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Brand new newbie here! Baby back rib advice! Smoke vault 24.

12
1
Joined Sep 10, 2020
Alright, I havnt even received my smoker yet. It arrives Saturday. I ordered the following. A smoke vault 24, a cover for it, high temp gasket for the door to help keep in smoke (read it online) and Traeger wood pellets from costco. I am going to buy some treated plywood to make a square to put under it to protect patio too. I go to costco and they have these packs of 3 ribs, generally 2.50-2.90 a pound, but they look amazing! I used to use instant pot for my smaller baby back ribs then finished them off in the oven with bbq sauce. However I want to up my game.

I am running liquid propane, it will be tied to my main grille, 30lb tank with a Y splitter, going to grille and smoker. but I won't be using grille during smoking. I read online several conflicting statements, some say to use water, some say to use sand in the tray. How many pellets do I use in the tray? how often am I supposed to refill them? I read 3-2-1 method for ribs, but then I read a guy say its 2-2-1 for baby back ribs.

I would just really rather not ruin $25 bucks in ribs when I try it out on Saturday lol. Any and all advice is great. I use a local rib rub, and will be using probably my bbq sauce I have, (stockpiles of it from costco) but I love the flavor so not upset. Needing more info on actual cooking with this smoke vault 24 and tips and tricks. No idea how many pellets im supposed to toss in there or how often or any prep is needed.

Also- placement of ribs? If I have 3 nice size ribs, do I put 1 on each rack, top middle bottom? do I need to rotate them to different levels or will they all cook the same?

Should I get a meat probe/bluetooth ones? or waste of money for my use.
 
12
1
Joined Sep 10, 2020
Thank you!
I am looking into thermo probes right now.

Between these two, which would you guys rock or have suggestions? Since I have 3 ribs in a pack, leaning towards the 4 probe model but I really like thermpopro as a company, have their temp pens and stuff. but the Enzoo is 1# best seller on amazon.

thermopro TP20 or Meat Thermometer, ENZOO Wireless Meat Thermometer for Grilling, Ultra Accurate & Fast Digital Meat Thermometer with 4 Probes, 500FT Meat Thermometer for Smoker, Carring Case Included

sorry for caps, it assumes I copied the letters from amazon it did that
 

chilerelleno

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Welcome to SMF!

I too run a SV24 and it is an excellent propane fired smoker.
You can look at the link at the bottom of my post and see my recipes thread everything in there that's smoked was done on the SV24.
You will get excellent smoke flavor and smoke ring in your meats.

You really didn't need a door gasket, but it's okay.
More than enough smoke even when running perfect thin blue smoke that what little escapes is a non issue.
Run it with all vents wide open for best smoke production. The airflow being pulled through it help stay wood chunks stay lit and burn clean.

Burn chunks, not chips or pellets.
Dump the pellets and burn chunks.

from deck of cards to fist sized do well. Two chunks it's usually more than enough to start out with, If your cook goes on long enough you may replace or add one at a time. Often your smoke will seem to disappear even though it's still there, if you want a little more just take a tool and move the chunks of wood around a little.

Start your burner on med-high to high to ignite wood into a smoldering state, not aflame. Then lower burner to attain desired temp range.
Don't fight it to hold a steady temp, stay in a range, e.g. 225°-250° or 275°-300°... Don't get caught up chasing a temp.

The burner control is generally pretty delicate, as in it takes very small adjustments to change the flame size and thus temps... You'll get used to it quickly.

The burner is susceptible to high or Gusty wind and may get blown out. You may want to close in three sides on the bottom with sheet metal or plywood if you live in a windy area.

Definitely get a Good digital thermometer with at least one air temp probe and one meat probe, two or three meat probes is even better.
Use the air temp probe to to not only monitor cooking temps but to learn where the hot and cool spots are in your smoker.
It will also help you find your temp range and learn how high you want the flame on your burner for those ranges.
After a while you'll be able to look at your flame and guesstimate pretty well what your temp range will be.

Also get a quality handheld instant read digital thermometer for spot checking temps and probing for tenderness to ascertain readiness of many meats.

The water pan, use it with water in it not sand.
Unless perhaps if you live in an area where the winter gets very cold and then it may help maintain temps when you have to open the smoker to check food.
But in general use it with water it helps maintain humidity and is beneficial to getting good smoke flavor and keeping some food from drying out.
To get a steady temp range quicker, fill your pan with hot water from the tap so you don't have to raise its temp so far.
Maintain the water level or you will get a big heat spike If allowed to fully evaporate.

