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8-10 racks of baby backs - Newbie needs some advice!

soundnvision

Newbie
14
2
Joined Sep 27, 2021
Morning all!

I'm new to the forums and have already read a bunch of great stuff!

I have a pellet smoker I've been using for about 6 months, and want to do 8-10 racks of baby backs for my daughter's birthday in a few weeks. I ordered a rib rack that holds 8 racks. Should be here in a few days.

Couple of questions:
- Would it be better to smoke 8 racks at once or spread them out and smoke 4 racks at a time, over two rounds of smoking?

- If it's better to do two rounds of smoking, what's the best way to have the first set of ribs ready for eating? I've heard of the cooler method, but I've also heard about letting them cool a bit, foiling them, then reheating in the oven 30 minutes before eating.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!
 

smokerjim

Smoking Guru
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welcome to smf, i don't see any reason not to smoke them all at once, when i do ribs i will smoke them a day or days ahead of time then just heat in the oven 275 in covered aluminum pans for an hour. you could reheat in your smoker if you want that going for the party. i just wouldn't add any sauce until your reheating though. if your going to smoke them the day of give yourself about 6 hours. good luck
 

soundnvision

Newbie
14
2
Joined Sep 27, 2021
Thank you both for the quick advice.

And thanks for the welcome. Looking forward to diving further into this community.

Cheers!
 

golfpro2301

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Jun 6, 2012
All at once. I did that many racks in a traeger 22 before and no issues

because its not a presentation contest I put them all in foil pan after and turned grill down to lowest setting. 20min before serving applied sauce front and bak then back in pan. Pulled,carved, and served
 

tallbm

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Joined Dec 30, 2016
Morning all!

I'm new to the forums and have already read a bunch of great stuff!

I have a pellet smoker I've been using for about 6 months, and want to do 8-10 racks of baby backs for my daughter's birthday in a few weeks. I ordered a rib rack that holds 8 racks. Should be here in a few days.

Couple of questions:
- Would it be better to smoke 8 racks at once or spread them out and smoke 4 racks at a time, over two rounds of smoking?

- If it's better to do two rounds of smoking, what's the best way to have the first set of ribs ready for eating? I've heard of the cooler method, but I've also heard about letting them cool a bit, foiling them, then reheating in the oven 30 minutes before eating.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!
Hi there and welcome!

If you can smoke them all at once then I would.

Now a word of caution.
Those racks don't usually work exactly as advertised. Have a plan B where you can smoke in 2 waves if the rack only holds like 50% of what it claims or it just wont work for you at all.

I have 1 rack that claims to do ribs and I bought another contraption that is supposed to help as well... neither do very well. This past weekend I simply poked 2 holes in each of my 4 giant racks of spare ribs and hung them using strong butchers twin from my sausage smoking dowels. Worked like a charm!!! I hung them where the length went horizontally left to right instead of length going vertical top to bottom. I feared verticle they may pull apart but not sure if that would have happened. Long story short, it worked like a charm and I only dirtied 1 smoking rack that held a foil pan to catch drippings :)
 

soundnvision

Newbie
14
2
Joined Sep 27, 2021
All at once. I did that many racks in a traeger 22 before and no issues

because its not a presentation contest I put them all in foil pan after and turned grill down to lowest setting. 20min before serving applied sauce front and bak then back in pan. Pulled,carved, and served
Thanks for that advice! Because most of the family isn't committed to sauce, I think I'm going to have sauce on the side. I think I'm also going to add an hour to the cook time because of the overall volume.
 

soundnvision

Newbie
14
2
Joined Sep 27, 2021
Hi there and welcome!

If you can smoke them all at once then I would.

Now a word of caution.
Those racks don't usually work exactly as advertised. Have a plan B where you can smoke in 2 waves if the rack only holds like 50% of what it claims or it just wont work for you at all.

I have 1 rack that claims to do ribs and I bought another contraption that is supposed to help as well... neither do very well. This past weekend I simply poked 2 holes in each of my 4 giant racks of spare ribs and hung them using strong butchers twin from my sausage smoking dowels. Worked like a charm!!! I hung them where the length went horizontally left to right instead of length going vertical top to bottom. I feared verticle they may pull apart but not sure if that would have happened. Long story short, it worked like a charm and I only dirtied 1 smoking rack that held a foil pan to catch drippings :)
Also great advice!

I think my plan B is going to be the following:

I'll do the first half of the racks in the morning and finish them around 11. Start the second half right away and eat when they finish.

For the first half, I'll let them cool a bit, then foil them and fridge them. When the second half is 30-45 minutes from finishing, I'll put the first half on my grill at low-medium heat and pull them when the second half is finished. Thoughts on that?
 

tallbm

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Joined Dec 30, 2016
Also great advice!

