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Author Topic: 4 Racks of Pork Ribs  (Read 505 times)

Offline Mayweather

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4 Racks of Pork Ribs
« on: June 17, 2017, 03:33:09 pm »
Hey all,

Tried some Brisket Last week with mixed results, however this coming weekend i will be smoking 4 racks of pork ribs in my Bradley Smoker. My questions are:

- When doing 4 Racks, do i need to increase the temp of the cook given the amount of meat in the smoker?
- Do i need to rotate the racks? And if so how often, and to what positions? Bottom to top and then slide everything down whilst turning them 180 degrees at the same time?
- I plan to smoke for 3 hours, wrap and then put them in my oven to finish them off. Given i wouldnt have opened the smoke tower for a full 3 hours the ribs on the lower rack are going to be more cooked than the ribs on the rop rack. Is this going to be an issue when i transfer them into the oven?
- The Bradley struggles to get to about 250F oven temp. I may have to wait hours in order to get in the 250-300 range. It is winter here in Australia so this may be adding to that struggle. Is this normal, and if so are there any tricks i can use to help it get up to temp faster. For example when i open the door to put the meat in after pre-heating it can take 45 mins - 1 hour to get back up to the 225F temp i am smoking at. TedEBear, i saw you post in a thread many years ago about adding a second heating element to the DBS 4 Rack. Is it possible for someone like myself who has zero electrical knowledge to modify my smoker?

Thanks for the help all. I am really starting to enjoy smoking meat, its a very interesting and relaxing way to spend the weekend :)
« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 05:13:43 pm by Mayweather »

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: 4 Racks of Pork Ribs
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2017, 02:14:27 am »
Four racks of ribs is a lot for the Bradley, so keep your vent fully opened. What type of ribs are you doing?

- When doing 4 Racks, do i need to increase the temp of the cook given the amount of meat in the smoker?

No! I would preheat the smoker as high as you can get it prior to placing the ribs into the cabinet, then reset your cabinet temperature to the temperature you want to cook at.


- Do i need to rotate the racks? And if so how often, and to what positions? Bottom to top and then slide everything down whilst turning them 180 degrees at the same time?

If you are going to move them to the kitchen oven after applying smoke, I wouldn't bother rotating. If you are going to fully cook them in the Bradley, I would rotate (as you described), once after foiling, then again the last hour or so - when the foil is removed.


- I plan to smoke for 3 hours, wrap and then put them in my oven to finish them off. Given i wouldnt have opened the smoke tower for a full 3 hours the ribs on the lower rack are going to be more cooked than the ribs on the rop rack. Is this going to be an issue when i transfer them into the oven?

Maybe a little more cooked, but it shouldn't make that much of a difference, but as I mentioned earlier - the three hour mark would have been the time I would have done the first rotation. I mainly cook spare ribs, and when I cook multiple racks of ribs, they never finish at the same time. Some may have more connective tissue than the other, some may be thicker than others etc. As for foiling, you don't want to foil too long, maybe 2 hours at the most for spare ribs; or one hour for back ribs. Once you get close to the tenderness you like, then cook about an additional hour unfoiled - sauce them at this time if you like. If you like sweet ribs and going to foil, do a search for competition style ribs.

Example: Competition Ribs
Pay attention to the part where he foils. That is liquid margarine (Parkay) he is using. You can substitute pats of butter, or solid margarine. It may sound like a lot, but I use 1/4 cup of brown sugar on both sides of the ribs, if you are using butter - use 2 - 3 tablespoons per side.


- The Bradley struggles to get to about 250F oven temp. I may have to wait hours in order to get in the 250-300 range. It is winter here in Australia so this may be adding to that struggle. Is this normal, and if so are there any tricks i can use to help it get up to temp faster. For example when i open the door to put the meat in after pre-heating it can take 45 mins - 1 hour to get back up to the 225F temp i am smoking at.

