Smoking in Denver

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
May 29, 2007
Evans, GA
Hey all. Happened upon this site while researching the best way to smoke some spare ribs. I bought a Brinkman Electric smoker as Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]m a novice and my current residence does not allow charcoal. I like the little thing and want to master it. Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]m a grill guy and take pride in making good steaks, chicken, tenderloins, etc on the grill and I think I do a good job. I wanted to do something different this summer and wanted to take on the challenge of smoking. Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]ve come to realize there are a lot of nuances involved but that makes it fun and challenging.

In the past Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]ve made some good spare ribs using my oven. I do a good rub, wrap the ribs in foil and place them in my oven at 285 deg for about 4 hours. From there I take them to my gas grill and place them on the top rack and I cook them for an additional 30-40 minutes at medium heat to brown and I add the sauce, etc. and they crisp up and are unreal!

So I thought if this tastes good then the smoker will be even better. I set up the smoker and I had 2 racks of spare ribs at about 5lbs each. Cut the racks in half and I was able to place 3 halves in a rib rack and the other half I put directly on the grill gate above the water pan. The spare ribs had a good rub on them and I also put a little coating of bbq sauce on too (not sure if that is a no-no?!). Heated up the electric smoker and place some Jack Daniels oak chips in the smoker. I had an oven thermometer inside the smoker that I checked occasionally and I was cooking near 240 deg. So got the ribs going and I had some smoke going, not a lot but I think enough. We plugged in an electric skillet on the same outlet to cook some fried zucchini and apparently we blew a fuse. I didnâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]t realize this and I think my smoker was off for a good 35 minutes. I checked the thermometer and I was down to 185 deg. Not good. So we got everything figured out and resumed smoking.

Now I put these ribs on at 1pm and after the electrical snafu I took the ribs off at 7pm. I figured 6 hours was long enough as they looked good on the outside and smelled incredible. However, when we cut into them they were clearly not done and some were still bloody and not the good pink color. My dad and I thought that another 2 hours would have been perfect. Now I did peek on occasion when I added more wood chips and to check the temp, that Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]m sure let some heat out. So what gives? Does altitude affect smoking? The unit was in the sun and it was 80+ deg outside. So from now on should I smoke my ribs minimum 8 hours no more than 10? Would the 3-2-1 method help me here? Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]m frustrated but at the same time excited to try again. I think this weekend I will do a brisket or a boston butt but now I need to figure out some cooking times. Any help and/or advice would be appreciated!

Welcome to the forum Mark. There are some super friendly folks here. I hope you will continue to visit with you. Feel free to share adventures, ask questions, or just draw from the info here.
Welcome wmarkw!

You have come to the mecca of all things smoked. There are alot of friendly folks here, willing to share an amazing amount of collective knowledge. You will love it here!
first off welcome to smf

one....does altitude effect, YES.....just like in will take a tad longer a mile high

two, will the 3-2-1 method help, YES

three, peaking does let temp drop....try to keep that at a minimum but sometimes it's just so dang hard not to peak

four, sign up for the free ecourse, it will help you immensly!!!
Hey Mark.....I have that same Brinkmann R2D2
electric. I have found you must dedicate one circuit to it or it will blow a fuse/breaker. I have also found that you can make some really great Q with it. It may help to drill a hole in the lid even with the top grill and install a heat gauge in it. Also you may want to buy a good remote temp gauge w/ a probe. I wish you the best..........
Welcome to the SMF wmarkw. Good advise youv'e recieved so far. Keep searching the forums and I also recomend Tulsa Jeff's How to Smoke Meat" download as well as his free 5 day ecourse.

Great folks here so jump right in!!
Glad you found us.
Welcome to the SMF ... and I'm not convinced that your ribs weren't done! Was the pink near the outside or next to the bone? How did they seem to you? Not to worry ... we all are here for you!
Stick with it ...


I have found out the altitude dones affect my BBQ'ing. I have to up the temp a little and the time. But it comes out really good. There are alot of people here to help you here with some great recipies and helpful hints.

Greetings Mark!...Welcome to the SMF!...
It's a Great place to be...and I know you're gonna like it here!

We have Great Folks, Great Food, Tons of info...and More Fun than you can shake a stick at!...

You've already gotten some great advice...Just goes to show...All ya gotta do is ASK,...and you SHALL receive the answer!...

By all means...sign up for TulsaJeff's Free 5 Day eCourse!...It'll get you started off on the right foot!...and...ya can't beat the price!...

And...get the "How to Smoke Meat" download that Tonto mentioned...they BOTH contain lots of great stuff that'll really help you out!...

Again...Welcome to the SMF Mark!...It's Great to have you aboard!...

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