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Doing my first St. Louis ribs this weekend.

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  • Smoking77
    Club Member
    • Mar 2017
    • 323
    • Los Angeles

    Doing my first St. Louis ribs this weekend.

    I'm new to smoking (as is very evident by the few posts I've done), so I'm going to ask the basic questions for cooking ribs. I've got all day to cook these things, so time is not an issue. Meathead says to cook at 225 without wrapping, but as I'm going down that rabbit hole of these postings (while neglecting my wife and child), I'm seeing people cook at 225, 250, and 275. And a lot of people wrap, not for cutting time, but for adding flavor. I'm sure it's a matter of trial and error until you find what's best for you, but what do you think I should do for my first cook? I was planning on dry brining the night before, and then sprinkling with MMD as my WSM is coming up to temp. Thanks!
  • kmhfive
    Club Member
    • Mar 2017
    • 2986
    • Northern Illinois
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    #2
    With the moisture from the WSM, you won't need to wrap. I cook them anywhere the Kettle settles between 225 and 250. I wouldn't Sweat the temp control. Are going to glaze at the end or leave them dry?

    Comment


    • Smoking77
      Smoking77 commented
      Editing a comment
      I was going to glaze them at the end. Aaron Franklin has a simple recipe for KC sauce that's pretty tasty. Or maybe I'll leave half dry and sauce the other ones.

    • kmhfive
      kmhfive commented
      Editing a comment
      Sounds delicious. I'd try half-and-half also. Gives a good chance to see the difference.
  • Mr. Bones
    Charter Member
    • Sep 2016
    • 10125
    • Kansas Territory
    • Grills / Smokers
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    #3
    Yeah, what kmhfive said... 225°-275°, don't sweat it at all.
    Figure out where yer WSM settles in an' runs a clean, hot fire. Then, let it do its magic!

    Don't (!!!) drive yerself crazy, fiddlin' with the vents every few minutes to hold the temp to a specific number.
    There's better ways to spend your cookin' time.
    Adult beverages are a favorite...
    Or go make yer side dishes, etc.

    Out of general interest, so I may learn from ya',
    What kinda smoker wood are ya' gonna use?
    Briquets or lump? What kind?
    What size WSM?
    Usin' th' water pan?
    Last edited by Mr. Bones; April 20, 2017, 06:43 PM.

    Comment

    • Smoking77
      Club Member
      • Mar 2017
      • 323
      • Los Angeles

      #4
      Thanks Mr. Bones and kmhfive! I was going to use a few handfuls of oak, each about 2x2. I have Stubb's briquets. 18.5 WSM. I was going to use the water pan w/water, because I was told that's best for low and slow.

      Comment


      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        Sounds like a good plan fer a great cook to me!!!
        Please do treat us with pictures, or any questions...

      • Smoking77
        Smoking77 commented
        Editing a comment
        Much thanks. I'm picking it up tomorrow, so many pics and questions will be on the way!

      • PaulstheRibList
        PaulstheRibList commented
        Editing a comment
        Use the water pan. It only helps!
    • kmhfive
      Club Member
      • Mar 2017
      • 2986
      • Northern Illinois
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      #5
      You have a good plan! Let her rip and post pictures so we can drool over your success.

      Comment

      • Spinaker
        Moderator
        • Nov 2014
        • 10963
        • Land of Tonka
        • John "J R"
          Instagram: JRBowlsby
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        #6
        Personally, I think you should cook at 275 F, with out a water pan. You will get a drier cooking chamber that will give you some killer bark. Don't worry they won't dry out. I also would not wrap them. I really don't like wrapping ribs. In my experience, It makes them mushy. Without wrapping you can add all the flavors you want to the surface with out having to put it in foil or unwrapping the foil. You can simply paint the surface with any sauce(s) you want! Just my two cents!

        Comment


        • Smoking77
          Smoking77 commented
          Editing a comment
          thanks Spinaker!

        • Spinaker
          Spinaker commented
          Editing a comment
          Not at a bad plan at all. You have to do your "research". Smoking77

        • Mr. Bones
          Mr. Bones commented
          Editing a comment
          An' "Research" can, quite often, involve solitude, tranquility, an' Adult Beverages. Music can be a big addition, as well...
          This 'Science Stuff' ain't so bad, lol!
      • Smoking77
        Club Member
        • Mar 2017
        • 323
        • Los Angeles

        #7
        Are ribs something that I should be letting rest in faux cambro when I'm done, or are they ready to tear into right away?

