Smoking Pork Ribs first set gone bad

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Original poster
Aug 9, 2007
Fontana, CA.
Well, I love this site guys.. I've been reading and reading all the cool things to do with the smokers. So much info here, I actually smoked a fatty and it was sooooo good!!

I'm totally new to the smokers. I just bought a little cheepy H2O smoker, and I have been having fun smoking up some tri tips ... they taste so much better then on the gas grill.

Ok, first things first. I tried to smoke some Pork ribs [baby backs] the other day, I had a hard time getting the temp up to 225 I barely had it at 210. Any tips on keeping the heat up? this is a charcol smoker.

Well I had the ribs on for about 2.5 hrs, I took them in and cut through them and they were still pink. Then threw back on for about another hour. Still was pink. It was kinda dissapointing. I had my brisket on for about 3 hours and it was perfect so I figured that would be good enough for the ribs.

So I'm going to take another stab at them this weekend, any tips on how long and how to prep them and of course I getting the heat up to cooking temps???

Please any help would be awesome! thanks - Jason
Hey Jason ... first of all, you should introduce yourself in "Roll Call" so folks can welcome you proper.
Second, I guess you didn't read enough before tackling those ribs ... 210º isn't too bad, but you are going to need 5+ hours to do 'em up right.
Your little H2O can be a bit problematic for heat control and there are many solutions to the problem.
If you haven't already done so ... sign up for the Free 5 day eCourse of Jeff's ... good basic info there.
What size was your brisket? Three hours is pretty short for a brisket!
Jason, welcome to the forum.

Please tell us what kind of smoker you have. That will help us help you.

For ribs, start with beef ribs. They're more forgiving. As a general rule, the method is to start your ribs on the smoker for 3 hours. At that time, you put them into foil for a period of 2 hours. After that, they go back onto the smoker naked for ~1 hour. All of these times are approximate, and you really need to monitor their progress and temperatures. Do you have a digital thermometer?

Did you say brisket in 3 hours? Please tell me more about that.
Squeezy, I'll be in the roll call just after this post. Thanks for the heads up

The Bistket [tri tip] was small, I wanna say about 2-3 lbs [if that]. I didn't want a big one on the fiirst shot and blow it. It did come out very good it was a little pink in the center and very tender

the Smoker is the H2O smoker, not sure of the brand, it's the red one though.

I don't have a Digital thermometer. I need go out and get one. maybe tomorrow.

I'll try that with the beef ribs first... thanks for the pointers guys.
Jason, I donâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]t know about the smoker you are using. It sounds like it is probably a charcoal smoker like the El Cheapo Brinkmann or “ECB†as it is referred to here. I use a propane water smoker (GOSM). It sounds like you may need to modify your smoker to get more airflow, or possibly use more charcoal. You did not say what type of charcoal you are using, but lump charcoal will burn a bit hotter than briquettes. The main problem is that you did not smoke your ribs long enough. A lot of people here use the 3-2-1 method for cooking spare ribs. If you look that up in this forum you will find a lot of information. Basically you smoke your ribs for three hours naked for three hours, wrap them in foil and smoke them for two hours, then unwrap them and smoke them for one more hour. These times are approximate and are assuming a temperature of roughly 225 deg. I have fount that when I cook ribs without foiling them that they also take about 6 to 7 hours at around 225 deg. As far as the color of the ribs, they are still going to have a pink color when they are done. This is what we call the “smoke ringâ€. The best way to tell if your ribs are done is with a thermometer. You are looking for around 172 deg., or you can tell by the texture. I hope this answers some of your questions. There are a lot of people on here more knowledgeable than me and Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]m sure they help also.
I have a H2O Char Broil which is very similar to the Brinkman (ECB)

That brisket was pink in the middle and was good ??????? Should have been tough as shoe leather!

The 3-2-1 method for ribs works quite well for ribs ... but I think your biggest issues are time and heat.
Hey Josh, yea It's a little cheepy smoker it's the Char Broil one.

I've been using briquettes, I will look into the lump charcoal.

Squeezy, how should the briskets be? This was my first one, and it seemed good. Should It be on there a little longer? Or should the middle be completely done?
you know you are most likely right. I may be getting them confused. It was a tri tip.

Like I said, I'm completely new to this, can someone tell me the difference????
Hi Jason -

When you learn to control the heat and smoke and wait the required time and temperature that Cheap CharBroil will make some great BBQ!

Low and Slow is the key. Keep your temperature between 225 and 275 for most meat except chicken. I've started on one and still use it from time to time.
Baby back won't take as long as the 3-2-1 spare ribs. Maybe 2.5-1.5-.5 will do. My smoker is charcoal GOSM model. I might get to 240 or so tops. For a more consistant and higher temp, try using playbox sand instead of water. Water causes alot of flucuations in the temps. Your ribs will get down at 220, even 200, just will take longer to get done. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.