Newbie on Ribs for Father's Day.. My Journey :)

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Jonathan Carlson

Fire Starter
Original poster
Jun 11, 2018
Happy Fathers Day+1!! So I smoked ribs for the first time yesterday.. Had the offset for 3wks now and 5 smokes under my belt. For starters I used a method from a FB picture that SmokinAl posted in one of these threads. Lump coal in the middle and two little logs, one on each side.. I lit her up and it was amazing results on temperature. 220-235 range for the first hour. After the first hour that's when I started using my head and that's when things went wrong.. Temp started to drop so I added another log. Temp did nothing and I noticed the two starter logs were only halfway burnt so I stoked the fire AND kept the new log on. 15 mins later temps are rising to 250, and 275 at the highest. I kept opening the cooking chamber to let heat out but the temps just kept moving around.. by hour 2.5 I managed to at least get the temp to stable around 240-250 when I decided to play T-ball in the backyard with the boy. I look up a good time later and tons of dirty smoke is coming out of my smokestack. I run over to the FB and bam, my fire is OUT... Rushed to get a fire going again with a few golden embers goin.. It took about 15 minutes till the sweet light-blue smoke began coming out again. And then guess what? You guessed it, temps swung back up to 260 and beyond.. all that wood I added in my panic. I actually pulled a burning log OUT of my FB. Temps went back to 240-250-ish.. My ribs were done with IT of 197deg in just 4 hours. I was hoping for 5-6 hours. I didn't wrap them. Just spritzed them a few times with apple juice.

All this trouble with my temps, The ribs still turned out excellent. Juicy, smoky, tasty, little bit of pull. I thought that dirty smoke for 15 minutes would have made and effect but I didn't taste it. Here are my pic before/after. I got pretty picture happy in the end as I was stuffing my face with this great stuff.. Enjoy!! I'm welcome to any criticism, advice, praise, jokes, and what not. Cheers.


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The ribs look amazing and that's the only thing that matters. But it does seem like you learned alot about your smoker and keeping the temp steady which should make the next smoke even better.
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Looking good Jonathan. I think that you are just getting used to a new method of cooking. I bet it's a lot like parenting. The first one you get all crazy about every little detail but then you figure it all out over time. If you have a second kid everything is just easier. It will be like that with your smoker. You just need to shed the anxiety over the temps. Your ribs among most other meat can handle those temp swings over the short term. If you were trying to go for hours at 200 or 300 then you would have an issue. Ebb and flow is what smoking on an offset is all about. Sounds to me like your temps were well within acceptable range even when you got a bit excited. Try to relax a bit more when you are smoking and enjoy the journey. You already see what the results can be like. Just to see how you like it try the 3-2-1 or 2-2-1 method the next time that you make ribs. This is just to see how you think it compares to the method that Al uses and has outlined very well. Or you can try both methods side by side. Make one with the number method and one with Al's method and then see which one you like better. I like the easy timing of the number method and for me the bite is just right because I cook a bit hotter than most. They aren't just fall of the bone but they are super tender and will easily pull away from the bone cleanly if you want them to. Have a great day.

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Jonathan great job buddy, way to not panic and get your cook back under control. Hopefully you realized that even with the temp swings your cook was still a success. Temp swings are going to happen in a stick burner and your temps never really hit a critical point. Really good job. Cant wait to see your next run
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Thanks for the support you guys! I was stressing about this meal. But instead I'm just getting ready for the exact same meal for my in-laws coming in next week. And I'm going to feel a lot better experience-wise going into it. Only difference is I'm adding another rack(Total of 3 racks of ribs) and since I have a OKJ combo, I need to rotate my ribs since one of them will always be next to my FB at all times.. I just cant wait to inform you all about this ride of fun either ;) Until next time..
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