First Spare Ribs

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Fire Starter
Original poster
Jul 3, 2007
Hi gang,

I fired up the new GOSM smoker today (already seasoned) and filled the water pan with water and apple juice. I used Jeff's rub on the ribs and tossed them in with a mixture of hickory and apple chips.

The temp has been running aroud 240 ish and in 3 hours I did not see a lot of pull back but the temp of the ribs was around 160 already so I foiled and stuck them back in.

Should the ribs have been that hot already? or is temp not something I need to worry about until while cooking them and just make sure they are hot enough in the end?

Thanks for the help

Hi John. First off were you using the temp gauge on the door of the GOSM? If so you need to get a better gauge or two. Those stock gauges are notoriously off ( as much as 50º sometimes). Second once you know your smoker temp is good, don't worry too much about the ribs temp. Watch the ribs and they will tell you when to move on.

The meat should pull back about a 1/4 inch. Then is when to foil them for the next leg of the journey. Keep in mind that sometimes the meat doesn't always pull back so watch your times (2 to 3 hours on the first part).

Experiment with the 3-2-1 method to find the method that produces the texture and chew that you prefer. Many people will use variation such as 2.5 -1.5 -.5 on up to the whole 3-2-1. What ever works and suits you is probably right.

Keep Smokin
I started out using the temp gauge on the door then I hung the probe from my digital down in the top vent hole to about the level of the door theremo. It is off by quite a bit so the temp in the smoker was running closer to 250. I had them in for 3 hours and their was very little pull back but there was not much fat on them so I moved on.

Is the door thermo adjustable or just write it off as a loss?


Well I took them out of the foil and a bone fell right out of the middle of one of the racks! I guess they are "falling off the bone" they are in the end stage now trying go firm up a little.

I was wondering if I should pull out the water pan at this point but decided that could be really messy. I assume they will firm up even with the pan in.

here is a quick Q-View

And yes, I did forget to foil the pan.

The water pan does add alittle moisture to the meat, but its real job is to keep temps lower and constant. Pull the pan and your smoker becomes a grill. I actually use playbox sand here in Florida because we have extreme humidity and the sand allows for higher temps and more constant temps. If any moisture is needed, I spritz with apple juice.
I judge more by color and the crust forming. Some ribs pull back more than others. Another trick is that I usually leave them on the foil when it's time to unwrap. I just open them up and roll the edges down. That way the ribs don't fall apart while trying to transfer them back and forth.
Thanks Deb,


So just fill the pan with the sand? I assume that you would cover it with foil so it does not get full of grease. I did notice the temp was wandering around a bit, probably as the water level got lower.

Mötley Cüe

Nice tip, that would have made less of a mess also.

Yep, but remember it is PLAYBOX sand, which is moist sand. A sheet of aluminum foil over it will keep the grease off. Some stuff I still use water, but for longer smokes the sand is the deal
A 20 lb bag goes a long way.
I wouldn't bother with the original door therm, invest in at least one good one and test it as ASAP. most smokers replace the original therms sooner or later.
Yep Skinner its the big one.

I got the big one because you have to cut the racks of ribs in the smaller one. In this one you can get the ribs in with no problem.

Typically it is only me the wife and daughter that I cook for but the added room also comes in handy when other family members are dropping by.
As most will tell you here, go big so you don't have to by a larger one later. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.