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    Thread: First time smokin' on the bar-bee

    1. 06-29-2008 06:44 PM #1
      I decided to leave the infrared grill in the garage and start smokin' ribs instead of grilling them over direct flame. I had tons of ribs and decided to throw on 4lbs for dinner today (2 people + 2 dogs). I began with a rub I put together myself. Salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard, oregano, and thyme. I let the ribs get to room temperature after putting the rub on them.

      I used my 18" Weber kettle grill, which hasn't gotten much play over the past year (maybe twice). Setup the charcoal on one side after lighting it with the chimney, and threw the mesquite chips onto it after I soaked them. I also had a can of water under the meat, to help with the moisture.

      The temps stayed around 190-215 most of the time. It had gotten up to 250-280 after I put the new charcoal in. I had to put in one extra batch of charcoal after the first batch I began with. After playing with the vents under the grill and on the grill top, I got the temp down to where it needed to be.

      After two hours:

      The ribs went in for four hours. I flipped them once. After this time, I took the internal temp, for one of the thicker ribs, and got a reading of 158F. I then took a piece off one of the ends that looked a bit crispy, and bit into it. I noticed it was tougher than I expected it to be, so I figured the ribs wouldn't come out as well as I would have thought.

      After four hours:

      At the four-hour mark, I dumped some BBQ sauce onto the ribs and wrapped them.

      I let them cook for an additional two hours at 200-215 degrees (the temps stayed pretty consistent at 213F for a while. After this time, it was time to let them cool down and eat! Honestly speaking, I've had some good ribs in the past...the best being in Jackman, Maine. I've also heard of people saying they've had awesome "fall-off-the-bone" ribs...but I've never eaten ribs this tender or flavorful!!!!! I was so surprised when I put the fork in one of the ribs and attempted to pick one up. It just broke into four pieces - super soft. The outer layer of the ribs were pink, much like the brisket I ate down in Texas. It was awesome. The mesquite flavor was just perfect. Not only did I get to smell it all day, my neighbors did, too.

      Now, the pics:


      Needless to say, I'll be smoking a lot more from now on. I bought some brisket yesterday (2.5lbs) and will be prepping it for this coming weekend.

      NEW YORK KNICKS

    2. Member RuffDice's Avatar
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      06-29-2008 07:15 PM #2
      damn.... you shouldn't be allowed to post pics like that

      i'm excited though, if I ever get invited to rib-day

      All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

    3. 06-29-2008 07:19 PM #3

      I had a ****load of ribs to cook. I had leftovers, even after the dogs had some. I'll let you know next time. You gotta try this stuff. Definitely not as popular up here as it is in Texas. I've been to Texas two times before this last trip and I hadn't tried smoked brisket 'til just last week. I ate it three times this week along with smoked ribs, smoked chicken, and smoked turkey, at this place called Rudy's in San Antonio (away from downtown). Their ribs were really tough but the other stuff was awesome!

      I'm gonna have to wake up at 6am to make these things the next time I have a BBQ...which is every week.

      NEW YORK KNICKS

    4. Member vr6Cop's Avatar
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      06-29-2008 08:08 PM #4
      Good looking pics. Are those "country style" ribs? That's what they look like.

      Country style ribs are just cut up boston butt, whether bone-in or boneless. Spares are the big racks, and baby backs are the puny ones you usually get at chain restaurants.

      You did a great job on the Weber kettle, especially for the first time smoking on it.

      Texas is all about brisket and sausage, with beef ribs (aka dinosaur bones) at some places. If you want ribs, go to Memphis.

      Cheers, Adrian
      726 bottles of beer on the wall.

    5. 06-29-2008 08:35 PM #5
      Quote, originally posted by vr6Cop »
      Good looking pics. Are those "country style" ribs? That's what they look like.

      Country style ribs are just cut up boston butt, whether bone-in or boneless. Spares are the big racks, and baby backs are the puny ones you usually get at chain restaurants.

      You did a great job on the Weber kettle, especially for the first time smoking on it.

      Texas is all about brisket and sausage, with beef ribs (aka dinosaur bones) at some places. If you want ribs, go to Memphis.


      Yep, they're country-style. Thanks! 've seen you post some great BBQ tips around here.

      I had taken a look at the WSM and almost purchased it, but decided to try my luck with the kettle, considering I've used it only twice or so. It worked out great. The only PITA was adding more charcoal once I began cooking (taking the meat and grill off). I was also afraid of smoking too much mesquite, but I added about 1.5 handfuls (twice), and the flavor was perfect.

      Like I said, I'll be doing the brisket this week and hopefully a few racks of ribs the weekend after. I searched for some brisket threads earlier today and read through them, but any more info would be appreciated. My piece was only $10, but I don't want to screw it up.

