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Are my spareribs taking too long to cook?

hoginme

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You should be able to tell if your air flow through an offset is good just by running your hand over your outflow. I can pretty much tell you the temp of my offset by just touching the top of my lid in spots going down the smoker and passing my hand over the outflow stack I know it that well. 10-11hr smoke for spares is crazy, how do you know you have a stall, do you have a thermometer in the ribs? I’ve been cooking all kinds of ribs for quite some time and I’ve never even thought about ribs stalling, unless beef......
 

NewHorizon

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You should be able to tell if your air flow through an offset is good just by running your hand over your outflow. I can pretty much tell you the temp of my offset by just touching the top of my lid in spots going down the smoker and passing my hand over the outflow stack I know it that well. 10-11hr smoke for spares is crazy, how do you know you have a stall, do you have a thermometer in the ribs? I’ve been cooking all kinds of ribs for quite some time and I’ve never even thought about ribs stalling, unless beef......
I do keep a probe in the ribs. To me, it seems like it stalls around 160 or so. It just hangs there slowly inching up for hours. Initially, things go great for the first 3 -4 hours but then things just come to a screeching halt.
 

hoginme

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I’d dump the thermometer in the ribs, drop a probe on the grate and check by bend and pull back of the bones or just go with a timed cook like the 3-2-1or2.
 

sawhorseray

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I did these a couple days ago on my Weber using the SnS. Forget the thermometers in the meat, use it to know your grill temp. Get some "feel" after about five hours, use a toothpick and start probing your ribs a little. I hate FOTB and never settle for that, it's all in the bite and smoke flavor. Kick your temp up to 275º range, YOU are the boss, just smoke it! RAY
DSCN2378.JPG
DSCN2379.JPG
 

Fueling Around

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Nice spread Ray.
Been looking at the SnS for my kettle cooking.
Is there a way to test for airflow? I keep the door wide open and the vent on the stack wide open too.
Door vents and not the door I trust. You start with a full load of wood and after it is burning well, try closing the door vents just a touch and leave the stack open until you need to control grate temps. Stack vent will fine tune the temps. With more experience, a balance between door and stack is the key.
...
I don't spritz since I'm worried that will extend cooking times even longer and the only time I open the top is to make sure the water pan has water in it, maybe 2-3 times throughout the cook.
OK we're getting a better picture.
Do you have the convection plate? Where is your water pan placed?

Yes, ribs do slow around the 3 hour mark. That's why the wrapping or what I call "boil in the foil" of the 3-2-1 method.

edit to fix my gibberish on door and vent stack temperature control.
 
Last edited:

noboundaries

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the only time I open the top is to make sure the water pan has water in it, maybe 2-3 times throughout the cook.
Bingo! Don't use water. Water is only there to control chamber temps and will limit your ACTUAL chamber temp to 212F. Water does nothing for meat moistness. Don't spritz and don't open the door. Do a dry smoke at 275F next time and you should have moist tender ribs in less than 6 hours.
 

NewHorizon

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Bingo! Don't use water. Water is only there to control chamber temps and will limit your ACTUAL chamber temp to 212F. Water does nothing for meat moistness. Don't spritz and don't open the door. Do a dry smoke at 275F next time and you should have moist tender ribs in less than 6 hours.
I'm not sure I'm picking up what you're putting down. Are you saying that having a water pan will only allow the chamber to reach 212, no matter how hot the fire is? And I wasn't under the impression the water pans do anything for meat moistness, I understood it to create a better environment for smoke to adhere to the meat surface.
 

NewHorizon

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Nice spread Ray.
Been looking at the SnS for my kettle cooking.
Door vents and not the door I trust. You start with a full load of wood and after it is burning well, try closing the door vents just a touch and leave the stack open until you need to control grate temps. Stack vent will fine tune the temps. With more experience, a balance between door and stack is the key.
OK we're getting a better picture.
Do you have the convection plate? Where is your water pan placed?

