Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

PMTom

Doing Ribs in a smoker

Recommended Posts

I am going to try to smoke ribs next week. I looked to see what info I could find on how to cook ribs in a smoker but everything seems to be done on a gas grill. What temperture do you want to cook them at? On an avg. how long do they need to smoke? I was reading about the 3-2-1 method, does that also work when doing ribs in a smoker? Also I read that when the ribs are done you can pick them up with tongs and both ends will point down to your feet. Is that true? Thanks for any help I can get. I love the insight you BBQ'ers give. It is so valuble to new smokers like me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mornin,

 

What kind of smoker do you have? Ribs are pretty simple really, it's 225 degrees for 4 hours, that's 225 at the grate, where the ribs are. Cook for 4 hours, then remove and throw on the grill over indirect heat and baste with BBQ sauce.

 

Smoke for 1/2 the time sholuld be plenty.

 

Not sure about the tongs/feet thing, but they should tear pretty easily and pull from the bone easily...

 

Bluesin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beef ribs are one of those things that I cook simply by the way they look. How trimmed up are the ribs, these aren't finger ribs are they? If you got a nice top layer of fat I like to cook them around 225 off heat for around 5 or so hours, I've cooked for up to 8 hours but haven't liked the results.

 

I want to see a small amount of fat and moisture settle on top of the meat and the rib bone exposed around 3/16ths to a 1/4 inch. I like pecan and mesquite with a little charcoal for the first two hours then I finish it off with a small handful or two of charcoal every hour and half to maintain temperature. I don't typically spritz beef because its got so much fat but you can if you want too.

 

Finger ribs are different I'll cook those like a steak.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What type of ribs are you planning on smoking? Baby backs or spare ribs?

Spare ribs will take longer than baby back ribs. Unless I'm mistaken the 3-2-1 method is meant for spare ribs, if you were to use it for baby backs they would be well over done.

I also cook ribs on my smoker by look and feel. I like the "tear test". If you can grab two rib bones and pull the meat apart easily then they are done.

 

What type of smoker do you have?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What type of ribs are you planning on smoking? Baby backs or spare ribs?

Spare ribs will take longer than baby back ribs. Unless I'm mistaken the 3-2-1 method is meant for spare ribs, if you were to use it for baby backs they would be well over done.

I also cook ribs on my smoker by look and feel. I like the "tear test". If you can grab two rib bones and pull the meat apart easily then they are done.

 

What type of smoker do you have?

 

I have a Brinkman water smoker. I cooked two sets of St.Louis ribs last week. I cooked them in my smoker for 3 1/2 hrs

then wrapped in foil for 1 1/2 hrs then finished on the grill over indirect heat. When I put them over direct heat they started to burn so I moved them to indirect heat. I could not keep them on the grill very long (maybe 20 mins.) because the meat was falling off the bones. They tasted great. Did I just get LUCKY or can I usually expect those results? The Ribs I have had in the last 4 Chain restaurants I visited that advertised great Ribs were nor as good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What type of ribs are you planning on smoking? Baby backs or spare ribs?

Spare ribs will take longer than baby back ribs. Unless I'm mistaken the 3-2-1 method is meant for spare ribs, if you were to use it for baby backs they would be well over done.

I also cook ribs on my smoker by look and feel. I like the "tear test". If you can grab two rib bones and pull the meat apart easily then they are done.

 

What type of smoker do you have?

Okay, I'll admit I'm dumb! What exactly is the 3-2-1 method? Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Okay, I'll admit I'm dumb! What exactly is the 3-2-1 method? Mike

The 3-2-1 method is a way to cook spare ribs.

you cook them for 3 hours between 225 and 250,

then you wrap them in foil and cook them for 2 hours.

then to firm them up a bit you cook them for 1 hour outside the foil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The 3-2-1 method is a way to cook spare ribs.

you cook them for 3 hours between 225 and 250,

then you wrap them in foil and cook them for 2 hours.

then to firm them up a bit you cook them for 1 hour outside the foil.