I think my plan B is going to be the following:

I'll do the first half of the racks in the morning and finish them around 11. Start the second half right away and eat when they finish.

For the first half, I'll let them cool a bit, then foil them and fridge them. When the second half is 30-45 minutes from finishing, I'll put the first half on my grill at low-medium heat and pull them when the second half is finished. Thoughts on that?
Good plan. Ribs will reheat with no issue and probably taste better due to all the flavors permeating more. BBQ is always better the next day haha
 

radioguy

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Jan 12, 2013
see if you have room to cook them all at once. I get them to the point of pulling back from the bone, and bend test. I coat them in sauce and foil wrap them. place them in a cooler or oven to rest, 1 hour or so...they finish perfectly. good bite, pull off the bone easily. good luck and have fun

RG
 

soundnvision

Newbie
14
2
Joined Sep 27, 2021
see if you have room to cook them all at once. I get them to the point of pulling back from the bone, and bend test. I coat them in sauce and foil wrap them. place them in a cooler or oven to rest, 1 hour or so...they finish perfectly. good bite, pull off the bone easily. good luck and have fun

RG
Thanks for the advice! In previous smokes, I haven't used the bend test, mostly because I was only doing a rack or two. I'll definitely be researching that to use.

Thanks again!
 

soundnvision

Newbie
14
2
Joined Sep 27, 2021
One more question on timing for this smoke:

It looks like my smoker may be able to hold 6 racks flat, making me think I may do two rounds of smoking to keep everything flat, rather than in the rib rack.

When I do two racks, my baby backs are done in 5 hours. With a smoker full of baby backs, I'm thinking I should add an hour and make it 6 hours.

Thoughts on timing?
 

golfpro2301

Smoking Fanatic
480
93
Joined Jun 6, 2012
You wont see any real difference in flavor going rib rack. Appearance yes but since a party shouldnt be an issue. I did rib rack with all vertical and laid rest across the top.

Anything outside of pork butt I prefer not to reheat as it tends to dry out a little. With ribs being thinner piece the risk is greater. I say thrown them all on at once and crack a few cold ones
 

tallbm

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
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Joined Dec 30, 2016
One more question on timing for this smoke:

It looks like my smoker may be able to hold 6 racks flat, making me think I may do two rounds of smoking to keep everything flat, rather than in the rib rack.

When I do two racks, my baby backs are done in 5 hours. With a smoker full of baby backs, I'm thinking I should add an hour and make it 6 hours.

Thoughts on timing?
I'd add at least 2 hours.

If you pull ribs off the smoker and let them cool down a good bit, you can hold foil wrapped ribs in an oven at like 160-170F degrees until you eat.
There is no way to effectively speed up the cooking of the ribs if you are running out of time.

This is a major principle to understand and get some some practice when smoking bigger cuts of meat and cuts that are done when tender like ribs.

Hopefully this gives you some good ideas for timing and planning :)
 

soundnvision

Newbie
14
2
Joined Sep 27, 2021
You wont see any real difference in flavor going rib rack. Appearance yes but since a party shouldnt be an issue. I did rib rack with all vertical and laid rest across the top.

Anything outside of pork butt I prefer not to reheat as it tends to dry out a little. With ribs being thinner piece the risk is greater. I say thrown them all on at once and crack a few cold ones
Thanks for the feedback! Interesting point about laying the rest on top. With my size smoker (Zgrills 700d), I might be able to fit 10 racks in there..Thanks!
 

soundnvision

Newbie
14
2
Joined Sep 27, 2021
I'd add at least 2 hours.

If you pull ribs off the smoker and let them cool down a good bit, you can hold foil wrapped ribs in an oven at like 160-170F degrees until you eat.
There is no way to effectively speed up the cooking of the ribs if you are running out of time.

This is a major principle to understand and get some some practice when smoking bigger cuts of meat and cuts that are done when tender like ribs.

Hopefully this gives you some good ideas for timing and planning :)
Much appreciated!

Because we only "need" 8 racks, but my wife wants 10 (smart lady), I may smoke a couple racks early if, indeed, I don't have enough space for all 10.

Thanks for the timing advice. The smoker will be full, so I'm thinking of going unwrapped for the whole time, spritzing hourly with a 50/50 apple juice and ACV mix.
 

golfpro2301

Smoking Fanatic
480
93
Joined Jun 6, 2012
Yes they all turned out as expected. They were wrapped midway through with a variety of ingredients then unwrapped to finish. The appearance may lack a little but taste would be great. Just plan on adding an extra 1-1.5 hour for cooking time or you can wrap in foil longer. The internal temp of the ribs when done will still be like pork which is roughly 200F so if they are done early you can wrap them all together and they will stay warm for a while. is running 225-250 I would plan on 7 hours and expect them to be done in 6ish. Again this all dependent on how long in smoke/foil
 

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