        Comment


        • Ernest
          Ernest commented
          Editing a comment
          Not necessary but they come out more tender.
          I wrap em in a heavy towel and throw them in a cooler while I clean up. They are still hot after 45 minutes.
      • PaulstheRibList
        Founding Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 1582
        • Lake Charles, LA
        • Started Low-N-Slow BBQ in 2012. Obviously, it's taken hold (in chronological order:
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        #8
        Smoking77 I love how I learned by doing the cook multiple times. I cooked, I ate and shared, I learned. I did it again, and learned some more.

        As you will see, there are a variety of methods that will achieve a fine result. Even on the beloved WSM, there are different ways to do it. Spinaker doesn't used water in the pan, whereas I find great success with about 1.5 inches in my water pan, on a 22.5 inch WSM.

        I don't wrap, and I particularly don't see a need in a WSM. Maybe in a hot stickburner with rocketship fast airflow, you might want to wrap to keep the bark from getting too dry.

        Like the fellas said, cook and make some observations and post some pics of your results! Then repeat.

        I love my WSM's!
        Click image for larger version

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        Comment

        • Ernest
          Founding Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 3436
          • Dallas, Texas
          • Pit Barrel Cooker AKA The Chicken Whisperer, WSM 14.5 AKA Smokey, WSM 22.5 AKA Big Worm, Weber Performer Platinum. KARUBECUE

          #9
          If you are cooking multiple racks, wrap one of them and see which one you prefer.
          As far as temp on WSM, I shot for 225 in theory. But in practice, I don't stress over 225 - 275 range.
          Enjoy the smoking process.

          By the way, I don't wrap on use water.

          Comment

          • Smoking77
            Club Member
            • Mar 2017
            • 323
            • Los Angeles

            #10
            Just picked up the spareribs. Here they are...
            Click image for larger version

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            They're about 4.5 pounds. I'll cut off the rib tips, dry brine those and the rack 'til tomorrow, put the rub on, and then both go on the smoker. In y'alls' experience, do the rib tips take as long as the rest of the rack?

            Also, I was asking the butcher about their whole packer briskets for next time, and after we chatted for a few minutes, he just pulled this out of his fridge and said, "Here, take this trimmed point. No charge." I said thank you thank you thank you, and then ran out of there before he could come to his senses. Here it is. Trimmed a little too much, I think, but still looks good, and free!

            Click image for larger version

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            It weighed in at 2.5 pounds. Once I got home, I noticed the date on it was the 6th (I'm guessing that's delivery). I'm assuming it had been refrigerated properly, but I don't know if it was ever frozen. Still good to cook up? And if so, how long do you think it'll take? The ribs are my priority for tomorrow, but it would be great to cook them at the same time.

            I'm very excited about all of this.

            Comment

            • kmhfive
              Club Member
              • Mar 2017
              • 2986
              • Northern Illinois
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              #11
              The beef should be fine. Give it the sniff test. If it passes, then smoke it! Great deal, BTW; congratulations.

              Comment


              • Smoking77
                Smoking77 commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks! What temp should I pull/check the point? Same as the flat? 200ish? Probe it in the thickest part?

              • kmhfive
                kmhfive commented
                Editing a comment
                Yep. That's what I do.
            • Stevo
              Club Member
              • Jul 2016
              • 486
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              #12
              Don't forget to post some pics! (before you devour it all)

              Comment

              • EdF
                EdF
                Club Member
                • Jul 2016
                • 3228
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                #13
                Originally posted by Spinaker View Post
                Personally, I think you should cook at 275 F, with out a water pan. You will get a drier cooking chamber that will give you some killer bark. Don't worry they won't dry out. I also would not wrap them. I really don't like wrapping ribs. In my experience, It makes them mushy. Without wrapping you can add all the flavors you want to the surface with out having to put it in foil or unwrapping the foil. You can simply paint the surface with any sauce(s) you want! Just my two cents!
                All of what these guys said. I like to go "vanilla" first time I cook something, whether that's a recipe or a new cooker, or whatever. Keep it simple - that gives you a platform for comparison as you change things in different ways. So for my first ribs on a new cooker, I'd go with salt and pepper, maybe a good rub (watch the salt combination), no water pan but a drip pan, temp around 250. Then repeat with variations!

                Comment

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                We've unfortunately had to cancel the 2021 Meat-Up in Memphis. We are rescheduling for March 18-20, 2022. More details and re-booking info coming soon! For now click here for more info.
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