My first attempt at smoking! Baby Backs!

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Dec 14, 2010
Upland, California
Hi All,

Well, I finally got a chance to try my hand at smoking with all the advice from you all.  I decided to go with baby back ribs.  I have to say that it wasn't as easy as I thought but it will get easier, I'm sure.  I can see that it's all in the prep!  I had a little difficulty getting the temp to stabilize but then figured out the smoker and how it responds to the smallest of turns of the knob.  Being that this was my first time, I didn't take but a couple photos that I will share down below.  Now for the data!  I bought some baby backs from Costco.  Seasoned them with Jeff's rub which was really good but a bit on the spicy side for me (perhaps I'll cut back on the paprika next time!).  Let them sit overnight and then popped the racks in the smoker at 11:30AM on New Year's Day.  Here is a pic. I will have to work on my photography skills the next time to get more and better photos!


I used a variant of the 2-2-1 method and did a 2-3-1.  They were AWESOME!  They were definitely "Fall Off The Bone" tender as you can see from the second photo.  I couldn't hang on to them to get them out of the smoker without them just coming apart.  The "pile" of ribs was rubbed with Worcestershire sauce then Jeff's rub applied.  The other "intact" rack was rubbed with French's yellow mustard then Jeff's rub applied.  The mustard held together while the W sauce fell apart quite easily.  I couldn't notice a favor difference but the tenderness was definitely different!


I tried them with and without Jeff's BBQ sauce.  I preferred them with the sauce, which was also very good.

Thanks again for all the help and Happy New Year!

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Well your ribs look good but did you foil them at all??? It looks to me that you didn't.
Hi mballi3011,

Yeah, I did foil them for 3 hours.  Then I took them out of the foil for the last hour.  They started separating when I took them out of the foil for the last hour of cooking.  The 3 hours was not intended.  I had to go to the store and figured I had plenty of time and while I was out, my wife asked me to stop somewhere else so they stayed in the foil for an extra hour.  They probably should have come out after 2 hours in the foil but they were still great!

Just curious, from the picture, what indicates being foiled or not?  Should I foil at all?  I'm game to try anything!
 Just curious, from the picture, what indicates being foiled or not?  Should I foil at all?    
 Usually when you foil they will have a wet look to them.

If you want fall of the bone the foil will help speed the process up.

What was your temp? to be in foil for 3hrs and still stay together it had to be a low temp.
Congrats on your first smoke!  With the diversion of having to make a store run, it looks and sounds like you were still satisfied and that's all that matters.  The only time I'd leave a smoke is for an emergency beer run! lol  (I can't let my wife know it's ok to do so or I'll always have my smokes interrupted!!!! LOL)

You'll want to experiment as the others have said.  In time you'll dial it in to an outcome that you are completely satisfied with.  The foil or no foil debate is all a personal preference and I choose to foil.  For me I find the ribs to be a little more moist when foiled.  But again, it's all technique and what you develop. 

Agree with raptor, you're temp may have dropped while you were gone because I can't imagine the ribs being intact after 3 hours in foil.  

Great job!  
Hi Raptor700,

My temp was around 230 degrees but it was bouncing around between 215 and 240 before I got to stabilize.  Being the first time of operating the smoker, It took a while to figure out how sensitive it is to small knob movements. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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