Author Topic: Which side up?  (Read 9182 times)

Offline MoHuka

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Which side up?
« on: March 14, 2013, 03:56:27 am »
My first smoke attempt in December was a brisket that did not get done in time for dinner.  Have been reading all the threads related to briskets and see that it is recommended to put the meat in the Bradley fat side up...I did just the opposite so will do it differently next time.  Was wondering about ribs..is it recommended to smoke/cook ribs meat side up or down?  Forum guidance is appreciated as always
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Offline STLstyle

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Which side up?
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2013, 04:21:16 am »
Ribs I do a 3-2-1 method.  3 hours smoke meat side up, 1-2 hours foiled with honey, dark brown sugar, beer, meat side down, and then 30 min- 1 hour unfoiled meat side up again to firm the bark back up.  If using BBQ sauce the last half hour to set.   You can smoke the last hour if you want as well.

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Offline MoHuka

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Re: Which side up?
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2013, 05:41:34 am »
Thanks a lot and hope that cover is working out for you...
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Offline Caneyscud

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Re: Which side up?
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2013, 07:13:56 am »
I've cooked a bunch of ribs in the bradley (and other smokers and grills) - and foil has seldom touched them, neither has bbq sauce - so neither is needed.  I like a non-braised, less sweet rib without the flavors of the braising liquid  - I'm funny like that!  But then you might.  Point is, you can "use what ya brung".  Their are things that I will use the foil braising technique with (oxtails, thinner chuckies, beef short ribs, shanks, hearts,...) as they beg for it - they would get overdone and dryout before the magic of low-n-slow happens. 

As far as fat side up, fat side down.  I've done side-by-side comparisons on several smokers and can't find an iota of difference - with one exception.  If what you are smoking is on a rack that will be affected by direct heating from the heat - i.e. bottom rack on the Bradley - then I will turn the fat side toward the heat source.  The layer of fat will protect the meat a little so the surface does not get overdone - still wise to rotate rack positions though! 
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Offline Pachanga

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Re: Which side up?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2013, 01:38:44 am »
Have been reading all the threads related to briskets and see that it is recommended to put the meat in the Bradley fat side up...I did just the opposite so will do it differently next time.  Was wondering about ribs..is it recommended to smoke/cook ribs meat side up or down?

"Which side up?" has started many an argument.  The consensus answer will take a few more centuries.  On brisket, I am currently smoking with the fat side toward the heat on all smokers.  The fat acts as a heat shield for the harsher heat.  At least that is what I am doing on the lowest brisket in the Bradley.  I don't think it makes much difference on briskets above the first one.  Except, those briskets will eventually move down as the smoke progresses.  So, I suggest that all briskets be fat side down unless you want to flip them when they become the lowest brisket in a multiple brisket smoke.  The upper briskets will mop the lower ones, a nice bark will develop and all will be right with the world.  Lately, it is more likely than not that I will find myself loading all briskets fat toward the heat.

I think there is enough scientific information available now that proves a fat side up brisket does not magically cause the fat to migrate through and permeate the meat; so, my opinion is the heat shield theory is the ruling reasoning for fat towards the heat................But I am always looking to learn from others' experiences which might influence my thinking.

The most important factor is using your "on board computer" to know your smoker; how the meat reacts to it and adjusting on the fly to varying conditions.

As far as ribs, Caney and I come from the same school of thought; but neither of us made it past the third grade.

Good luck and slow smoking,

Pachanga
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 03:47:48 am by Pachanga »

Offline classicrockgriller

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Re: Which side up?
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2013, 09:33:54 am »
I start off fat side up hoping to get more smoke thru the unfatty side.

Some time after the smoke is done I flip over and rotate racks 180

degrees to help even out the cook. Don't really know if it helps but it

makes me look like I am doing something. :)

Offline Pachanga

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Re: Which side up?
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2013, 04:52:00 pm »
I start off fat side up hoping to get more smoke thru the unfatty side.

Some time after the smoke is done I flip over and rotate racks 180

degrees to help even out the cook. Don't really know if it helps but it

makes me look like I am doing something. :)

Good point CRG.  I will extrapolate that out to mean that the smoker must always be attended.  The pit boss is always busy even when he is not.  There is no time for errands, chores or other nonsense unless otherwise determined by the pit boss that a fishing trip is in order or some other important business that needs attendance.  At which time, the smoker may be temporarily trusted with an apprentice such as a spouse.

Pachanga
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 04:55:30 pm by Pachanga »

Offline FLBentRider

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Re: Which side up?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2013, 04:55:40 pm »
There goes CRG "flipping out" again :)

I do fat side down, subscribing to the heat-shield theory.
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Offline Defiant

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Re: Which side up?
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2013, 07:39:11 am »
I do brisket fat side up and it turns out great.  Try it both ways and see which way you like better.  I have done ribs meat side up and they were great also.  It does make sense to put the meat side down when you wrap it in foil for the second step.  I am going to try that myself next time.  Good luck with your smoke.

Offline MoHuka

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Re: Which side up?
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2013, 08:11:26 am »
Thanks to everyone for the input....I pretty much do what you guys tell me....so far all advice has been golden....I am back in Saudi again but am going to do a brisket as soon as I get home in a couple of weeks...I just grilled a ribeye on an indoor electric grill which is about as good as it gets here..I did happen to have some seasoning from the Carnivore store in Smithville for a taste of home
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