      NEW YORK KNICKS

    6. Member salsanacho's Avatar
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      06-29-2008 08:39 PM #6
      I've got a 18" Weber also and wanted to try some smoking also. About what percentage did you have the top and bottom vents open to get the ~200 degree temps? I'd like to get a rough starting point for when I try this. Thanks!

    7. 06-29-2008 09:04 PM #7
      Quote, originally posted by salsanacho »
      I've got a 18" Weber also and wanted to try some smoking also. About what percentage did you have the top and bottom vents open to get the ~200 degree temps? I'd like to get a rough starting point for when I try this. Thanks!

      I can give you good advice on this, because I did it twice and it worked perfectly both times!

      I left the bottom vent open all the way when I dumped the first batch of charcoal in. I started it with a charcoal chimney, BTW. Then, I put the top on and took the temp...over 350+ at first, but I hadn't let the coals get gray. The trick, IMO, is to let the coals get totally gray in the charcoal chimney, then you can pour them into the grill and they shouldn't flame at all. They will only omit heat. The other thing to keep in mind is not to put too many coals in your grill. I'd say 10-12 to start and another 6-8 as the second batch (a few hrs into smoking). Once your charcoal is gray, close the bottom vent halfway and leave the top vent halfway open. I began to get temps around 230-250F for a few minutes (maybe 10-15 minutes after adding my charcoal), but the temps will settle to 195-215F, so don't worry.

      This worked for me so I'm sure you'll be fine. If you have trouble, just play with the vents. You will see the temps changing. If you can't get the temps in the 200F range, leave the grill-top halfway on the grill so you can get some heat out of there and let the fire die-down. Another thing I did was...I had the coals/wood on the right side of my grill and I positioned the grill-top so that the vents were on the opposite side, allowing the smoke to travel across the food and out of the grill.

      Oh yeah, be sure to soak your chips about an hr before you put them onto the hot coals.

      NEW YORK KNICKS

    8. Member salsanacho's Avatar
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      06-29-2008 11:36 PM #8
      Awesome, thanks for the advice. I'd like to try this on a nice pack of baby back ribs. Nice to see that you can get great results with the 'baby' webers.

    9. 06-30-2008 01:33 PM #9
      Hell yeah. Let us know how it turns out for you.
      NEW YORK KNICKS

    10. Member Durbo20vT's Avatar
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      06-30-2008 01:34 PM #10
      im comin over for the next batch!

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      06-30-2008 01:54 PM #11
      how about i come visit you this summer and we nix LA/PR

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      06-30-2008 03:51 PM #12
      Wouldn't this be considered more indirect grilling than traditional smoking? Not my favorite cut of ribs, but looks really good.


      Modified by trbo-4 at 2:53 PM 6-30-2008

    13. Member salsanacho's Avatar
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      06-30-2008 03:57 PM #13
      Quote, originally posted by trbo-4 »
      Wouldn't this be considered more indirect grilling than traditional smoking? Not my favorite cut of ribs, but looks really good.

      I'd consider this smoking. Larger smokers are pretty much the same thing, indirect heat generating smoke which flavors and cooks the meat. This is pretty much the same thing without the benefit of seperate areas for the fuel. I'd consider something like beer can chicken to be indirect grilling.


      Modified by salsanacho at 12:58 PM 6-30-2008


    14. Member pentoro's Avatar
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      06-30-2008 04:14 PM #14
      Great thread, I'm buying a grill to do this.

    15. Member vr6Cop's Avatar
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      06-30-2008 08:26 PM #15
      Quote, originally posted by trbo-4 »
      Wouldn't this be considered more indirect grilling than traditional smoking? Not my favorite cut of ribs, but looks really good.

      No, this is smoking. He kept the temperatures low and cooked it slow. Anything under 275 is more smoking than grilling. As stated above, beer can chicken is like indirect grilling.

      Low & slow = smoking, no matter what you're cooking on.

      Cheers, Adrian
      726 bottles of beer on the wall.

    16. 06-30-2008 09:55 PM #16
      I just got myself a square 22" grill for $24. This will be my additional "smoker" on big BBQ days. It has vents on the front and rear (under) and vents at the very top on the grill cover.

      I'm most likely going to use my Weber 18" kettle this weekend when I do the brisket. Should I smoke the brisket the same exact way I smoked the ribs? The brisket is 2.5lbs, so I'm thinking of smoking it for about 3hrs 45min through 4hrs.

      NEW YORK KNICKS

    17. 06-30-2008 10:02 PM #17
      Quote, originally posted by Durbo20vT »
      im comin over for the next batch!

      hell yeah dude

      Quote, originally posted by chriskle »
      how about i come visit you this summer and we nix LA/PR

      We do it different in PR with La Caja China. My uncle made smoked ribs (racks) in that thing and it was awesome!


