New Smoker

Started by mikec, May 08, 2007, 04:23:27 PM

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Hi All,

I got my Bradley 6 rack digital last week and smoked my brains out last weekend.  Did brisket and that turned out great.  Salmon was OK.  Need to modify my technique some I think.  My real stumper is ribs.  I have been using a propane smoker and have done ribs in it 5 times.  1 out of 5 was OK, but not great.  Remaining 4 tries got eaten, but smiles did not abound.  Always too tough.  6th try was in the Bradley, and an order for pizza would have been good, but we ate them anyway.  Not the smokers fault but operator error.

I now have the right tool to get the job done (DBS).  I need pointers or a really good recipe to follow for ribs this weekend.  I have a rack of Elk ribs I want to do but not before I know I can get close to right with beef ribs!

Suggestions welcomed.




Hi Mike C (from Mike D aka Consiglieri) and welcome.  Rib toughness may be due to a number of issues, but the two main factors in my mind are (a) cooking temp and (b) cooking duration.   If you're looking for falling off the bone tenderness, you're probably looking at a cooking time of about 6 hrs at a cabinet temp of 210 (Maybe more if you have the vault loaded).   I've noticed with my 6 rack that the cabinet temps vary top to bottom/back to front, so you'll probably need to rotate racks at various intervals too.  One other consideration is that with that length of cooking time, the meat can dry out and become tough.  I learned that after about half your cooking time to start basting with apple juice every 30 minutes or so.

Good indicators of doneness/tenderness:

Approprate internal temperature
Cooking time about 6 hours at 210
Color consistent with adequate cooking
meat pulling back away from the ends of the bones
Limpness (don't know what else to call it): the tendency of the rack of ribs to droop towards the ground when you hold one end
The ability to push a toothpick through the rack without much effort
If you're hungry, no one's looking, and you can trim up the rack to hide what you've done, the ability to pull off some meat or a rib with little effort.

never tried this stuff on elk before; my comments are aimed at pig ribs.
Here's a link to my last effort:


  Hi consiglieri, what is the name of the "kirk" book you are refering to in your link? Thanks   


Welcome to the forum and the wonderful world of BS!  Another point on tender ribs is to pull off the membrane (if there is one) prior to smoking.  FTC can help as well.
Life is short. Smile while you still have teeth.

CLICK HERE for Recipe Site:


Was the toughness the only problem with the ribs or was flavor an issue as well?
Click here for our time proven and tested recipes -


Mike:  Here are the covers of two great books.   The top is the Kirk Book.



  Thanks for your help with the books I'm off to Amazon to place my order.  :)


Only done pork ribs, so not sure if it applies or not, but I hose mine down with apple juice every 1/2hr after the first 1.5 hours of smoking. They usually take 6 hours and 210-230 and I rotated the racks every hour, top to bottom, turn them around front to back as well, for even heat.
Lead by example


I cook my ribs a little less, 5 1/2 hrs and just a few minutes (10 or so) under tinfoil while I do final dinner prep.


Hi Mike, Welcome to the forum.  I look forward to hearing about your smoking adventures. Please feel free to share and also to benefit from the information provided on the forum the many friendly people.
May the fragrance of thin blue smoke always grace your backyard.

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OK as a huge rib fan who has been shooting for perfection for years with many different grills, I finally bought a 6 rack DBS and have made 2 attempts...  1st attempt, I rubbed the racks and let them sit overnight, then popped them in the preheated smoker at 210-220 for 4 hours.  I FTC'd them for an hour or so before serving, I did not sauce this batch, I wanted to see how the flavor was without sauce.  They had excellent smoke flavor, I missed the sticky sauce and they were not tender enough for my liking.

Take 2 last weekend.  I rubbed the racks and threw them right in the smoker at the same 210-220 temp, I found no real difference between rub and go and rub and letting sit over night.  I let these 3 racks go for 6 hours, then pulled them and popped them on a high heat grill for saucing (roughly 30 minutes or so with indirect heat), I did not FTC this batch.  These were by far the best ribs I have ever made.  I think the extra time in the smoker really made the difference rendering the fats and producing a really tender fall off the bone rib.

In both scenarios I had a rack of thick cut bacon rendering on the top rack dripping over the ribs below, I smoked for 4 hours, and I rotated racks every hour and a half or so and sprayed with a mixture of apple juice and brown sugar at every rotation.

By the way...  Welcome from another Mike C. in Michigan!!!


My 2 cents says to high of temps and too short of time.And remember weigh is a factor also .15 POUNDS of baby backs should be 4-5 max on smoke cause thats all the smoke will penatrate.And another 3-4 hours at 190 in the bs or oven so 7-9 hours tops.With apple juice sprayed on top .This should give you nice results.My 2 cents.And dont be afraid to check as you go.Once again checking to get stuff right and being able to pull off the same results time after time .Requires this checkin deal.If your write down the times as you go during the cooking part you will be able to do the same time after time after time.Trust me this is how ive done ribs for a long time and there fall off the bone ,

Just another weekend with the smoker...


Rat is right on with his ribs!
Life is short. Smile while you still have teeth.

CLICK HERE for Recipe Site: