Another Pork Back Rib attempt

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Apr 29, 2006
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Ok. So tonight I tried my hand at smoking again tonight. The original ribs I was going to use were spoiled :S so I had to get so more. I started them at about 2:30. About 1h before I started the charcoal and then I went and preped my ribs. I put them on the smoker..
This is my smoker:

The temperature was steadily rising. After about 1h or so on they were up to about 108 degrees F and then looked like this:

This is also roughly the setup of my charcoal and chips, which i'll talk about more at the end:

So I continued smoking and occasionally put more chips on the pan and add more charcoal underneath. At about 7pm the temp of the meat peaked at about 162 F and then after that they averaged at about 150F. For the love of me I could not get the dam mat temp to 170F, I tried but no dice. At roughly 9pm I pulled them off. I could not get the temp high enough, where last time my problem was that the temp was too high. I ended up nuking them for a few minutes (I know, sad eh). This was the final product:

I feel my problem was that they were n cooked enough, because A) they were only in for about 6hs, and B) The temp paked at about 162F. I think I could resolve this by not overstoking the charcoal (I think I suffocated it), possibly putting a few bricketes in the main chamber just for a bit of added heat. Maybe facing the smoker sothat teh intake is facing the wind direction. Any other suggestions would be appreciated, also where I should maybe post this to get more help with it? Maybe in the pork section?

They looked Darn good to me what did you marinade them in or what rub did you use, They sure look tasty. Did you let them get to room temp. first before putting on.
I have a off set like you and I have the some problem with some meats. I have found out after doing the mods to the smoker I had to move the meat to a warmer spot or do a increase to about 250 for about 10-15 min. The meat will all of a sudden go up and then I can let it go back down to 225 and the meat will keep on going up. I do not know why this is but I had the problems and found this for my fix.

Does anyone know why when meat gets around 160 it will do a drop in temp all of a sudden? I have had it happen on my chicken, pork, and beef so I know it is not just the cut.
veener88, I have had meats hit the 160 mark and just sit there (this is more noticeable in large muscle mass meats like butts and briskets and some beef roasts) but I've never noticed the internal temps dropping.
At aprox 155 to 160 internal temp the connective tissue starts breaking down. As it breaks down the moisture in those cells is released. At 160 the number of cells breaking down can be enough the the internal in the meat can drop a couple of degrees. Some refer to this time in a cook as the stall, this is when the magic is happening.
OK, i'm giving it another go tomorrow. This time i'm going to not suffocate the charcoal and put a few bits of charcoal in the main chamber for alittle added head, so we'll see. This time i'm also not using a rub but a beer marinade, so we'll have to see how it goes :D
If I can offer a suggestion on the chips - go ahead and throw them on the fire - it'll give ya a little more heat, and more smoke, and you may find that you move from chips to chunks and use less of the charcoal.

Also - I use an internal thermometer for everything that goes into the smoker - except ribs (ok, and ABT's)
its hard to get that thermometer to read well sitting next to a bone, or fat. - The ribs will tell you when they are done - you'll see the meat pull back about a half inch from the end of the bone, so the top of the bone is clean of any meat.
Good luck!
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