First time smoker. Am I doing this right?

Started by Brosborough, June 24, 2011, 09:36:47 PM

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Well, I've grilled plenty but never tried a smoker.  Never owned one until now. So for the past day I've just been reading and as much as I probably still need to keep reading as I could probably find all my answers I just can't wait any longer. 

I purchased a new digital bradly 4 rack smoker.  Initial pucks are the mesquite and they also had Jim Beam.  Since I got a new smoker and it has the Jim Beam door I thought what the heck, get those pucks as well. 

Bought two racks of pork baby back ribs.

I've got a dry rub ready as well as a sauce.

From what I gather tomorrow I will place 5 pucks in the smoker, and do the curing first for an hour. 

I'll also cover the ribs in the rub and put them in the fridge for Sunday.

Here's where I'd just like to hear from some people with more experience to help get me started on a method to perfect.  I'm going with the 3-2-1 method with slight adjustments for baby back ribs

Step 1:  heat the smoker to 225 degrees and let the ribs come to room temp during this stage.

Step 2:  place the ribs in the smoker. I'll do this initial smoke for 2 hours. Seems to be the preferred time for baby back ribs.  One on the bottom rack and one on the next rack up.  Will I need to rotate these after 1 hour? 

Step 3:  place ribs in foil with some apple juice and return to the smoker, minus the smoke, and cook another 2 hours.  I see everyone say use a splash of juice.  How much exactly is a splash?  Half a cup?  Also, do you wrap each rack of ribs separate with half a cup of juice or put both racks in the same wrap of foil with half a cup of juice, assuming that's what a splash is.

Step 4:  remove ribs from foil, back to smoker and cook an additional hour.  Apply sauce with maybe 20 minutes left. 

Oh, cooking temp for all if this I planned on setting at 225. 

Does that sound right for a first timer?  Probably dumb questions but I just wanted to make sure my first ever try at this isn't a complete failure. 


Seems good, some comments:
I smoke for the whole 3 hours
I put them on the top and next to top (I have a 4 rack)
3-2-1 is primarily for spareribs. I do baby backs at 3-1-1 bt your mileage may vary
When foiling I usually spray with a spray bottle, or just pour on liquid. either case it is probably about 1/3 cup at most. Enough to get the meat wet and some liquid on the bottom of the foil -
The last hour I add sauce and another hour of smoke

Again that is how I do it, others do it other ways. so pick the way you want to try, keep a log and next time adjust accordingly. As Sonny says -"its dead you can't hurt it"

good luck

"It ain't worth missing someone from your past- there is a reason they didn't make it to your future."

"Life is tough, it is even tougher when you are stupid"

Don't curse the storm, learn to dance in the rain.



First off welcome!  I have found with baby backs its more like 2-1-1 for me but will depend on what temp you can keep the cabinet.  It does not take much liquid as Gus said.  Do you have something to track the cabinet temp other than the door thermometer?


I pour in about 2/3 cup of apple juice per baby back slab.  That provides enough leftover juice to make my Vermont Pig Candy glaze afterward during the final hour when I return the ribs to the rack with no foil.  The last 10 minutes before they're done I brush the glaze over the ribs.


Welcome!  With only 2 racks of ribs to cook, I would not place ribs on the lowest rack in the smoker. Come up at least one.  Otherwise the ones on the bottom are going to finish quite a bit quicker than the other.


i would move the  racks up as high as possible and smoke them there, as for the  rest your  right on target


What has already been stated will get you some great ribs.

I just want to add that with the DBS you wont be able to set your temp to 225, the temp adjustments go by 10 so you will haveta go with 220 or 230.

I would use 230.

And keep that vent atleast half way open,,,,,,,,,, never run your smoker with the vent closed.

Take notes.