Yes, ribs do slow around the 3 hour mark. That's why the wrapping or what I call "boil in the foil" of the 3-2-1 method.

edit to fix my gibberish on door and vent stack temperature control.
Yes, there is a convection plate in the chamber. I have a small loaf size water pan that I keep adjacent to where the fire box meets the cooking chamber.
 

noboundaries

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Are you saying that having a water pan will only allow the chamber to reach 212, no matter how hot the fire is?
There are a LOT of anecdotal assumptions about what water does in a smoker. It DOES allow more smoke to adhere to the meat, but the physics of water impacts the chamber temp.

At normal pressure, water cannot get hotter than 212F. At that point it flashes to steam and expands 1700 times in volume. The steam cannot get hotter than 212F at normal pressure. That steam saturates the air in a smoker. The smaller the smoke chamber, the greater the influence of the steam on the chamber temp.

Try a dry smoke, spray your ribs with oil at the beginning to capture clean smoke, and check the time start to finish. What have you got to lose, except time?
 

NewHorizon

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There are a LOT of anecdotal assumptions about what water does in a smoker. It DOES allow more smoke to adhere to the meat, but the physics of water impacts the chamber temp.

At normal pressure, water cannot get hotter than 212F. At that point it flashes to steam and expands 1700 times in volume. The steam cannot get hotter than 212F at normal pressure. That steam saturates the air in a smoker. The smaller the smoke chamber, the greater the influence of the steam on the chamber temp.

Try a dry smoke, spray your ribs with oil at the beginning to capture clean smoke, and check the time start to finish. What have you got to lose, except time?
I'm open to any and all suggestions so I plan on giving it a go next chance I get. I have a pretty small cooker so I suppose you may be onto something with the effect the water pan is having.
 

HalfSmoked

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I have no problem with finishing ribs in about 6 hours they have a nice bark and I have always used the pan that is in my smoker. The smoker will reach 400 degrees temp with no problem. I also do not wrap anything. As I say a lot in different post is a lot of what is said here comes down to personal preference

Warren.
 

NewHorizon

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I have no problem with finishing ribs in about 6 hours they have a nice bark and I have always used the pan that is in my smoker. The smoker will reach 400 degrees temp with no problem. I also do not wrap anything. As I say a lot in different post is a lot of what is said here comes down to personal preference

Warren.
Yeah, I’m seeing lots of different opinions. Evidently, I found the only wrong way to cook ribs.
 

1MoreFord

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Get rid of the water pan. You Don't need to help a stick burner add smoke flavor to a cook. Get rid of the temp probe in the ribs too. Go by the bend test or by probing.
 

HalfSmoked

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Thanks for the like Fueling Around it is appreciated.

Warren
 

HalfSmoked

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Get rid of the water pan. You Don't need to help a stick burner add smoke flavor to a cook. Get rid of the temp probe in the ribs too. Go by the bend test or by probing.
That is true with a stick burner but we don't all have or use a stick burner.

Warren
 

NewHorizon

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That is true with a stick burner but we don't all have or use a stick burner.

Warren
That is true with a stick burner but we don't all have or use a stick burner.

Warren
I understand that there are a bunch of ways to make ribs but everything I’ve read and seen has suggested using a water pan. I’m willing to try it without. Do you not use a water pan with any kind of meat or just ribs?
 

HalfSmoked

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I use a water pan in all my cooks except when smoking Canadian bacon and some chicken. If I'm doing hold birds and turkeys I do use the water pan.

Warren
 

noboundaries

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I never use a water pan with water. It catches fat and acts as a heat deflector in my WSM.
 

joetee

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I no longer use a meat probe in ribs. I use the bend test. Probe temps in pork ribs give a false since of when there done. Always use great temp probe. I don't wrap until they are done to rest them.
My st louis cut take about 7 hrs at 225°.
 

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