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Advice on a Multi Rib Cook

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    Advice on a Multi Rib Cook

    I profess to not be much more than a backyard hack, so I’m looking for some advice. My GM asked me today if I’d make BB for the shop next weekend. He thought 10-12 racks. The most I’ve cooked at a time was 6. I have a 22” WSM that does have a guru and a hanging rack...and a PBC...and 12 hooks between them.

    I don’t know if I can par smoke the racks the night before and then throw them in the PBC at work to finish (if they would all fit) or go in way early and do a full cook hanging on the WSM. The one kink...I am a tech for Harley-Davidson and Saturdays are our busiest day, so I will not be able to babysit the cooker...just check it best I can as I work.

    Any advice on a plan that might give me the best odds to turn out ribs I’m not embarrassed to serve my co-workers would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    #2
    Wow. What a challenge! I had a boss some years ago that did the same thing to me. My answer was to buy two Orion cookers. They were $169 each on Amazon then. Anyway, I cooked 12 racks of fantastic ribs in one hour and 20 min. Everybody loved them. May not be the answer for you but it not only worked for me, but my boss bought one of those cookers and still uses it today. I still have both of mine and still use them when cooking for a crowd. We don’t work together anymore (I retired) but we’re still friends and in touch often. Partly because of what we shared on that cook out. Theorioncooker.com or Amazon if you want to check it out.

    Comment


      #3
      I did roughly the same thing for a 4th of July party a few years ago. At the time I had a Weber (with SNS) and a PBC; I smoked 8 racks two days before and popped them into the fridge after an hour rest in the oven. Then on the 4th I pulled the ribs out, stuck them on the Weber to heat up, sauced em when they got to temp and served them. People enjoyed them, and my wife said she thought they were good for basically being reheated left overs - almost on par with not day old racks 🤣

      Comment


        #4
        A few years ago I used my offset to smoke 6x st louis pork ribs. My smoker only fit two racks at a time. So three days in a row after work I smoked ribs. After each cook, and resting them a bit, I cut them in half TIGHTLY double wrapped them in plastic wrap, then froze them. A week later I went camping with my large family. I let them thaw out in the cooler, over a day or so. And then untapped the plastic, wrapped them in aluminum foil and reheated them on a propane grill. No joke probably the best ribs I ever made. Everyone couldn't stop talking about them. Should you do this in this situation? Maybe, maybe not, but precooking can be done with excellent results.

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          #5
          If my math is right, you said 10 to 12 racks. If it’s 10 then you are covered. You should Be able to do 8 in the PBC & 2 in the weber straight up. If it’s 12, we’ll ya got some figgerin out to do.

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            #6
            As the owner of a few HD’s in my life, including a 61 Pannie, thank you for your service as a tech.
            If you can do the ribs at home 1 or 2 days prior, you could always pull them a little before actually done, then wrap and refrigerate. Finish them on the smokers at work. They should turn out just fine.

            Or if you decide to do them at work, designate a “not so busy” coworker as a helper when you’re busy. Instruct him or her ahead of time what needs to be done during the cook, such as occasional spritzing, temp checks, etc. That way you’re not stressed out having to do everything yourself.
            Last edited by Panhead John; April 3, 2021, 08:17 AM.

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              #7
              I haven't cooked on a WSM but would assume that once you got it lit and using the fan would be about the same as cooking on a PBC. 3 to 3.5 hours for three racks (the most I've ever hung) I would expect a longer cook time if loaded and you might want to add extra charcoal. Good luck and let us know what you did and how.

              Comment


              • ecowper
                ecowper commented
                Editing a comment
                At 250F, for lightly cut (ie not Costco) back ribs, I figure about 4 hours on the WSM .... if they are laid flat. In racks, add 30-45 minutes.

              #8
              You will HAVE to be able to watch them in the PBC towards the end, since if you put that many in it you won't be able to double-hook the racks. The danger of them falling apart and down in the coals is real toward the end of the cook if not double-hooked.

              Comment


              • HawkerXP
                HawkerXP commented
                Editing a comment
                +1

              • FireMan
                FireMan commented
                Editing a comment
                Solution: hope you have enough hooks or make em, as in double strand wire hangers.
                Last edited by FireMan; April 3, 2021, 02:06 PM.

              #9
              I will tell you that I was watching a YouTube video of a BBQ event and Noah Glanville had 12 racks hanging in his PBC.

              Comment


                #10
                A 22” WSM holds 6 BB racks laid flat or 12 in racks. I’d go with just the WSM and racks. It is so solid. I fill it, light it, get the vents set and temp steady and let it run. You’re probably looking at 4-5 hours for BB at 250F.

                Comment


                  #11
                  Assuming work has an oven, ribs reheat very well, I'd cook 'em to near done (pull a few minutes early), brush your glaze on if that's your thing and individually wrap 'em in foil. Then chuck the ribs in the oven at 170 first thing in the morning and serve 'em at lunch. If you go this route, give it a shot on a test rack of ribs first so you know if you like the results or not. You can also bump the oven up to 250ish 15 minutes before serving if you glazed 'em. I haven't had any complaints.

                  Comment


                    #12
                    Any chance you have a sous vide? Can sous vide the racks ahead of time and then refrigerate and smoke for 1-2 hrs day of.

                    otherwise, if you need to cook in advance, I wouldn’t par-cook them. Cook til done but don’t sauce and the reheat on the smoker or even a grill and then if you are the sauce type, add the last 10 min or so

                    Comment


                      #13
                      Thank you all for your insights. So my plan (based on your help) is to try and cook them to just done, get them cooled and wrapped and reheated/finished there. I was concerned that their quality would suffer by precooking, but sounds like they should be ok...especially for the price (free) my shop cohorts are paying for lunch.

                      For reheating, we do not have an oven at work. We do have a Genesis II, but could heat maybe four at a time with my rack...which might work...staggering times. Let me ask if you all think this might work. What if I set up my WSM, tried to get it set low...say 200-ish degrees...and stacked the wrapped ribs in 4 groups of 3 on the two wire racks, shuffling the order thru the warm up so all get exposure to the heat until they were warm. Then, pull the ribs to unwrap, stoke up the temp on the WSM, and then firm up the ribs and add sauce to some. What I’m trying to juggle in my head is if I warm them wrapped, are the odds great that they will fall apart...but if I warm them unwrapped...will they take a long time to warm? Truth is more likely that I’m just overthinking everything...

                      Comment


                      • HawkerXP
                        HawkerXP commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I'd be afraid warmed unwrapped would dry them out.

                      #14
                      Hawker...that was my other concern. Just didn’t write it down b/c I feel like I’m overthinking and thus rambling. Think I’m going to propose a test run of a couple racks for next weekend...see what works and what doesn’t...make notes and then try the bigger cook the following week. Thanks again to everyone for their insights!

                      Comment


                        #15
                        I'm a motorcycle tech.(mechanic) as well. At the shop I used to work at we'd have "bike night" every 1st Wednesday, I didn't get much work done on those days tending the smoker. I would suggest brisket or pulled pork! I was usually cooking for 80/100 people.
                        Last edited by bardsleyque; April 4, 2021, 03:39 PM.

                        Comment


                        • HawkerXP
                          HawkerXP commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Wow!

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