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Session canceled... perfect day for ribs

#1 User is offline   improv 

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 04:02 PM

It's a cloudy Friday in Philly. I'm making some clouds of my own using the grill. Got a nice steady smoke going today... no flame-ups and it's blowing in just the right direction.

Posted Image
St. Louis cut, light brine with garlic for an hour, rinsed, dried, rubbed, wrapped for an hour in the fridge. They'll get about 2-3 hours at ~325 for the smoke and then I'll foil at 350 for a couple more hours. Going to make up some homemade mac & cheese to go with it.
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#2 User is offline   Tubby's Smokehouse 

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 04:42 PM

View Postimprov, on 02 March 2012 - 04:02 PM, said:

It's a cloudy Friday in Philly. I'm making some clouds of my own using the grill. Got a nice steady smoke going today... no flame-ups and it's blowing in just the right direction.

Posted Image
St. Louis cut, light brine with garlic for an hour, rinsed, dried, rubbed, wrapped for an hour in the fridge. They'll get about 2-3 hours at ~325 for the smoke and then I'll foil at 350 for a couple more hours. Going to make up some homemade mac & cheese to go with it.

And I was wondering what to make for dinner tonight ;)
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#3 User is offline   improv 

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 06:15 PM

After 2.5 hours of nearly perfect smoke.

Posted Image
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#4 User is offline   Vindii 

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 09:50 PM

Looks great Dave. :D
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#5 User is offline   underthehood 

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 09:10 AM

Look at those bones pulling out natures own meat thermometer ;) I suppose our invitations got lost in the mail?
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#6 User is offline   richlife 

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 01:52 PM

Umm-m-m doggies!! Damn, that looks good. Tell me, improv. Did you get a smoke ring on those ribs?
It's back to that question of whether you can use a gas grill to do a true smoke. Your pic looks like you may have gasket around your lid -- or is that just the wind effect? I would think that the grill is too open and, without gasket, won't develop the pressure needed to obtain the chemical reaction that generates a smoke ring.

Love to know your experience and methods.

(Makes absolutely no difference on how much I like the results you got!)

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#7 User is offline   improv 

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 12:20 AM

Thanks guys!

Rich, I didn't get a good shot of the smoke ring nor did I even really look for it, honestly. It had quite a heavy bark on it, as you can see in this pic:

Posted Image

I don't have any sealing tape on my hood. Never tried it. I've just found a sweet spot on my burners for foil-wrapped chunk wood where it smolders just right and doesn't go out or flame up. Once I get it going, it's usually the sear burner at halfway and left burner a notch below halfway. I use Jim's method of putting a cookie sheet on the grate over the wood jammed up against the back corner to prevent smoke from escaping out the back left. Ribs were centered on the right grill grate. There was very little wind that day, so the thick smoke really hung out for a while. It was beautiful.

I did notice some bitter smoky fluid collected on my ribs when I changed out the first wood pack. I suppose this is the result of the water content in propane mixing with the smoke and precipitating on the meat. I wicked it away with a towel. I suppose you don't get that with a real smoker.

As far as the actual smoky flavor of it, though, me and the wife are in agreement that we would desire no more smokiness in our pork than what we get with this method. It had a wonderful smoke intensity after 2.5 hours. These were only my 6th go at ribs since getting the Genesis, but they were by far my favorite so far. Always a lesson to learn every time I BBQ... that's part of what I love so much about it.
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#8 User is offline   improv 

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 12:21 AM

And pleeeease stop calling me Improv, Rich! :P
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#9 User is offline   Tubby's Smokehouse 

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 12:48 PM

View Postimprov, on 04 March 2012 - 12:20 AM, said:

I suppose this is the result of the water content in propane mixing with the smoke and precipitating on the meat. I wicked it away with a towel. I suppose you don't get that with a real smoker.


That was creosote Dave, the moisture in the gas plays little to no part in that, for your grill, you need to back off on the richness of the smoke, you mentioned "thick" smoke, that and the fact that the grill does not provide adequate draw from an air source, creates creosote, the cookie sheet is a good idea, it is directing the smoke you do have to hit the meat, having the wood catch fire is a good thing, then you know its getting enough air to actually burn rather than just smolder, if thick heavy smoke is trapped in your grill you will most always get creosote, since the wood is not your heat source you can use less wood more often during the smoke, to obtain a airy lighter plume over a darker rich "thick" smoke.

A "real" smoker is just as prone to it as anything burning a natural fuel, you choke the air off to much and you get creosote same thing goes for your fireplace in the house.

You could try opening your cabinet doors, I assume your drip tray is in the Cabinet, that should help provide an airstream through the grill and out the hoods vent.

Your Ribs do look great by the way ;)


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#10 User is offline   improv 

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 09:33 PM

Interesting. I thought thick smoke was desirable and making it linger was a plus. So using gasket tape on the hood would actually be a bad idea then? I could definitely be down with smaller wood packets... right now I use two chunks about 3/4 fist size each.

And regarding burning vs. smoldering... my smoke all but disappears when my chunk catches fire. So I thought that was something to avoid.
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#11 User is offline   underthehood 

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 08:00 AM

View Postimprov, on 04 March 2012 - 09:33 PM, said:

Interesting. I thought thick smoke was desirable and making it linger was a plus. So using gasket tape on the hood would actually be a bad idea then? I could definitely be down with smaller wood packets... right now I use two chunks about 3/4 fist size each.

