First try at ribs

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Original poster
Jul 28, 2006
Treid Spare Ribs for the first time on Sunday. We were very pleased with the results. I did the 3-2-1 method, with what I think were awesome results. The ribs were not fall off the bone tender, but they sure were tasty/tender enough for me and the wife.

It was only the second time I smoked anything, the first being a salmon. I watched the heat a little more closely this time. I put them on at around 11:00am and took them off at around 5:30. Temp was kept at around 225, give or take 10 degrees. The difference usually came when putting more wood or charcoal on.

I smoked for about 3 hours, then placed in foil with apple cider for 2 hours, then removed and put BBQ sauce on for the last hour. I will definetly do this again. I would like to get the fall off the bone tender though.

What do you usually do to get the fall off the bone tender? Oh, I also made my own rub from a recipe that I got. I was a little worried that I may had overdone the rub, but I wouldn't change the amount too much next time. I also tried a store bought rub, just to compare. Mine was better :-).

I did take some pictures, but I can't upload them right now. Seem's to be a server problem. I will try later.

What tips for fall off the bone tender can you give a first timer?
Not everyone wants "fall off the bone" ribs, but you're allowed to cook and eat what you like. :D

When using the 3-2-1 method, the time spent in the foil (2) braises the ribs. The longer they are in the foil the tenderer they will be. Too long in the foil and the meat will become mushy. So to make them more tender just leave them in the foil a little longer.


Nice looking ribs .... is that a "Charbroil Smoker" I see? If the ribs get a li'l mushy you can firm them up on the grill. Bob's correct the more time in the foil the more tender they become. I'm happy it worked out for you..

Them is some good looking ribs. You have already been told the secret of tendering the ribs.. People alway talk of "fall off the bone" tender ribs, but if you are served ribs that tender, you may not like them. When I think fall off the bone tender, I mean, if you pick up a bone, you will have meat fall off the bone unto the plate. I like my ribs to have just a little bit of bite.

Hope they tasted as good as they looked.
Tropheus it looks like you used different dry rubs on each rack, how 'bout telling us a little about them. They sure look delicious.
Tropheus, ribs look great! I also smoke on a Silver Smoker. I did spares a couple of weeks ago, 3-2-1 style. I've heard that the spares will turn out a little more "al dente" than baby backs, because of where they come from on the hog. With that in mind, I'm going to give baby backs a shot next.
It looks like (and I'm only guessing) from the 2nd to last picture you have not done the chimney modification

I am not speaking from experience, for I don't own one of these horizonals, but I heard that if you lower the chimney dow to grate level, you can retain more heat in the smoker, thereby using less fuel to maintain the same temperature.

Maybe someone here can chime in, but I think you cut a small coffee can, or maybe duct work lengthwise so it can "roll up" then insert into chimney and it "unrolls" and you adjust it to the grate level.

I'll see if I can find a link here in one of the smoker sections.

BTW, nice ribs!!


SmokeMack Mod Link
There are some good eye's in this bunch. Bob-BQN, yes I did try two different rub's. One one a store bought rub from World Market. I don't recall the name right now and I'm working, but I will post it later, the other was from a recipe out of a book I bought with different rub's and sauces. Both me and my wife liked the recipe better than the store bought, but that one wasn't bad either. I will post the recipe, if that is allowed, and get the name of the store bought rub as well.

Willkat98: Now on to the stack modification. I did not know about that. Where would I find info on that? I didn't have any problems keeping the temp steady, but it was about 85 out when I did them and the smoker was probably at about 110 without heat anyway.

As for a water pan, I did not use one, mostly because I wasn't sure what or how to do it. I need to read up on that. Would I put that on the rack above the coals or would I stick it under the ribs? I will assume above the coals, just for the heat/steam factor. What does that give me, just a more moist cooking environment?

I have to tell you, I could really get into doing this every weekend. The ribs were awesome and I got many compliments from co-worker who saw me eating them for lunch. "where did you get those?" "how much did they cost you?" I just looked at them and said I made them :lol: ....Them: "Man, they smell great" Me: "I know" :P

Check the first link in the SmokeMack link in my post.

Pictures of lot of the Silver mods.

Search the net for "Tuning Plate" rather than a baffle to get rid of the hot spot. You need a tuning plate
Tropheus, those are some awesome looking ribs. What I try to strive for when I do them is for the meat to pull cleanly from the bone. I call it "Pull from the Bone Tender". :D With a bit more practice (basically learning to judge your ribs by handling them), you'll know when they are "pull off the bone tender".
Those ribs looked great! I have been off for awhile but am back and smoking ribs today! i did get mine to fall off the bone but didnt like them because although they tasted good, i like the meat to be on the bone... so i am not going to keep them so long wrapped in foil today as suggested in the previous posts to you.....

how did yours turn out when you did them the next time?

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