      NEW YORK KNICKS

    18. 06-30-2008 11:35 PM #18
      thats cuban, not puerto rican

      imo


    19. 07-01-2008 01:26 AM #19
      Why did I click on this thread? It's 1:30 AM and I can't remember the last time I all of a sudden felt hungrier this time of the night. You Bastard.

    20. 07-01-2008 02:59 AM #20
      Quote, originally posted by koko12 »
      Why did I click on this thread? It's 1:30 AM and I can't remember the last time I all of a sudden felt hungrier this time of the night. You Bastard.

      My God, I almost want to get up and run to Walmart and get a package of those crappy Lloyd's pre-made BBQ ribs and throw them in the microwave. But my Ambien's kicking in, so that'll have to wait til breakfast....


    21. 07-01-2008 10:39 AM #21
      well done! all that patience and waiting pays off


    22. Member genjy's Avatar
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      07-01-2008 03:30 PM #22
      I am slow cooking about 4 pounds of spare ribs in the oven right now. Tonight I dine on meatz.

      Wish I had the patience and vigilance for charcoal BBQ... Something bad always happens to my food when I try slow cooking on the grill.




      Modified by genjy at 12:32 PM 7-1-2008


    23. Member vr6Cop's Avatar
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      07-01-2008 07:11 PM #23
      Quote, originally posted by Dreizehn »
      Should I smoke the brisket the same exact way I smoked the ribs? The brisket is 2.5lbs, so I'm thinking of smoking it for about 3hrs 45min through 4hrs.

      It's pretty much the same. I do mine a different way, but a good way for you to do it with the Weber kettle would be to go low (225-250) until the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat reads 170. Wrap it in foil, then put it back on until the thermo reads 190 internal. A flat will take about an hour per pound at that temp to get to 190, but don't bank on it - bbq knows no clock. Put the brisket in an empty cooler (you can pre-warm it with hot water if you wish) and surround it with towels and wadded up newspaper for an hour or so. That way, the juices redistribute while it continues to cook and tenderize. If you did it right, the brisket will be plenty hot & juicy when you slice. Slice it against the grain.

      You mix up a little Dr Pepper and beef broth to put in the foil when you hit 170, or any number of other things for extra moisture.

      If you want to keep it simple and pure Texas style, just use salt, pepper and garlic powder as a rub before putting on the smoker.

      Cheers, Adrian
      726 bottles of beer on the wall.

    24. 07-02-2008 08:10 AM #24
      Quote, originally posted by vr6Cop »

      It's pretty much the same. I do mine a different way, but a good way for you to do it with the Weber kettle would be to go low (225-250) until the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat reads 170. Wrap it in foil, then put it back on until the thermo reads 190 internal. A flat will take about an hour per pound at that temp to get to 190, but don't bank on it - bbq knows no clock. Put the brisket in an empty cooler (you can pre-warm it with hot water if you wish) and surround it with towels and wadded up newspaper for an hour or so. That way, the juices redistribute while it continues to cook and tenderize. If you did it right, the brisket will be plenty hot & juicy when you slice. Slice it against the grain.

      You mix up a little Dr Pepper and beef broth to put in the foil when you hit 170, or any number of other things for extra moisture.

      If you want to keep it simple and pure Texas style, just use salt, pepper and garlic powder as a rub before putting on the smoker.


      Cop, I'm gonna give that a shot, minus the Dr. Pepper. I'll be adding more spices to mine, though.

      NEW YORK KNICKS

    25. 07-05-2008 08:27 PM #25
      This brisket kicked my ass today! 8hrs of work for this ****ing thing!!

      It cooked for 6.5hrs. The meat weighed-in at 2.4lbs before cooked. It's been sitting in my cooler (dry) for about 45min already wrapped in foil. It was pretty tender when I took it off of the grill. Smelled great.

      The rub I made up: paprika, garlic powder, crushed pepper, dry mustard, dried basil, and a bit of chili powder.

      The mop I made up: apple cider vinegar, one can of beer, one can of water, chopped up onion, worcestershire sauce, salt, and minced garlic. Once I got this to come to a boil, I left it boiling for about 8 minutes.

      I mopped the brisket twice. The first time was about 3.5hrs (brisket was not wrapped yet). I wrapped the brisket in foil at about 4hrs 15min and applied more of the mop at this point.

      I'll have pictures of the meat in a little while once I eat. I had a huge lunch so I'm not too hungry right now.

      NEW YORK KNICKS

    26. 07-05-2008 09:43 PM #26
      Here it goes.

      This was my first time smoking brisket and it didn't turn out bad at all. The brisket was quite moist, although, I expected it to be a bit more moist, and was well-seasoned. I didn't use much mesquite this time, either. Could've used some more, although the smell and flavor were still noticeable. I'm looking to try new wood (apple, oak, etc.) but my local supermarket and Target do not have anything other than mesquite.