Erik,

 

Thanks, figured it was something like that. I never went that long, but then I gas grill, don't have a smoker, and it's hard to keep low enough temps for that long. This fall I'm hoping to buy a BGE, then we'll talk about 3-2-1 more in depth! Appreciate the comeback. Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Erik,

 

Thanks, figured it was something like that. I never went that long, but then I gas grill, don't have a smoker, and it's hard to keep low enough temps for that long. This fall I'm hoping to buy a BGE, then we'll talk about 3-2-1 more in depth! Appreciate the comeback. Mike

After trying to do ribs a couple of time on the Jenn-Air and not getting the results I wanted I decided to get a smoker and I'm glad I did. After I first got the smoker my wife joked that the Jenn-Air was getting jealous since I didn't pay enough attention to it. But after a while my cooking kind of balanced out, you can't beat the smoker for ribs and pulled pork etc, but it will never replace the grill for steaks and burgers and mostly the everyday cooking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
After trying to do ribs a couple of time on the Jenn-Air and not getting the results I wanted I decided to get a smoker and I'm glad I did. After I first got the smoker my wife joked that the Jenn-Air was getting jealous since I didn't pay enough attention to it. But after a while my cooking kind of balanced out, you can't beat the smoker for ribs and pulled pork etc, but it will never replace the grill for steaks and burgers and mostly the everyday cooking.

ERIK,

 

I believe you're right! Abeach2bum and I just did ribs (see "Smoking Buzzards" elsewhere) yesterday on our gas grills (as I'm sure did zillions others that reside in between our respective States), and though we were both very happy with the results (as usual), I personally think a smoker has the advantage over a gas grill, only because it is less maintenance during the cook itself. You can be a little more lazy (other than replacing spent woods and charcoal) and exact on a smoker, while a gas grill requires a lot of attention to maintain exact temps, position of meats relative to flame, endeavoring to maintain a low enough heat in the cooking chamber while at the same time keeping up the meat core temp enough to render fat, retaining moisture without overdrying, etc.. But Beach and I both agreed that it is a lot of fun trying, and the results, though maybe not always as perfect as a dedicated smoker, can be every bit as satisfying and enjoyable. The appreciative comments of those consuming our ribs make positive the whole experience of diversifying the use of a gas grill. This fall, I'm hoping for a BGE, then I'll have to pacify my jealous gas grill also! < chuckle >

 

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That 3-2-1 method doesn't sound like a good method at all.

I'm not really endorsing the 3-2-1 method. It really depends on how you like your ribs. A lot of people like the ribs to fall off the bone, the 3-2-1 method is good at producing this, and it keeps the ribs from drying out. Personally I like them to have some texture to them, and have to pull the meat off the bone. So I don't really use the 3-2-1 method much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Question for all the smokers out there. I have had my Brinkmanns' pro smoker for about 7 years. I do the dry rub method (no sauce on my ribs) for the pork (sorry no baby back ribs for me) and beef ribs. All full size slabs and I usally smoke them for 6+ hrs. I use a combination of hardwood charcoal and hickory wood. Everyone loves the ribs except for me, I am usually dissapointed in the end results. My main gripe is the fact that the outside of the ribs tend to be dry. I baste or mop the ribs. I have put aluminium pans with water at the bottom for moisture with no luck. I did try smoking then covering with foil and then finish without the foil (3-2-1) which is ok but the ribs just fall apart to much. Which makes them a bitch to eat.

This is a horizontal smoker with the side firebox, cannot hold a water bath so I must use pans. My rub is a mixture of the basic rub ingredients. Paprika, cumin,cayenne,chilli powder salt, pepper and sugar (using turbinado sugar because it withstands higher heat) I do not baste with a barbecue sauce. I like them dry and use my own homemade sauce for the ribs after they are done.

Anyone willing to share their smoking secrets with me?

 

PS: I live in Massachusetts and I would love to find someplace around here where I can get a better smoker. I did see one in Texas I want, 3/16 of an inch rolled steel, horizontal smoker with the vertical smoker box on one side and the side firebox on the other. Able to hold water in the horizontal box. Frieght charges from Texas to MA would be outrageous. I have the TEC grill but to me it is sacrilegous to BBQ on a gas grill. I know people do it and the ribs are out of this world. I will take heat for this statement but, you grill with gas and smoke with wood. Sorry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That 3-2-1 method doesn't sound like a good method at all.

 

That's funny as most successful competitive teams use it to varying degrees.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not really endorsing the 3-2-1 method. It really depends on how you like your ribs. A lot of people like the ribs to fall off the bone, the 3-2-1 method is good at producing this, and it keeps the ribs from drying out. Personally I like them to have some texture to them, and have to pull the meat off the bone. So I don't really use the 3-2-1 method much.

