 for your ribs, right?

    I`m scratching my head at your smoker temp and your estimated time line?????

    I`ve done plenty of st louie spares and baby backs using the 2-2-1 method for both at a smoker temp of 250, with nothing but great success, if I do blow my own horn about it.

    Second, how did they turn out??

    No pics so you can lie if you want[​IMG]

    BTW: I use that whole "FML" a whole bunch myself[​IMG]  
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Wow tough start. My family likes the ribs foiled for the tenderness and extra flavor. But I have done St. Louis cut at 275, no foil, in 4 hours. Baring new troubles, you may be done earlier than expectected...JJ
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016
  4. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Trimmed spares are around 3+ pounds, so 4 hours an in foil for the fourth at 275° sounds about right to me, YMMV.
  5. gaffney982

    gaffney982 Fire Starter

    I let the smoker get up to 275 since temps drop down to around 250 when I throw them in (even when I let them sit at room temp for a 30-45 min) and I maintain the 250 for the duration of the cooking. IMHO it's easier to let the temp drop down to the desired temp, rather than try to get up to it.

    I've tried the 3-2-1 and 2-2-1 methods but for my taste preferences I do something along the lines of 3-1 or 4-1 depending on the type of ribs and size of the rack and have always had phenomenal success.

    They are still hanging out in the smoker (1:42pm as I type this) and will get put into foil around 3:30-4:00, after which I promise to put some pictures up! When they're finally done with the foiling, I'll pull them out and sauce 1 rack and throw'em on the weber to let it crisp up and caramalize while the other rack will be naked as to cater to both taste preferences.

    I use FML all the time but I don't use the abbreviated version lol
    Definitely a tough start but not world ending. I, myself, prefer the unfoiled method for the whole duration but my friends & family prefer the foiled ones (maybe I need to find new friends/family?).

    Because these racks were so thick I'm betting it'll be closer to the 4-5 hour mark (including foiling time) but only time will tell!

    I promise to get some pictures up of the sauced and naked racks before we tear into them this evening!

    P.S. I gotta say I love this smokingmeatforums community, everybody is so cool and helpful without being too critical or demeaning while being constructive and productive!
  6. smokinal

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

    Well all I gotta say is I hope your day ends a lot better than it started.

    Good luck & keep us posted.

    gaffney982 likes this.
  7. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    A bad day with smoke is better than a good day without!

    I say hook the smoker up in the basement, it will solve all your problems!
    gaffney982 likes this.
  8. "I use FML all the time but I don't use the abbreviated version lol"


    Me also...usually in a muttering manner....sincere, but not loud enough to draw attention[​IMG]
  9. gaffney982

    gaffney982 Fire Starter

    Ugh, that's probably one of my more mild comments too lol
  10. gaffney982

    gaffney982 Fire Starter

    Success!! Everything fell into place and the ribs were amazing! Hope you all had a great day!

    smokinal likes this.
  11. jayace

    jayace Smoke Blower

    They look delicious, glad everything worked out in the end.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  12. smokinal

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

    Very nice!

    The ribs look delicious!

    Points to you!!

  13. Glad it all worked our for you. If it happens again try a heating pad on the regulator for a few minutes.
  14. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That is a fine looking rack of ribs!

    Points for persevering.


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