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Using a rib rack

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    Using a rib rack

    Apologies for not being able to find help from previous discussions but every iteration of "rib rack" in the search function seems to take me to every rib discussion on the site, for (now) obvious reasons. Anyway...

    Using a 22" Weber, a MAK rib rack with a SNS and a Thermoworks Smoke set up, I'm not getting results that I'm happy with cooking the three racks of spareribs that I usually pick up at Costco; looking for any tips or suggestions from anyone who has successfully made something like this work or offer suggestions in any way. I've read and tried bone side toward the coals, "fat" side up, rotate after a couple of hours and, generally, following Meathead's Last-Meal Rib directions (225-250 range, about 5 hours). I'd prefer not to wrap but, without wrapping, it's easy to end up with bark that is black and tough, meat really tender on the meatier bones, but sacrificing the ones on the ends. And I know what I don't know about trimming the meat so that could be an issue. The last time I tried pulling them after a couple of hours, doing an Aaron Franklin wrap-type treatment (spray ACV on the foil, a half and half sauce mixture on the ribs), then ditching the rack and stacking them on the grill for another hour or so. Pulled them, unwrapped them and put them back on the grill to dry off but there wasn't any bark and I wasn't a fan.

    I realize I'm probably pushing it with this much meat and this little space but there's some real talent on this site that seems to be able to do more with less, so I have to at least ask. Love the concept of the grill rack and the MAK is solid but if it doesn't work the way I'm using it, I'm happy to move on and find a technique I can use.

    Thanks for any help you can provide or any other thread you can direct me to.

    #2
    This question generated the response and interest that I thought it might. :-)

    Comment


      #3
      I don't really have any advice, but I can add that I don't love the result from rib racks which is why I modded my cheap offset to include a second level rack with allows me to cook more ribs without a rib rack. It's also why I prefer to hang ribs when I can (I have a propane cabinet smoker at my vacation house.) I sincerely wish you the best of luck finding an acceptable solution. On the up side, I think most of the folks you cook for will prefer ribs cooked in a rack to no ribs at all.

      Comment


        #4
        I’ve never used a rib rack. When I found myself running out of room I bought a bigger smoker! 🤣😂. The rack would have been much cheaper but MCS and all...... 🤷‍♂️

        Comment


        • glitchy
          glitchy commented
          Editing a comment
          I just fire up 2 smokers...MCS and all ;-)

        #5
        I use a 5 slot Weber rib rack all the time when smoking ribs on my Performer with the SNS. I almost invariably and smoking a 3 pack of either loin/back ribs or spare ribs from Costco or Sam's Club.

        What I found is that you just need to leave an empty slot between the slabs of ribs, if smoking just 3, and you just need to realize that spare ribs are gonna be floppy. Don't worry about it, just try to make sure they are not laying on each other. They also work better if trimmed down to Saint Louis cut. About half way through the cook, flip all slabs of ribs end over end, to put the side that was down against the cooking grate up, and the side that was up down against the cooking grate. This is due to the temperature gradient, as the end of the bones that is up is cooking at a higher temp.

        During the last 30 minutes of the cook, if saucing the ribs, I will sauce them, and I will remove from the rib rack, and rotate the ribs all to spend a few minutes over the SNS, to get a little char on them and set the sauce on both sides. Note that at no point do I wrap the ribs in foil, as I like some bark.

        Comment


        • Mr. Bones
          Mr. Bones commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks Jim!
          I have me a couple rib racks, hain't never used em none, on accounta if I need to cook more than let's say two racks, I jus fire up a bigger smoker...
          Certainly open to any tips an tricks,; it'd be kinda nice to use th smaller cooker, burn less fuel kinda sorta thing...

        • jfmorris
          jfmorris commented
          Editing a comment
          Mr. Bones haha yeah you have a veritable plethora of cookers at your disposal.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8ROhP_3-Qk

          I only have the one kettle (Performer) since I gave a kettle away to a friend in need, so I use the rib rack to use less charcoal than if I switch to the offset. I think in your case, if you had more than 2, that Good One Open Range is the way to go... although I bet it uses a lot of charcoal!

        • Steve R.
          Steve R. commented
          Editing a comment
          This is how I do it, except I do a 3-2-1 method and do wrap. The floppiness can be somewhat mitigated by taking a couple of short metal skewers and putting them through the meat at each end of all three slabs to kind of hold them apart. This helps for awhile at least until time to wrap.

