does using a rib rack change the cooking process?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by austinsmoke, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. austinsmoke

    austinsmoke Fire Starter

    I am needing to smoke about six racks of ribs on a SFB ChargrillerPro...the only way to fit thatthat many would be to use a rib rack , which I have never used..I have always done the 3-1.5-1.0; method with bone side down on the grill....how might the rack change that? My ribs are usually to die for and this is a New Years event so I don't want to screw it up! I know the obvious answer is to buy a bigger grill, which I asked Santa for, but apparently he didnt get the message :drool
    Thoughts??
     
  2. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    In some ways, it changes things quite a bit, but in other ways, doesn't change much at all  :)

    you are going to have more meat / thermal mass in your smoker and that will change the way you smoker acts in a number of ways.  Also, the difference in how things are stacked will affect the flow of smoke, as well as the flow of heat to some degree.

    Question then becomes, how picky and detailed are you when it comes to smoking?   If you aren't fussy, then no worries.  Times might change a bit, but you'd still do the exact same process of cooking/foiling/firming up.

    If you are more fussy about your ribs, you might find yourself flipping the ribs over in the racks and/or rotating the racks themselves (I do both).  For example, I'll pull shelf 1 part way out, then rotate each rib 180 degrees in the rack.  After all the ribs on that shelf are rotated, I'll go to shelf2, rinse and repeat.

    Once I've rotated all the ribs in the racks, I'll then start moving shelves around.   I'll pull shelf 1 out entirely and set it on the table.  I'll then pull shelf 4 out and move it up to Shelf1 position.   Shelf 1 will then go from the table back to where Shelf 4 was.    I'll then swap shelves 2 and 3 out the same way.     Which shelf ends up going where depends on how the ribs are looking and where the hotspots are.

    This adds time to the cook, to be sure, but it's still a lot less time that doing multiple cooks and it makes for a better finished product.

    The one piece of advice I'd give in either case is to not overload the racks.   You don't want any of the meat surfaces being in contact if you can help it as that hinders smoke penetration as well as cooking time.
     
  3. austinsmoke

    austinsmoke Fire Starter

    Demos - thanks! I was wondering about the spacing on the racks..I might buy two to be able to keep them parallel and apart..I am fussy, I just love this shit:yahoo:

    Tom
     
  4. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    All good Tom.   First time I used a rack, I jammed the ribs in and filled the rack up.  Design of rack was such that there was a lot of surface contact and I wasn't happy with the results.

    My current smoker came with a rib rack built into one of the wire shelves

    Here's a pic that someone else was nice enough to post:


    There are slots for 8 racks total IIRC, but as this poster did, you want to leave room between the racks.
     
  5. superdave

    superdave Smoking Fanatic

    I've given up on trying to use my racks.  I guess I'm uber picky and the bottom to top cooking isn't up to my standard.  I adjust my smoker racks as it is but if I have to flip the ribs, it's too much of a PITA with everything else I've got going on during a smoke day with preparing many other dishes.  I've settled in my mind that I'd do multiple batches before using racks anymore.
     
  6. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Prefer the Rib Rack on my vertical (GOSM Big Block) but not my Reverse flow, Better results in my GOSM using rib rack and basting/ spritsing works well.
    • Hated this one, everything stuck even after pam and was too tight.
    • Really like this for the GOSM
    • Preferred method on Reverse Flow
    • When using a rib rack I place the ribs in and try to lean bone side to the back and trimmed side down (IMHO, helps with basting)
    • I do a few flips when doing ribs flat.
     
  7. What kind of rack is that?  (The second one - the one you prefer on the GOSM.)
     
  8. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Southern Steamers Rib Rack, very sturdy.

    Google "Southern Steamers Rib Rack" and it should be the first hit
     
  9. gopokesmoke

    gopokesmoke Newbie

    I use Weber's rib rack with good results, however i've found that (on my hasty bake) it does increase the cooking time a little bit. I would estimate that when cooking with the rack fully loaded (4 racks) it increases the cook time about an hour.  However this could be because I like to rotate the ribs through the rack to get an even color which requires me to open the lid more than i normally would with no rack.....:/. 

    I've also found that if you like to make a "foil sauce" when you wrap your ribs it does not work as well when using a rack.  And if you sauce your ribs for the final hour, i would suggest placing a layer of foil under the rack otherwise it can make a bit of a mess in the smoker. 
     
  10. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Once you reach the foiling stage, you can dispense with the rack and just wrap the ribs and stack them on top one another.
     

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