      As you see in the first couple of pics, I used a new grill I picked up this week for $20. It was a major PITA to get temps on this thing, being that the top vent was directly in the middle of the grill top. Instead of breaking-out my drill and drilling a hole into the meat-side of the grill, I decided to break-out my Weber kettle once again. So, I transferred the charcoal and kept it moving.

      I think I would change two things for the next time:

      1) Stop being impatient with the coals. I hate waiting for the coals to get completely gray in the charcoal chimney. This was a major PITA because I spent about 1.5hrs total adjusting the temperature throughout the day. The temps were at 300F+ tons of times, whereas last week, the temps were sitting consistently under 240F. When the coals are orange = too damn hot. In order to reach proper smoking temps, I've noticed the coals have to look as if they aren't even lit...they'll just look gray.

      2) Make a better mop. I tasted a bit of the vinegar and beer on the brisket while eating but it wasn't as powerful as I wanted it to be. I'm going to make a thicker mop next time...more along the lines of a sauce/glaze.

      For my next smoking session, I'll be firing-up some real ribs.

      NEW YORK KNICKS

    27. 07-06-2008 12:07 AM #27
      simple physics. Fire cant burn w/o oxygen. Close the vents until the temps come down. Also, the meat may be too close to the coals. Did you wrap and rest it?

    28. 07-06-2008 09:40 AM #28
      Quote, originally posted by vdubjb »
      simple physics. Fire cant burn w/o oxygen. Close the vents until the temps come down. Also, the meat may be too close to the coals. Did you wrap and rest it?


      Oh, believe me, I had the vents on the underside of the grill closed for most of the 6.5hrs I had the top of the grill slightly open for a while, because the temps were getting TOO hot. The coals were orange and so were the burnt coals (under the grate). My thermometer read "HI" many times, as I put the grill top completely over the grill. HI = over 380F. The brisket wasn't as close to the coals as my ribs were...and my ribs came out more tender. I also used less charcoal for the brisket than I did with the ribs, so I was able to move it more toward the opposite side of the grill.


      And yes, I did wrap it (talked about it in my previous post) and let it rest for a while before cutting and eventually devouring.


      Modified by Dreizehn at 9:41 AM 7-6-2008

      NEW YORK KNICKS

    29. Member salsanacho's Avatar
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      07-07-2008 12:25 AM #29
      Looks really good

      You are definitely inspiring me to try this soon, once my kid pops out and I am home on paternity leave, I'm going to give those BB ribs a try.


    30. Member flygliii's Avatar
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      07-07-2008 01:20 PM #30
      Boricua!!! We (Cuban) have made BBQ's similar to la Caja China, including a portable one we currently use. It's wider, longer, and taller than in that pic, for bigger pigs and more of a smoked effect. (pics available)

      Your pics? Food porn, brother.

      My brother does "Cuban-seasoned" (naranjagria, S+P, oregano, pimentón, garlic) ribs, etc., smoked and they are sofa king good...

      Nice, now I'm hungry again...

      EDIT: A wooden clothespin will hold your temp probe in place very well. Wait, that should be rephrased.


      Modified by flygliii at 10:22 AM 7-7-2008

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    31. 07-13-2008 06:19 PM #31
      Word!

      Hopefully these don't get you hungry.

      Just finished annihilating these things. So freaking slammin'.

      My rub consisted of:

      garlic powder, paprika, chile powder, crushed pepper, salt, oregano, and thyme

      BBQ sauce = Sweet Baby Ray's

      I cooked these suckers for 5 1/2 hrs with some mesquite.

      NEW YORK KNICKS

    32. Member salsanacho's Avatar
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      07-13-2008 07:35 PM #32
      Oh nice, I didn't think of rolling them up like that, good idea for fitting two or more racks without getting too close too the coals.

    33. 07-13-2008 07:41 PM #33
      Quote, originally posted by flygliii »
      Boricua!!! We (Cuban) have made BBQ's similar to la Caja China, including a portable one we currently use. It's wider, longer, and taller than in that pic, for bigger pigs and more of a smoked effect. (pics available)


      Oh, you mean like the one we roasted for July 4th?


      salsanacho, you're right. I had the ribs on their side when I wrapped them in foil, but that was it. They were coiled-up for 90% of the time while cooking.

      NEW YORK KNICKS

    34. 07-13-2008 09:43 PM #34
      very nice. Hope you remembered to de membrane them when prepping?>

    35. 07-13-2008 10:25 PM #35
      Quote, originally posted by vdubjb »
      very nice. Hope you remembered to de membrane them when prepping?>


      Did that. Take a closer look at the underside of the ribs. They're not as white or gummy-looking.

      These things tasted so awesome. I'm looking for new wood, though. Mesquite gives great flavor, but I haven't tried anything but this, so I'm open to whatever (apple, oak, etc.)...just can't find it anywhere locally.

      NEW YORK KNICKS

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