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Pork ribs - not a lot of smoke flavor (cherry wood)

BBQWill

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Just finished my first smoke. Rack of spare ribs and a rack of baby backs using cherry wood.

Smoked for 3 hours, wrapped for 2 then rested for about 30 mins.

Plenty of smoke produced and the ribs were fully cooked (actually overcooked) but there really wasn't much/any smoke flavor in the meat. My wife is not a huge fan of smoke flavor and even she was surprised by the lack of smokiness.

Does cherry not impart a lot of smoke flavor?

Used an Oklahoma Joe Highland Reverse flow .

Thanks.
 

Alanzo

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Did you spritz the ribs? You will impart more smoke in meat if you keep the surface moist. After the first hour spritz every 30 minute to keep them moist.
 

BigW.

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Welcome and congrats on the first cook. Were you using splits/chunks or ? of cherry?
 

801driver

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I am sure more experienced smokers will be on here soon with more detailed opinions, but my limited experience with cherry was that it gave very little smoke flavor and I stopped using it. I use hickory on most everything, putting a little pecan in with pork stuff occasionally for a little sweeter tinge. Everyone's taste buds are different, I suggest you keep experimenting till you find your "right" combination of rubs, smoke wood, how much smoke, and various BBQ sauces that fits both of you. To me, Jeffs products are a good starting point you can tweak if you like to fit you better. You really can not practice too often as long as you can stand to eat your mistakes. Ha Ha

Good luck to you and welcome to the forum, a wealth of of good information and opinions here.
 

krj

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Cherry will always produce a light smoke, and depending on what your tastes are it may not be enough for you. I'd suggest trying apple next cook and seeing what you think of the flavor profile there, it should still be somewhat mild, but there should be more of a smoke profile than cherry. If that still isn't enough I'd go with my personal go-to which is oak. If that still isn't enough I'd say hickory, and if you want a real kick of smoke go mesquite.

After that if you find you're lacking a little with say apple, but too much with oak you can try pairing the two together until you find your sweet spot.

I personally prefer oak, because it's flavor is stable and pairs well with pretty much every protein I cook. Compared to something like mesquite which imparts such a heavy flavor that it is generally only used for pork or beef.
 

kilo charlie

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All of the fruit woods are lighter on the smoke flavor.. which is why they're perfect for fish and butter and cheeses etc.. mesquite is usually best for beef, hickey on pretty much everything.. sorta depends on your tastes and what's available to you.
 

smokerjim

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when i do ribs or anything for that matter i don't wrap or spritz i just let it ride out in the smoke, as mentioned above fruit woods have a mild smoke flavor, that's why hickory is my favorite. maybe next time try not wrapping or if your doing two racks wrap one and leave the other one unwrapped and see which way ya like better
 

Hamdrew

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Cherry is pretty heavy for a fruit wood, IMO. Just may require a little more.
 

JckDanls 07

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Yea.. did you use charcoal with wood chunks ? Or did you use splits for a fire/flame ...
 

BBQWill

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Joined Jun 15, 2021
Did you spritz the ribs? You will impart more smoke in meat if you keep the surface moist. After the first hour spritz every 30 minute to keep them moist.
I spritzed with apple cider vinegar (acv) after about an hour. At hour 2 i spritzed again and also lightly basted with a bbq sauce/acv mix on both sides.
 

BBQWill

Newbie
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2
Joined Jun 15, 2021
Just finished my first smoke. Rack of spare ribs and a rack of baby backs using cherry wood.

Smoked for 3 hours, wrapped for 2 then rested for about 30 mins.

Plenty of smoke produced and the ribs were fully cooked (actually overcooked) but there really wasn't much/any smoke flavor in the meat. My wife is not a huge fan of smoke flavor and even she was surprised by the lack of smokiness.

Does cherry not impart a lot of smoke flavor?

Used an Oklahoma Joe Highland Reverse flow .

Thanks.
Thanks to all for the great feedback.

ive got some hickory splits and will mix that with the cherry for the next time.
 

zwiller

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Very impressed with the answers. Firmly in the oak no wrap camp but you need try things and see for yourself. Only other thing I will add is that most restaurants smoke ribs in advance and grill to serve and I think the grilling step is essential to the flavor profile.
 

smokinstubbs

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Did you spritz the ribs? You will impart more smoke in meat if you keep the surface moist. After the first hour spritz every 30 minute to keep them moist.
That's the first I've ever heard of this!
mesquite is usually best for beef, hickey on pretty much everything.. sorta depends on your tastes and what's available to you.
I've used mesquite on everything, and even mix different woods together. Most woods I use are apple, cherry, Jack Daniels oak, maple, mesquite. I find Hickory to leave a more bitter taste, have had others say the same also.
Thanks to all for the great feedback.
ive got some hickory splits and will mix that with the cherry for the next time.
Note what I said about hickory above, you have to learn to judge how much is to much. Good Luck
 

Hamdrew

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Yep, moisture picks up smoke (cools it off).

Favorite wood really depends on the person. If the smoke is clean/thin-blue, there is no such thing as too much hickory for some people
 

JckDanls 07

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HMMMMM... something don't sound right... When making sausage/snack sticks we run for an hour or more (no smoke) to DRY the casings so the smoke will adhere to them... So how does smoke stick to moisture ??
 

Hamdrew

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HMMMMM... something don't sound right... When making sausage/snack sticks we run for an hour or more (no smoke) to DRY the casings so the smoke will adhere to them... So how does smoke stick to moisture ??
when the smoke hits moisture it condenses. So, it builds smoke on the outer/bark layer, whereas you are probably looking for smoke in the snack sticks themselves
 

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