Maintain the SV24 and it will last you for many years.
Go on Amazon and buy an extra regular rack and an extra jerky rack.
If you plan on cooking lots of ribs for large groups get yourself a rib rack too.

If I missed anything or you have more questions feel free to ask in this thread.
Please don't PM me questions as I prefer to share information in open forum so other people can learn too.

Again welcome to SMF!

P.S.
Thank God for Talk to Text.
 
12
1
Joined Sep 10, 2020
Thank you. Have any opinion on a recoenndation for a probe set? should I just have the wires go through crack of door (or I can make a small slit if I install gaskets)

Anyone recommend sams club or costco baby back ribs? I think the ones I saw are called Swift premium bb ribs,. 2.99 a pound, looked nice and hearty. I have cooked sams clubs in instant pot, no complaints. Just wondering which generally has better racks/value.
 

bregent

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Since I have 3 ribs in a pack, leaning towards the 4 probe model
For ribs, go by feel (bend test) not temperature. I actually don't use a thermometer that much for any BBQ these days. It's done when it reaches the tenderness you want, not a specific temp.
 

bregent

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Anyone recommend sams club or costco baby back ribs? I think the ones I saw are called Swift premium bb ribs,. 2.99 a pound, looked nice and hearty.
Swift, Hormel and Smithfield are the main pork producers you will find in the big warehouse stores. They're all pretty much the same in my book.
 

chilerelleno

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I run all my probes directly through the top vent.
Inkbird is a vendor here and has well-reviewed products at decent prices.
From what I've seen and heard here you can't go wrong with them in their price range.
You can buy them on Amazon.
Lavatools makes a excellent instant read digital thermometer called the Javelin.
And sells it at a great price.
They are available at Amazon too.

I cook almost nothing but St Louis cut ribs that I buy at Costco.
I do not cook them by internal temp.
I cook them via the Pop Bend and Crack Test.
Pop, the ends of the bones are popping out of the meat.
Bend, the rack bends easily without breaking to about 45°
when picked up in the center with tongs.
Crack, The bark cracks open exposing the meat when they bend.
Also, the meat between the bones contracts a bit and there is an undulating/wavelike appearance to the ribs along their length.
I do not take the membrane off the back of the ribs.
I rub them down with plenty of rub.
I cook them at a temp of 225°-250°.
They take anywhere from 6.5 to 7.5 hours on average.
I generally do not spritz or mop.
I do not glaze with barbecue sauce, and that's just my personal preference.

My results are a light tug to pull meat off the bone when you bite them.

Some people do cook by internal temp, 195° yields results similar to mine.
Further cooking will result in fall off the bone ribs, which are generally considered overcooked.

I've never used a 321 method or any similar method.
 

chilerelleno

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I can't over stress the value of a good handheld digital, instant read, probe thermometer for testing internal temp, But more so for checking for probe tenderness.
Probe tenderness by far exceeds any time ot temp method for checking the doneness of several of the most popular barbecue meat cuts.

Probe tender is when a sharp probe instrument like a probe thermometer, ice pick, toothpick, bamboo skewer or whatever is inserted into the meat and goes in easily like a knife through warm butter or creamy peanut butter.

You will hear the term probe tender, time and time again here.
 

chilerelleno

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Times when that handheld, digital, probe thermometer will come in extremely handy for checking internal temp are when cooking such things as poultry, pork loin, pork tenderloin, cooking pork butts for slicing, cooking any type of steak or roast that you want done to a specific point, rare, med-rare and so on.

They are invaluable.
 
12
1
Joined Sep 10, 2020
I have a instant thermapen, paid like 100 bucks for it like 6 years ago, works great for my steaks and such, but I figured one that stays in the ribs would be ideal for a smoker as you dont want to let the smoke out unless needed, I will drop the cord through top vent, didnt even think about that honestly. can I set a thermometer above ontop the smoker? maybe a little silicone square and have it on it? or would it melt the little doodad. trying to figure out where id set the screen for the probes.
 
12
1
Joined Sep 10, 2020
One very big question! I have 30lb propane tank, and bought a y splitter to make this work for now. but if I really enjoy my smoker I will probably convert this to a natural gas set up, and get a new NG grille as well.

I was quoted 2000 bucks to run a 40 foot gas line from my back up generator to my area where ei have my propane gas/smoker will be.