        #6
        Although I do not have a slow n sear, I do have a 22 kettle, and a Weber rib rack, although, I don’t use it often, mostly as I never need that many racks of ribs. But, I’m certain a 22 Weber can drive 3 racks of ribs without question. Keep stepping back and asking questions. You will figure it out.

        Comment


        • jfmorris
          jfmorris commented
          Editing a comment
          I seem to always buy 3 packs of ribs, rarely ever bought just 1! I probably will be doing that more often with just 2 in the house now.

        #7
        I’m with Richard. I have a Weber wib wack, have used it 3 or 4 times, floppy Wibs & all.

        Comment


          #8
          jfmorris touched on an important point. In a kettle, especially one equipped with the SnS, the higher off the grate the hotter the temperatures. Flipping the ribs a couple of times is paramount.

          Comment


            #9
            You do know that the floppy part will always be up cuz of the sagability factor. Just sayin.

            Comment


              #10
              When I use rib racks I usually cut the slabs in half and use all of the slots in the rack. I think I have a Weber rack with 5 or 6 slots. I have even laid a half slab on top of the ones in the rack to get them all on the 22. It takes a lot of fiddling when I do this, so I don't do it too often. During the cook I move them around a bit to get an even cook, but they usually come out good. I personally like Jfrosty27 solution though lol.

              Comment


              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                I did a slab on top of 5 in the rack, and actually did 6 full slabs of baby back ribs in the kettle one time. I just rotated which one was laying on top of the others periodically!

              #11
              Got tired of cleaning that Weber wib rack. Bought a PBC. Pit Barrel Cooker. The PBC can hang up to 8 racks if that is what you are looking for. We normally do 3 racks and they are finished around 3 hours or so.

              Comment


              • klflowers
                klflowers commented
                Editing a comment
                pbc, pbc, pbc...

              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                For some reason the stainless on the Weber rib rack comes shiny clean for me with minimal effort. My stainless Easy Spin grate from SNSgrills, not so much.

              • HawkerXP
                HawkerXP commented
                Editing a comment
                My Weber rack was bought by my Father probably in the 70's. Lots of angles and places for things to hide.

              #12
              Sorry we didn't help you int eh first few days you posted this Mark Lambert, but you've got some good advice now! I personally don't use rib racks anymore since I like to put a nice topper of brown sugar on my ribs to melt and make a glaze, and they need to be flat for that. I used to use them, and couldn't never find racks that were the right spacing for my preference- too floppy.

              Comment


              • smokin fool
                smokin fool commented
                Editing a comment
                Be ware brown sugar and alcohol don't mix as in "might as well use up the rest of of this brown sugar, bags almost empty". Hic.
                Concrete....fully carmelized, couldn't cut them with any thing in the kitchen and outta hacksaw blades.
                Oh, and one very peed of wife.
                Never tried a rib rack, I can jam three racks on our BKK with the optional shelf installed

              #13
              I used to do St. Louis ribs on my gasser and would use an adjustable pot/lid rack I got at IKEA. Food safe stainless steel, scissor fold, just take off the removable plastic covers for the bottoms of the feet. Here is a picture of them in use. They will hold five or six ribs. I reversed the ribs (top to bottom, bottom to top) about halfway through the cook time. IKEA item number = AA-353992-4, brand name = Variera. They were inexpensive. Get two sets and you can arrange the ribs in different ways.
              Click image for larger version  Name:	20190407_145848 rib racks 2.jpg Views:	0 Size:	2.37 MB ID:	892322
              I got bit by the MCS bug, picked up a vertical propane smoker with 4 shelves, and don't use the gasser for ribs very often anymore. But they worked great and if I remember correctly they were between $10-$20. Good luck with whatever you end up doing.
              Last edited by SmokingSteve; August 6, 2020, 11:21 PM. Reason: spelling correction

              Comment


              • Steve R.
                Steve R. commented
                Editing a comment
                Brilliant!

              #14
              Here’s another idea, but haven’t tried it in a very long time. Seem to remember it worked out ok. Click image for larger version

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              Comment


              • Steve R.
                Steve R. commented
                Editing a comment
                I have done this quite a few times. It is the way to go if you don't care about wrapping.

              • fkrall
                fkrall commented
                Editing a comment
                Thank you; I never would have thought of that!

              #15
              Thanks everyone, much appreciated. There's nothing really obvious in the comments that sticks out to me, except that I can't really "set it and forget it" to get the results I'm looking for. I'll need to develop a cadence to flipping and rotating, pay closer attention to the water pan, might take up spritzing during the changes and see how I do. It's a worthy pursuit.

              Thanks again.

              Comment

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