Sit the meat at room temperature for an hour or so prior to smoking/cooking. Place a brick that can fit between the water bowl, and side wall. This will help a little for heat recovery, after opening the door and loading the meat. Preheat the Bradley much higher than you plan to cook at, then after loading reset the heat to what you plan to cook at. Load the meat as quickly as possible. With this size load, leave the vent fully open.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline Mayweather

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Re: 4 Racks of Pork Ribs
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2017, 04:48:25 am »
Thanks for all your help Habanero. I did set the PID to 300F today to pre-heat but after 1 hour it only managed to reach about 250 so i put two racks of ribs in this weekend to do a test run before i have visitors next weekend (for the 4 racks). I left them for 3 hours in the smoker, then 2 hours foiled in the oven with a bit of butter and apple juice. After the foil i placed them in a bbq tray uncovered for 1 hour. The ribs turned out decent. A little tender but still too much bite for my liking and a little too dry. My water pan was full the entire time so not sure how to get the more moist.

I like my ribs to practically be tearing off the bone...similar to a long slow cooked lamb shank. I am thinking that in order to get this texture and keep it moist i may need to spritz the meat at the 1.5 hour mark during smoking (but im also worried about the amount of time it takes for the Bradley to come up to temp again). I am thinking i might also foil for 3 hours such as  3-3-1 to get them extremely moist. I have never tried the trick with the brick to retain heat so i will give that a go on the weekend with the 4 racks.

What do you think about using 3-3-1 to achieve the type of rib i described above? Do you have your smoker modified Habanero with an additional heating element?

Offline TedEbear

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Re: 4 Racks of Pork Ribs
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2017, 04:50:24 am »
TedEBear, i saw you post in a thread many years ago about adding a second heating element to the DBS 4 Rack. Is it possible for someone like myself who has zero electrical knowledge to modify my smoker?

I followed a procedure from the old Bradley user recipe site.  I made mine fairly easy by drilling a couple of holes in the shield to hold the second element and then wiring the element ends together with two 3-4" pieces of high temp wire that I found at an appliance repair shop.  I used ring terminals and removed the plastic insulation.  The original instructions say to run the high temp wires out to the terminals on the plug at the back of the cabinet instead of directly to the original element.  I've had mine with the short wire loops for 4 years with no problem.

The main thing you have to be careful with on this is drilling the large holes in the heat shield.  The thin metal tends to tear easily when it gets to around 1/2" in diameter.  I used drill bits in increasing size and then a cone shaped bit to enlarge them in the final step for a snug fit.

Everyone recommends that if you increase the heating capacity to use a PID controller to regulate the temp because the stock Bradley wasn't designed to handle more than the 500W that was in it from the factory.  Since you said you have an Auber PID this shouldn't be a problem.







« Last Edit: June 18, 2017, 04:52:24 am by TedEbear »

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: 4 Racks of Pork Ribs
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2017, 01:11:26 pm »
What type of ribs are you cooking - spare ribs or baby backs (back ribs). Baby backs require less time. I'm not sure why your ribs came out dry. Usually foiling will keep them moist, and speed up the cooking process. Make sure you foil them tightly to prevent any steam from escaping. Cooking longer while foiled will make them more tender, so using a 3-3-1 will help with the tenderness; but use those time lines as a guideline. For tough cuts of meat time and temperature are guidelines. Your goal is tenderness

I always cook for tenderness or doness. That can mean either a shorter or longer cooking time, or a higher or lower temperature. For ribs I use a bamboo skewer, and probe the meat. It is slides in and out with very little resistance, then they are bite off the bone - the way I like them. For the way you like them, use a pair of tongs, pick the ribs up by one of the ends, and if the ribs tear apart, they are the way you probably like them.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline Mayweather

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Re: 4 Racks of Pork Ribs
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2017, 02:55:35 pm »
Thanks for the advice. I read some other forums where people have replaced the 500w heating element with a 900W element therefore saving having to drill etc. Is this an option for me and are there any risks in doing so?