Second Smoke - Baby Back Ribs

Discussion in 'Pork' started by travisaw, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. Last weekend was my second go at smokin meat.  I smoked a rack of baby back ribs and a couple of loaves of breakfast sausage.  On the ribs I used Jeff’s dry rub and followed the 2-2-1 method.  I had to cut the rack in half because my smoker is not wide enough to hold the entire rack.  When I put the halves in the smoker I did not pay attention at the time, but I put the smaller/thinner half on the lower rack (closer to the head) and the bigger/thicker half on the middle rack.

    After 2 hours of smoke it pulled the ribs to wrap them up.  I put a 2:1 mixture apple juice and cider vinegar in the bottom.  After two hours wrapped up the thin rack on the bottom seemed about done - the meat was falling off the bones.  The thick piece was still pretty stiff at this point.  I put the meat back on the heat.  After about 30 minutes I pulled the smaller half off.  It was another hour and a half after that the thick piece got to 170 degrees.

    So I guess it was 2-2-.5 for the small piece and 2-2-2 for the big piece.  I am using a propane smoker.  The temperature was around 250 the entire time.  I used mostly hickory with a little bit of mesquite for smoke.

    Anyway, I don’t know if anyone has any tips for this situation.  At the very least I wanted to share my experience. Attached is a picture of the thick half after I pulled it off. The thin half got eaten before I had a chance to take a picture :).

  2. hickorybutt

    hickorybutt Smoking Fanatic

    Yep - the thicker cuts of meat will always cook slower. You can just try and put the bigger cuts closer to your heat source next time. And if the smaller meats finish early, you can try and hold them warm until serving time maybe in a covered pan in the oven at 170 degrees.

    The 3-2-1 and 2-2-1 is just a guideline. All meat can behave differently, and based on thickness, can cook a lot faster or slower than you expect. Just the nature of the beast! As you get more experience, you'll start to get a better gauge of timing by looking at a piece of meat and examining its characteristics rather than sticking to a 2-2-1 rule.

    Nice job for your second smoke! The first 2 times I ever smoked ribs they sucked... And it was worse than your experience cause they were tough as leather.
  3. Yeah, agree that if you ended up with good food then it was definitely a win.  I've had more trouble with ribs than anything else, had multiple failures before I ended up with edible food.  Still not completely comfortable with doing them, but getting better.

    Congrats on successful second smoke!
  4. texasrob

    texasrob Fire Starter

    Fairly new guy here as well...and I have had similiar exepreinces with my everyone is else saying, just trial and error.

    I have also been told to keep a basic spiral notebook log( times used, temp,rubs used) when I have smoked, this way if the expereince was positive I can see exactly what I did...if it was bad, I know what NOT to do the next time....just passing along some advice I received.

  5. grillmonkey

    grillmonkey Smoking Fanatic

    I agree with TexasRob. Keep notes and it's easier to keep up with what went wrong so you don't do it again, and what went right so you can repeat it. It's the little things you may not think about, like putting the larger cut closer to the heat source, that notes can remind you of and each time you cook, you'll get better at it.
  6. Thanks for the tips everyone.  I have been keeping track of all the details of the smoke.  Details about the meat, meat source, meat price, wood, time when wood was added, pictures, etc.  I am keeping all my notes on google docs - spiral notebook for the 21st century :).  I'm sure what comes out of the smoker will get better with time a patience.
  7. grillmonkey

    grillmonkey Smoking Fanatic

    Google.....What a funny name for a doctor. And why would he keep your notes.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2014
  8. texasrob

    texasrob Fire Starter

    See I'm old...that new thing called the internet and you kids, nothing but trouble! ha best of luck my friend!


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