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1st cook on the new-to-me smoker

 
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thailey3



Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 21
Location: Cedar Park

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01 11 12:20 pm    Post subject: 1st cook on the new-to-me smoker Reply with quote

Ok, I seasoned it and then put it through its first cook. Here's how it went...

Cook #1 - Jan 30, 2011

I bought 2 racks of baby back ribs, 2 racks of spare ribs, and a whole chicken. I coated the ribs and the chicken with mustard and then rubbed them with Saltlick rub (bought at HEB a while back). I roughly used the 3-2-1 method as described on these forums, except I only foiled one of the baby backs and one of the spares just to try the difference.

Everything came out really well. What was interesting to me was that the ribs that I foiled seemed to "shrink" and made the bone stick out. I would have thought that if any of the ribs were going to "shrink" it was going to be the non-foiled ones. Regardless, the foiled ribs were noticeably more tender and falling off the bone. The non-foiled racks were still tender, but took a slight bit more gnawing (some of the meat didn't just peel off). I honestly didn't notice much of a difference between the baby backs and the spares.

I had trouble keeping temperatures consistent with my new cooker. For one, I was mostly cooking on just wood the whole time. I'm assuming that's not the recommended method? I've done a little more reading and it sounds like most people use mainly charcoal for their main cooking fuel on backyard offsets and just add wood chunks for smoke. Is that correct? I tried to make a baffle with some tin foil, but that didn't seem to make much of a difference. I was using 4 thermometers (that I've tested with the boiling water method) and all of them were all over the place. I even registered a 75* difference between the fire side and the smoke stack side one time (yikes!).

All in all, it was really good, but I knew I'd be looking for a new rub for my next cook. The Saltlick rub was really salty (go figure) and not peppercorny enough for me. Spoiler Alert - I have done Cook #2 already and had some good results. I'll post again with a synopsis of that cook when I get a chance, but I would love to hear your feedback on this post until then... especially about the part of the fire and keeping temps steady.

Here are some pics of Cook #1:







Foiled baby back and spare rib:


Non-foiled baby back and spare rib:
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SoEzzy
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Joined: 13 Oct 2006
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Location: SLC, UT

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01 11 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have good access to wood use wood, if you don't then use what you can to get the job done.

You need to learn your pit, build your fire base, get it to the size that is small but hot, feed it enough to keep the base level, if it starts to build put less wood on, if it starts to drop add more.
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Tom C
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Joined: 21 Jul 2007
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Location: N. California

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01 11 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thailey3
Congrats on the new smoker! The ribs look good to me!
Like SoEzzy says, it will take some time to get the hang of your smoker.
I start my offset with charcoal to get the fire going then feed wood only. It's all in the size of your fire and control of your air inlet. I leave my exhaust open full and just use the air inlet to control air movement.
Without some tuning plates you will typically see hotter temps on the firebox side of a smoker. You can use that to your advantage to cook two kinds of meat such as chickens on the hot side while you have ribs on the cooler side. Just give it some time and you’ll have it down. Enjoy!
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italian skewer
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02 11 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

congrats on the cooker. That's one way of breaking her in, a full house.
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NHBBQ
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02 11 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everything looked great, ribs looked really good, nice lookin smoker too. Smile
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