WSM and ribs quantity

Discussion in 'Pork' started by graphicsman, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. I've done a lot of searching on the forum and I haven't seen how many baby backs someone can fit in a WSM 22". I would like to know quantity wise with and without the rib rack. I really would prefer not using the rib rack and I will be running the 2-2-1. My ribs will probably be coming from SAMs. Any ideas so i can plan accordingly for my rib extravaganza for new years. If I really have to I will do two rib runs.
  2. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Not sure about without the rack, but you should be able to put 6 per grate using a rack with no problem.  Might still have some room left over for a fatty or two also.    I have the 18.5" WSM and the length of the ribs is the problem in the 18.5" model. With the 22" you should be fine.
  3. Only issue I've read is with the racks it makes it really hard to foil. I'm debating on doing both. Lower rack do rack and no foil and the upper rack doing 2-2-1. I've got my runs solid and my rubs are good. Saw many techniques but all seemed to be deploying foil with the 2-2-1.
  4. Interesting questions. I'm wanting to get the 22 WSM, but will be paying extra to get it to me. Interested in knowing what the count could be for ribs on it vs the smaller unit.

  5. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Remember, once the ribs are foiled, having all sides exposed to the smoke/heat is less of an issue as you are basically now steam baking the ribs in their little foil ovens.  Heat is the only issue at that point.  You can have them touching more and not worry about it once they are foiled.  Of course you still have to un-foil and sauce them for the final phase.

    Then there are those who would say you do not "have" to foil at all with proper low temp smoking.....

    They did not make the 22" when I got my 18.5 back in 2005.  The only downside is a little more fuel consumption as it's a bigger chamber to keep at temp.  That being said, I wish I had a 22" but cannot justify the expense and space for both of them.  If I had to do it over again from scratch, I would buy a 22" now.

    One thing to keep in mind with either WSM model is there is a ring of hotter temps around the outside edge of the smoker when using the water pan, clay saucer or whatever in the mid section.  Those items form an obstruction and force the rising heat out around the edges.  A WSM does cook evenly, but there is a hotter and dryer band of air around the outer edge so don't plan on packing it to the edges unless you will be rotating the position of the food at the edges of the grates.  I did a load of pork candy (pork shots) on the top grate this week and the ones at the edge were noticeably more done than the others.  They cook fast anyway, but we still ate them....
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  6. tyotrain

    tyotrain Master of the Pit

  7. That's great info Dave - I had not heard that before! 

    Sorry to hijack the thread on this subject!  I'll step back and lurk now.

  8. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    for what it's worth I have the 18" WSM and I do full racks on it I use a rib rack and bend the ribs into a U shape
  9. Yes I'm very aware of that and learned it quick when I smoked about 100 chicken wings and everything outside the bowl ring was cooked more and had a bark unlike those pieces in the center.

    One issue I'm afraid of that I've read about is it's hard to pull the racks when they are in a rack and foiling can tear when you try and put them back. Now I would like to foil and try some things I've learned but I'm afraid that it wont work well when verted vertical.

    I have thought about using the rib rack, smoke for five, pull, foil and add sauce so they would hopefully carmelize when still in foil.
  10. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    They will not crisp and caramelize in the foil...Here is my suggestion... Use the rib racks then when it's time to foil pull all the racks out and put ribs in a foil pan and put some of your fav. liquid in and cover with tin foil... then just use your gas grill at the end to crisp them up (in the rib racks)
  11. I don't own a gas grill :yahoo:
  12. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Gas grill?  How dare you speak of such a thing in a smoking forum.....

    Ok, I confess, I own a gasser or two also.  Nice to have "options"

  13. Still worried about adding my sauces, won't the fact of it being vertical cause the sauce to eventually run off the last hour?
  14. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I use rib racks, and for the foiling stage I put the rack in a pan with the ribs still in it & foil over the top. Then the final stage I do on a grill at about 350. This puts a nice crust on the ribs. You only need about 15-20 minutes on the grill, not the whole hour.
  15. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I liek my ribs baby back or spares with alittle pull so I shorten the in foil time to about 1 1/4 and then put them onto the grates for the last (I use) 45 minutes. Now that's my pennies.
  16. wonder how long my fuel will last in my WSM, as in can i get two runs out of it.  I think i should easily get that.  What you guys think?
  17. big twig

    big twig Smoking Fanatic

    In the 22 WSM you can fit 6 racks (of BB's or St Louis) without a rib rack. If you use the Weber rib racks you can fit 2 on each grate (total of 4 rib racks) making you able to fit 16 racks of ribs but it is a tight squeeze.
  18. buying two of these for the WSM:

  19. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I fit 3-4 racks of babybacks or 2 racks of spares on each grate of my 22.5" laying them flat, with a rib rack I believe you can fit 6-12 (or more) on each grate.

    For juicy non-foiled ribs, just cook at a lower heat. I never foil ribs anymore, I just run my WSM at 210-220°, and don't even spritz or anything (unless I have to open the lid for something else).


    "wonder how long my fuel will last in my WSM, as in can i get two runs out of it.  I think i should easily get that.  What you guys think?"

    If you are running a full ring of fuel, you will have no problem what-so-ever with reloading the WSM with another load of ribs without having to reload on fuel. Even a half ring will run for 10-12 hrs. provided its not cold and windy.
  20. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Johnny knows his WSM!

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