slab of ribs affect temp reading?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by simple, May 7, 2012.

  1. simple

    simple Smoke Blower

    I have a rack of spareribs on now, only the third time I've tried ribs.  I cannot seem to keep the temp down in the 200-225 range.  Same thing happened last time.  Normally, my drum is rock-solid.

    I'm using a Maverick 732 thermometer with the pit probe clipped under the rack the ribs are on. The ribs are smack in the center of the upper rack of the drum,with an el-cheapo BigLots kettle grill lid.  The drum came up to temp as usual, settled in around 230, I put the ribs on and the temp started going up.  After closing the intake a bit at a time, and watching the tempcontinue to rise to 280, I finally closed it down completely, and the temp stabilized at 300.  I went out to put a couple 1/2 gallon ice jugs on the bottom rack, and I noticed the drum didn't "feel" that hot at all--neither the drum itself or the air coming out when I removed the lid.  The stem thermometer in the side of the drum was reading right at 225.  

    I moved the probe out from under the ribs, clipped it on the rack along side them. After the ice blocks being added, the temp did start to drop, and I reopened the valve a bit.  We seem to be stabilized in the 240 range right now, and both thermometers are within 5 degrees of each other.

    My first thought was an air leak, since the temp kept rising with the intakes totally closed. Then I got to wondering--is it possible that the width of the ribs was blocking the air flow in the drum, creating a hot spot directly under them??  I "think" I've clipped the probe directly under a brisket a time or two and had  no problems, but my memory is totally unreliable, so I'm not positive.

    Any more-experienced folks out there have any thoughts on what's going on?

    By the way, that 732 has been pretty much indestructible.  It's been dropped, forgotten in the rain (I told you my memory sucks...) left in the 110 degree sun a few days (the display disappears, but comes right back after it cools down) left running for a week at a time because I forgot to turn it off, you name it, I've abused it in most every way I can think of, and it continues to do a John Cameron Swayze.  Thanks, Todd!
  2. harleysmoker

    harleysmoker Smoking Fanatic

    Only thing I can think of is the grease/juices from the meat dripping on the probe is giving a higher reading. First thing I would do after all the abuse it has had is boil some water and see if it reads 212* F.
  3. harleysmoker

    harleysmoker Smoking Fanatic

    And put the probe on the same rack as the meat you are cooking on.
  4. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    After 4 strokes, I know what you mean about (lack of) memory, lol!  Just like I learned in rehabilitation class, I have and carry a "Memory Notebook" everywhere - it is the only way I can function as my short-term and some of my long term has been destroyed by the strokes:


    As you can see, it's very well used!  I take notes on everything, and when it's inconvenient to carry the book, I've transcribed everything into Evernote and duplicate the Memory Notebook on there, and it automatically transmits to my iPhone also, so I have that too.  (Oh, that statement is true, too... all four strokes were in the right brain, causing paresis on the left side, memory loss, etc., lol!).

    It gives a lot of credence to constructing a Smoking Logbook where you keep track of your smokes, make notes right then once you analyse your smoke as to what to do different or what you did better.  Then, you don't have to remember, your logbook will remember for you!  Discipline yourself to do that one thing and your smoking prowess will grow exponentially! 
  5. simple

    simple Smoke Blower

    Wow, Pops!  I've been hanging around here off and on for two or three years now, and had no idea about the strokes.  You're a lucky guy to still be out and about.  

    I had a bit of a head injury 15 years ago that caused excessive swelling, mostly in the frontal lobe.  The neurosurgeon figures it amounts to a minor lobotomy. Short term memory since then has been poor.   Concentrating on something just wears me out. If I'm tired or stressed, I can literally forget what I'm doing while I'm doing it, and go wondering off on something else. I guess it's like ADD. A 4 hour meeting at work would leave me totally drained, worse than working 10 or 12 hours.  The good news is that I'm a lot more relaxed and easier to get along with, so it's not all bad.  The combination of a natural lazy streak and memory issues makes life interesting at times.  The laziness is why I made a drum and dumped my CharGriller SFB.  Too much work and awareness to keep up with it.  

    Harley, the probe was on the same rack as the ribs. It was clipped underneath.  And accuracy is not a problem.  I check them every couple of months. The Maverick and my Taylors are never more than 3-5 degrees apart through the range of ice water slush to boiling...

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