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houston smoker

Fire Starter
Original poster
Jun 18, 2011
houston, texas
I am in need of some sage advice from all you BBQ veterans.  I have to smoke some ribs for a family reunion next weekend.  I need to smoke 16 racks of St. Louis style ribs in my traeger.  I usually use the 3-2-1 method when I am smoking just a few racks at a time, but this time because of the lack of space in my smoker, I went out a bought a rib rack that will hold 8 racks at a time.  This means I wont be wrapping the ribs (I guess).  Do you guys have any suggestions or tips on how to get the best results???  Thank you in advance for any advice you guys can give me.



SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
OTBS Admin
Group Lead
Mar 22, 2008
Use the 3-2-1 method and when it comes time to foil stack them in a couple disposable aluminum roasting pan then just foil over the top. If they won't all fit into the smoker while foiled have the oven preheated and put some in that then back into the rib racks for the finish


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Aug 27, 2008
A couple things you need to know about ribs and rib racks:

When I use rib racks I like to leave one space empty between the slabs so that the smoke and heat can flow evenly over the surfaces. This reduces cooking time while allowing you to smoke at the same temp you would normally use. If you don't leave a gap, the slabs will act somewhat like a bigger cut of meat and take far longer to smoke at the same temp as you normally would use, so higher temps are in order in that case (I've done it both ways)...say 260-270* instead of 225*.

As for foiling, you can pop the racks into a large baking pan, then, build a foil tent over the racks and continue with the steaming phase. For open grate final phase, just remove the foil and set the racks back on open grates. When you pull 'em out to serve, just place the racks back on the baking pan as you remove them from the smoker grate.

I don't remove the slabs from the racks to slice until after they've been out for 5-10 minutes for a brief rest period, otherwise they seem to leterally break apart. They tend to put a love-bite on the rib rack wire frame, so just work 'em slow and easy with tongs, insulated neoprene gloved hands, whatever you have to work with...I usually cover them back up with foil to keep warm after bringing them out of the smoker while they rest.

Obviously, basting or mopping would be a bit more of a challenge than when the slabs are laying flat...never have felt the need to do it to ribs myself, so I'd have to think about that for a minute or three.

Ah, man, I love to cook for reunions and other gatherings...have a great time with your family!



Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Jan 25, 2008
I've used racks quite few times,I would suggest spraying the racks with Pam before putting the ribs in. As with any big cook...allow some extra time for the unforeseen.


Fire Starter
Jul 6, 2011
I'd also recommend if you don't want to tent them, to use a spray bottle with apple juice in it to hose them down every 45 min to an hour, after the first 3, that will keep them nice and moist as well and you don't have to screw around trying to tent them- I've done both with the rib rack and for me anyway, the spray bottle works pretty well.

Good luck and definitely share the q-view!
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