Can you guys tell me how many hours I can expect from a full 30lb tank of propane smoking ribs? if its like a couple cooks and im out, I will deal with it for this year, but next year definitely install the gas line and convert it over. but if I can get like 10-15 solid cooks per tank I dont mind hauling it up the road and refilling.

just hate hauling that large cylinder. Lol feels like its a bomb in my trunk. but its only like 12 bucks to fill locally.

I really want natural gas one day though, just because- infinite grilling/gas and long term cost savings if I really decide to do this often/daily next summer.
 

chilerelleno

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I have a instant thermapen, paid like 100 bucks for it like 6 years ago, works great for my steaks and such, but I figured one that stays in the ribs would be ideal for a smoker as you dont want to let the smoke out unless needed, I will drop the cord through top vent, didnt even think about that honestly. can I set a thermometer above ontop the smoker? maybe a little silicone square and have it on it? or would it melt the little doodad. trying to figure out where id set the screen for the probes.
Three bricks to form a shelf works.
Or two bricks and wood, or just a wood shelf, it won't ignite.
I leave chunks atop my SV24 all the time to put utensils and stuff on.
If it rains you can out the monitor in a Ziploc to protect it.

I recommend both a handheld probe, which it appears you already have.
And a multi-probe therm with at least two probes, one for air temp and one for meat temp.
 
12
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Joined Sep 10, 2020
Where would I set the 2nd probe hang for air temp on the center rack? I am leaning towards the thermapen brand, dual probe.

If I have the 2-3 racks inside the smoker with a rib on each going left to right. do all 3 cook at the same temperature generally? or do they have widely varying temps.

ie. should I put a rib on each rack flat, or get a rib rack and cook all 3 standing on their sides on same shelf? theres also 4 probes, but I assume if I cook 3 ribs, and 2 of them are at temp, the 3rd rib inside the cooker should be done too lol
 

chilerelleno

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You can easily cook two racks per rack.
I put the odd rack above the other two.
And I'll put the air temp probe on the rack with the single rack.
Nothing wrong with a rib rack and cooking 3-6 racks on one rack.
Ribs don't care whether they're lying flat, standing on edge in a rib rack or hanging vertically on a hook.

They'll all cook at relatively the same speed, there might be some slight variances depending on your smoker and on the meat itself.
Ribs generally aren't a problem, But other cuts like pork butts or briskets, You can have one done at one time and the other might not finish for an hour or more.

Your air temp probe will likely come with a little aluminum clip to mount it.
 
12
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Joined Sep 10, 2020
Thanks! I saw that clip but wasn't sure how id mount it.

I am going to gasket the door anyway, I figure if anything could help the efficiency of the fuel from escaping or letting drafting in. This will be a summer only type event, maybe a rack of ribs in winter if I get desperate.

30lb tank, full. can I expect 60hours of smoking? thats roughly 2 hours per lb. would be awesome if I could get 100 hours on low out of my smoker. My Weber Q3200 sips fuel, it lasted me almost 2 years on full 30lb tank.
 

jcam222

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Welcome from Ohio. Nothing to add as you got a world class crash course from one of the awesome cooks here in Chile.
 

chilerelleno

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The air probe clip attaches to a standard rack.

Careful with natural gas, some locales put an odorant in their gas that can cause a bad taste.
And natural gas doesn't burn as hot, propane is 2500 vs 1000 BTU for natural gas.
So you may not get higher cooking temps that are sometimes beneficial for such as poultry, or Hot-n-Fast methods.

I don't really keep track of cooking hours or number of cooks from a tank. Too many variables, from outside temp, cooking temp or bumping the gas on inadvertently... Oops.

I dunno, I maybe get 4-5 average smokes out of a 20# tank?
 
Last edited:

Hijack73

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I don't know how to insert a bit of a post, but Chile gets 4-6 smokes. If you fill a 22lb tank at rather than get a prefilled one you get probably on average 1/3 more propane. I know I've had to grab a prefilled one in a pinch that lasted maybe 20 hours on my grill, while a properly filled one goes much much farther. And generally way cheaper.

It's 9-10 bucks to fill one here. 14.99 at Wally world for an exchange and 16.99-19.99 to exchange anywhere else.

Edit: I swap out at prefilled racks when my tanks go out of date too. I make em let me pick my own 😂
 
12
1
Joined Sep 10, 2020
Thats not unreasonable. Do you let pork ribs rest at room temp before tossing in the smoker? or straight from fridge into the smoker.

do you smoke the entire time? I read 2-2-1 for example, I figure you would be smoking entire time, but I read one person at the 2nd two hour mark, just tossed in foil with no smoke. curious how the stages work and when to and when not to use smoke
 

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