My First Smoke: Bourbon St. Louis Ribs

Discussion in 'Pork' started by papajoe8, May 5, 2013.

  1. I got my Camp Chef LP vertical water smoker for Christmas and I couldn't wait for prime smoking weather for my first smoke, so I picked the first day with a sunny forecast.  Unfortunately, that day in February in Northern New Jersey was about 20 degrees with 20-30 mph winds.  I had asked around about what people thought a good first smoke would be, and the best advice I got was smoke something that you want to eat. After poring through a few cookbooks, Bourbon Ribs was the way to go.

    I ran into quite a few problems that day.  Aside from the learning curve, keeping temp was the most difficult thing.  If I kept the flame high, the smoker would get way too hot.  If I kept the flame low, the wind would blow it out.  It took a lot of standing out in the freezing cold monitoring my temp.  Fortunately ribs are a shorter smoke so it wasn't too painful.  I made a few beginner mistakes like not refilling my water tray often enough or letting the wood run too low (although, my ribs were quite smoky, so not a mistake after all).  Also, this recipe had quite a few steps.  As an aside,  I did not remove the membrane (a mistake in my opinion) and I did not foil the ribs (questionable).  In the end my ribs were just a little tough, though still tender, possibly due to too many heat spikes.  The membrane was a bit annoying, but the flavor was amazing.  It was hard to tell if the ribs were "fall off the bone" because the membrane was holding everything together.  I used pecan wood and was pleased with the result.

    Overall, it was a lot of fun and I learned that if I could get a successful result in those weather conditions, then it is possible to smoke in any condition.  Truly a year round hobby with a fantastic pay off.  Attached is a picture of my first smoke and my first rack of ribs. I completed my second smoke today which I will post about next.

  2. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

      That is tough weather to smoke in! Looks like they came out great though!

  3. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Congrats, Joe! Looks like it went very nicely...


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