First time smoking...please give me insight on how to correct

Discussion in 'Pork' started by jmk654, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. jmk654

    jmk654 Newbie

    I built my first UDS on saturday morning and broke it in that evening.  Yesterday a  buddy and I got together to do some smoking.

    I did two sets of spare ribs and a rack of baby backs.

    Heres how I did them:

    One rack of spares covered in Pappy's low sodium with brown sugar added.

    Other rack of spare ribs covered in a homemade sweet rub

    Baby backs cut in half and with one half sweet rub and other half savory.

    Pulled membrane and seasoned about 12 hrs before cooking

    All ribs smoked at 225-250 for 3 hrs

    Pulled and wrapped in foil with honey and butter for 2 hrs

    Put back on smoker for 1 hr about 250 with two basting of honey butter mix.

    I turned out some great flavor but when I pulled them from the foil to put on smoker for last hour they were entirely too tender and instantly started falling off bones.  Did I put too much butter with them?  Cook in foil too long?  Whats your thoughts?  

    Can you but spare ribs already done st. louis style?  This seems to be our best bet for our first cooking competition a month from now.

    He did a pork.  Seasoned and smoked till an internal temp of 170.  Seemed entirely too low, I was thinking it needs to be around 190-200?  His was very rubbery and chewy.  He did do some beef ribs that had great flavor but were impossible to eat off the bone, im guessing he just needs to wrap them longer?

    I made a 15x15x10 fire basket and feel it may be too big for these short cooks.  My charcoal spreads too far out and doesnt burn efficiently I feel.  It ran steady at 240 pretty well but I had to have almost all 3 valves open to do so.  I also think I need to create a bigger exhaust vent than the standard weber lid vent.  Could it be choking itself out cause it doesnt have enough exhaust?

    Thanks for the help
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I do my BabyBacks more like 2-2-1. The larger Spares & Beef Ribs I use approx 3-2-1.  ALL at 225*--230*.

    If they're too fall apart cut the foiling time down.

    Yes you can buy Spares already cut to St Louis, but the cost about 50 cents a pound more.

    For Pulled Pork, you should take the IT to about 205*. IMO

    Somebody else will have to help you with your charcoal problem.

    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
  3. I agree with BearCarver, I do baby backs about 2-2-1.  The key is to know what you're looking for in each step, the time is just a guideline.  Spares, full rack without being cut to St' Louis, those bad boys can take a lot longer depending on temp.  I usually cook my ribs until they are the color I want and have some bend when I pick them up.  Once in foil I check them about 45 minutes in to see how far they bend.  I either pull them or add time depending on the bend test.  Once they come out of the foil I usually cook them about ten minutes to firm them back up, then add glaze and cook until it's set.  Pulled pork ...... I agree with somewhere between 195-205, probe tender is the key, then the longer the rest, the better.

  4. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hello jmk654.

    If your ribs came out of the foil falling apart tender, they were definitely in the foil too long.  The 3-2-1 method is only a guide...every cook adjusts those times some to get the final result they desire.  When I am foiling my spares, I usually do about 2.5-1.5-1.  But again, that's only a rough starting point...there is no definitive rule because each rack of ribs will be a little different.  It will take a little trial and error for you to get your method down pat.

    You can ask your butcher to trim your spare ribs St. Louis style for you...but its really easy to take a good knife and trim them yourself.  You can find many youtube videos that show you how to do this.

    Your friend's pork butt and beef ribs were simply undercooked.  Take a butt to an internal temp of around 200-205* if you are pulling it, or 190* or so if you are slicing it.

    I'm not a charcoal burner, so you might ask your charcoal basket question over in the UDS thread, but I'd say you could probably get by with a smaller basket.  Those guys over in UDS build thread can probably also give you advice on your vents and dampers too.

    Hope that helps any...

    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
  5. jmk654

    jmk654 Newbie

    Thanks for replies. I believe it was definitely a matter of too long in foil I will check them about every 45 min next time. Thanks for the insight

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