And regarding burning vs. smoldering... my smoke all but disappears when my chunk catches fire. So I thought that was something to avoid.


I too try very hard to not catch fire. But I don't do any trays or sheet pans etc. I also don't seal up the grill. Yesterday went to dad's and we did some great baby backs from Sams. Some wood chunk(s)/chips in foil front/back burners medium. 300 for just over an hour than foiled for an hour than out of foil and sauced on grate 10 min. They were outstanding. Kissed the meat off the bones tender, nice ring, great flavor. I still don't get this "pressure" thing either. There is no "pressure" build up unless you seal the whole system (like a car radiator).
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#12 User is offline   Vindii 

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 08:59 AM

View Postimprov, on 04 March 2012 - 09:33 PM, said:

Interesting. I thought thick smoke was desirable and making it linger was a plus. So using gasket tape on the hood would actually be a bad idea then? I could definitely be down with smaller wood packets... right now I use two chunks about 3/4 fist size each.

And regarding burning vs. smoldering... my smoke all but disappears when my chunk catches fire. So I thought that was something to avoid.


I've found that the thinner smoke is better. Need to keep it moving. Airflow is important so it does not linger and get a stale or bitter taste to it. Its harder to get the flow right in a gas grill.
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#13 User is offline   richlife 

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 09:06 AM

View Postimprov, on 04 March 2012 - 12:21 AM, said:

And pleeeease stop calling me Improv, Rich! :P


Abject apologies, Dave. While I was away I seem to have stepped on my manners.

And again, great ribs. I think it may be that LESS smoke will help eliminate the acrid part. "Thin blue smoke" is what I always heard and learned that you want.

I don't think that adding the gasket is bad. As Vindii and Jim said, you want smoke movement past your meat. Limiting the direction of the flow provides that path (without really cutting the exhaust -- look at offset smokers -- they provide very small exhaust ports). I think that the turmoil caused by allowing smoke to escape all around tends to keep that heavy smoke in. With air coming from below and going out the upper back, you get the flow.

On the "pressure", it's not so much true physical pressure as directed airflow. If you have a good air source (I don't think your 330 is in any way "sealed" at the bottom) and limited exhaust, you get "pressure". Jim may be better able to say whether a true smoker really builds physical pressure. My WSM draws air low, heats it to build pressure that rises and exhausts through the top vents. It is not truly sealed, so intake and outflow also occurs to some extent at joints, the door, etc. On both the WSM and my Genny with gaskets the smoke (even when extremely thin) sort of "jets" out the exhaust.

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#14 User is offline   Tubby's Smokehouse 

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 12:43 PM

View Postrichlife, on 05 March 2012 - 09:06 AM, said:

Abject apologies, Dave. While I was away I seem to have stepped on my manners.

And again, great ribs. I think it may be that LESS smoke will help eliminate the acrid part. "Thin blue smoke" is what I always heard and learned that you want.

I don't think that adding the gasket is bad. As Vindii and Jim said, you want smoke movement past your meat. Limiting the direction of the flow provides that path (without really cutting the exhaust -- look at offset smokers -- they provide very small exhaust ports). I think that the turmoil caused by allowing smoke to escape all around tends to keep that heavy smoke in. With air coming from below and going out the upper back, you get the flow.

On the "pressure", it's not so much true physical pressure as directed airflow. If you have a good air source (I don't think your 330 is in any way "sealed" at the bottom) and limited exhaust, you get "pressure". Jim may be better able to say whether a true smoker really builds physical pressure. My WSM draws air low, heats it to build pressure that rises and exhausts through the top vents. It is not truly sealed, so intake and outflow also occurs to some extent at joints, the door, etc. On both the WSM and my Genny with gaskets the smoke (even when extremely thin) sort of "jets" out the exhaust.

Rich

I think you nailed it Rich
The reason the meat does get penetrated with smoke is the pressure, as you said moving air is air pressure, like the wind in a boats sail, or the wind blowing down a tree, heat creates pressure, and I agree, our smokers allow that pressure to be in the foods path, thats why I always comment the hotter I run my smoker among other things I notice a deeper penetration of smoke into the meat, unlike our grills your WSM is designed to create that pressure and most importantly direct it into the foods path, the mods we make to our grills are our attempts to create that scenario.

Since we all know that a natural fuel smoker is basically fire, without air you have no fire (duh) so just as your fireplace operates, the cooler air draws at the heat/fire through its flu, that flow of air is most defiantly pressure, if you harnessed it, you could make a hot air engine like they did a few hundred years ago.

Hood made a good point, a car radiator, our smokers are using the flow of air/pressure mixed with a continuous flow of smoke, but if you went to Hormel meats, you would see large smoke chambers where they do seal them, induce a one time amount of thin smoke, control the heat and pressurize the chamber, there are two gauges on the wall, one is heat the other is pressure, every piece of meat tastes the same, the time to smoke is greatly reduced and you could take a chunk out of the center of a large ham and it has the same smoke flavor as a piece of the outside does.

I am with you thin blue or airy white is the plume of smoke you want, especially if you're trapping it, and if you are thin blue can go to black fast as it starves for oxygen. :) thats why in a chamber they give it a one time shot of smoke, because it is trapped.


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#15 User is offline   improv 

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 01:01 PM

Just for the record, the fluid I wiped away didn't return and the smoke flavor I got wasn't bitter at all. But I'm digging this discussion!
Dave

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