 

I agree. The 3-2-1 method includes a steaming phase (aluminum wrap) which is used by competition bbq chefs, Reichlan et al to get that falloff the bone tenderness.

 

I, too, prefer a very tender meat that has to be taken off the bone with my teeth.

 

My recent experience smoking two racks of ribs on my new big green egg produced the most tender, moist and flavorful ribs I have ever made in just 4 hours at 235 degrees. I recently did ribs on my Weber with my home made smoke box for 12 hours and they were no where as flavorful, moist and tender as this recent batch.

 

Here's another vote for a dedicated smoker.

 

Shelly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree. The 3-2-1 method includes a steaming phase (aluminum wrap) which is used by competition bbq chefs, Reichlan et al to get that falloff the bone tenderness.

 

I, too, prefer a very tender meat that has to be taken off the bone with my teeth.

 

My recent experience smoking two racks of ribs on my new big green egg produced the most tender, moist and flavorful ribs I have ever made in just 4 hours at 235 degrees. I recently did ribs on my Weber with my home made smoke box for 12 hours and they were no where as flavorful, moist and tender as this recent batch.

 

Here's another vote for a dedicated smoker.

 

Shelly

Shelly, do you do takeout? I'll give you my zip if necessary! < chuckle > Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So you bit the bullet eh Shelly?

 

Sounds like so far you are pleased with the purchase, which of course I knew you would be :>)

 

Done a steak yet???

 

Bluesin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So you bit the bullet eh Shelly?

 

Sounds like so far you are pleased with the purchase, which of course I knew you would be :>)

 

Done a steak yet???

 

Bluesin

 

First, to correct a mistake, I cooked the ribs also for 4 hours, not 12, on the Weber but the results are as I stated. The ones done on the bge were the very best.

 

They recommend not taking the bge beond 400 degrees for the first 6-10 cooks to season the gasket. I have done just 3 so far--a turkey, oameal egg brad and the ribs. I'll do a roast tomorrow. So no searing of steak as yet.

 

My problem is that my wife does not eat red meat, but will eat some pork and poultry and does not care that much for smoked foods, although she's willing to keep trying some to see if she can get this acquired tast.

 

So my refrigerator is piling up. I cut and put the ribs in the freezer as I did with sections of the bread. I'll make a turkey pot pie filling (stew) tonight to try to use up the turkey. As it seems we're always dieting, I'll leave he crust off of it.

 

I promised her that I would use fresh lump without additional smoking wood for our pizzas to limit the smoke flavor as best I can.

 

So far I am extremely impressed with the bge. I know that it can smoke better than any of the means I have tried before. And it can bake breads and pies. I'm sure it can sear and cook steaks as well. It still seems easier to light up a gas grill but, in reality, it takes just as short a time, to fire up the egg. And it holds a stable temperature much better than the Weber and the all IR grill I had here for a while.

 

The more I have used it, the easier it has become to rach and hold my desired temperature. It just seems like you're getting much more with a ss grill compared to egg as they can cost about the same. So it may be over priced for what it is but it surre does work well.

 

Speaking of takeout, the things I miss most about no longer having my restaurant are the leftovers, having a bathroom always available when in our village and feeding people. Since I think about food 24/7, I usually just tell my wife that a meal is building up in me and she should invite folks over just to clear my mind and make room for me to think about other foods.

 

So, yes, where should I start sending samples? You're always welcome, of course, to stop by if in my neck of the woods. Many tens of thousands of people vacation in my area every year. Right now, the Concourse d'Elegance antique/classic car show weekend is winding down in Pebble Beach.

 

Shelly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree. The 3-2-1 method includes a steaming phase (aluminum wrap) which is used by competition bbq chefs, Reichlan et al to get that falloff the bone tenderness.

 

I, too, prefer a very tender meat that has to be taken off the bone with my teeth.

 

My recent experience smoking two racks of ribs on my new big green egg produced the most tender, moist and flavorful ribs I have ever made in just 4 hours at 235 degrees. I recently did ribs on my Weber with my home made smoke box for 12 hours and they were no where as flavorful, moist and tender as this recent batch.

 

Here's another vote for a dedicated smoker.

 

Shelly

 

I'm not a real smoker, but 12 hours for ribs seems too long ;) , was this a cold smoke???? While a cold smoke can be very tasty, isn't it more of a technique for preserving food.

 

IGNOG THIS Response, I see in later post that Shelly corrected his 12 hours to 4 hrs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×