Smoking my first baby backs

Discussion in 'Pork' started by pharmnc, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. I am smoking my first baby backs on our MES40. I have 3 racks and a few brats (since I had the space...first time for those too!) I hope to figure out how to upload pictures. Keeping my fingers crossed that I have a happy husband after all this! I applied a rub last night and left them plastic wrapped in the fridge. I am smoking using the 2-2-1 method at 225 degrees using hickory and apple wood. Bring on the advice!
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks like you're off to a good start!
  3. smokeusum

    smokeusum Smoking Fanatic

    Yummm!!! On my way (3hr drive) to Wilmington, NC for the Port City Ribfest competition! I'm starved!
  4. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Sounds like you have a good start!

    Trust me, supplying your man with ribs and brats will get you just about anything you want!

  5. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I have found that smoking backs in my mes 40 sometimes might take a little longer than 5 hours. Depends on the thickness and how hot your mes truly is. They spit out a number, but that might not truly be the real temp. Awful flaw with this product.

    With that said, hopefully your temp is close enough. When I foil mine I put them in upside down so the bones curve up and fill the under side of the backs with apple juice. I've tried other liquids but I like the apple juice the best.

    When you pull them out of the foil after two hours you should have serious pull back. If you have that your in good shape! Should take between 5-6 hours depending on how tender you want them.

    Good luck!
  6. I am having a lot of fluctuation in my temperature. I wasn't planning on smoking them while they were foiled, but the temps sink to 202-205 if I don't add chips. I,am trusting the Maverick and oven thermometer and not the readout from the MES which reads higher. Any ideas on how to keep the heat up without adding chips? Should I adjust the temperature on the smoker? (Thanks for the bones up foiling tip hillbillyrkstr....I am taking your advice!)
  7. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    This is an electric, right?  Make sure your all your vents are open and you have temp turned up.

    You should be running about 225 - 240.  If you can't keep the temps up then I would suggest transferring the ribs to the oven to finish them off.

    Good luck,

  8. First off Next get rid of the water and replace it with sand cover with foil Water will not get over 212° so it makes it harder to get higher temps. Keep the door closed and be patient

    Happy smoken.

  9. smokeusum

    smokeusum Smoking Fanatic

    Absolutely PGSmoker64 taught me that when I first started! Smoking is mostly art but every now and then a bit of science makes all the difference in the world!
  10. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Depends on your ambient temps. If it is hot out your temps will be fine. I personally only use sand during the colder months. Water, which does evaporate, during the summer months. If you do opt for sand remember to spritz a little more often. Sand will give you higher and more consistent temps though. I also found with my GOSM charcoal to propane conversion, Babybacks are more like 2-1.5-1
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2013

  11. This is the finished product. They are meaty and moist, but I think I should have used a different rub. I used the rub/glaze I always use when baking the ribs in the oven. There is no sugar in the rub because there is so much in the glaze. I think the smoked version is firmer on the outside so the glaze doesn't sink in like it does on the "oven only" version. Does anyone have a favorite rub that includes some sugar? The one I used has garlic salt, celery salt, red and black pepper, and paprika. The glaze contains soy sauce, cider vinegar, orange juice, sugar, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Thanks for all your help!
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013
  12. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Just try adding some brown sugar to your current rub!  Experiment until you get it right but start with about a 1/2 cup.

    Good luck,

  13. The outside tastes almost charred to me. I don't know if I am just used to the way they taste using the "foil wrapped oven only" method, or if I should have cut the time in the smoker unfoiled. I did 2-2-1 at 225-235(with the occasional jump to 240). I like the texture, but the taste on the outside is off-putting. I don't know if it is the lack of sugar in the rub or what. I guess I will have to keep practicing!
  14. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    You absolutely need to add brown sugar to your rub. I'd cut the glaze as well. A great smoked rib is all about the rub and not much about the glaze or sauce in my humble opinion. If I ever sauce at all its the last half hour during the 1 part of the 2-2-1 method. And it's usually because my family asks for it not because I want to do it. I prefer dry rubbed ribs fresh off the smoker with a sauce to maybe dip in.

    The 2-2-1 method, or 3-2-1 method should produce very good results. You should have a rib that's smokey and tender as can be. I wouldn't reduce the time in the smoker not wrapped until you try to add brown sugar to your current rub. My homemade rub is full of brown sugar. Maybe half brown sugar! My guess is your glaze didn't sink in and maybe prevented the smoke from getting in as well.

    If you try a sugar based rub with the 2-2-1 method and still don't like the flavor then its probably because your the 1% who don't like smoked meats. But I'd guess its more that your glaze recipe doesn't translate to the smoker first cause everyone loves smoked meats! Lol.

    Add sugar to your rub and try it again. Try it with out your glaze, and make sure to wrap after two hours for two more hours with apple juice (or liquid of your choice). When you open the wrapped ribs make sure your pull back is good, and then smoke for half hour more. For the last half hour apply your glaze. I'd guess the results you get from this you'll be happy with.

    I use apple and hickory as well in my mes 40. It's a good combo for ribs, and pork butt. When exactly did you apply your glaze this time?
  15. smokeusum

    smokeusum Smoking Fanatic

    Define glaze for me... Is that a stupid question? I ask because y'all say glaze but I hear sugar-based reduced base and wonder if it was actual a more acidic or slicking agent (like a vinegar or a Parkay) needed to balance and even further reduced reduction? Basically, I'm thinking a "glaze" is a reduced version of something like brown sugar or honey, or even wine, almost to the point of caramelization. When more dry heat is added the reduction crystallizes and chars. It would seem that adding BS to your current method would keep your ribs from charring, because it is adding moisture into the mix, would make the ribs way, way too sweet...
  16. The glaze was applied at the end of the smoke, right after I took them out of the smoker(and the end of the 2-2-1). It is a recipe that Emeril Lagasse made on GMA one morning and includes orange juice, sugar, cider vinegar, soy sauce, and puréed chitpole peppers in adobo sauce. You cook it for about 20 minutes until it is thick and syrupy. It is delicious on ribs cooked in oven in foil, but not so much on these in the smoker. I guess I was expecting a smokey version of those same ribs, but I think ribs in the smoker are a whole new taste treat. I am going to try a rub with sugar next time and see what happens. Thanks for all your help!
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013
  17. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Odd they would taste "charred" when there is no sugar in your rub.
  18. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks good from here.

    Also...I gave you a link for uploading pictures in Roll Call...if you have troubles...go check that again for your Q-view.

  19. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I'd just try again after adding sugar to your rub. If your mes isn't heating up to your temp just adjust the heat higher. The damn mes thermostats never read right.

    As far as adding chips I'd suggest buying an amazn pellet smoker for your mes. The chips are not suppose to add heat, thats all suppose to be taken care of by your heating element. I bought an amazn and its the best thing I did for my mes. You don't have to add chips at all. Just put it in your smoker and walk away!

    If you have any questions about it just ask these forums, or look it up cause people talk about it everywhere on these forums!

    Good luck with round 2!
    smokeusum likes this.
  20. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    By the way, your pic of the ribs looked good. Sorry that had a bad taste.

    Good luck,

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