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ajax
03-31-2012, 04:00 PM
Just put my first load of meat into my newly acquired 1400. Trying spare ribs to get a feel for it. Just rubbed and put them on two racks at 225. Going to wait 5 hours before checking. My question is about checking for doneness. I read many of you testing ribs by pulling/twisting the bone which is what I've always done . The big instruction sign on front of the 1400 cautions against opening the door while the smoker is cooking. How do you guys check your ribs. Turn the smoker control to off or just open the door cautiously and quckly pull and close it back up? Do you check at intervals or try for just once? Thanks for any experienced advice.
Just thought otf another....can I use my little oven thermometer that sits on the rack to check my electric kitchen oven to check the smokers temperature against what the dial says it should be?

BillyBob
03-31-2012, 06:23 PM
Ajax...I don't turn mine off...I just open the door(carefully it will be hot) and check once near the time I think they are done. Yes you can use your oven therometer to check but do this only when you open the door to check the doneness. Most of us use the Maverick 732 and run your probe(s) through the hole in the top.

BillyBob

Tampasteve
03-31-2012, 07:17 PM
Curiosity has bitten us all. The temptation to open the door is a man thing. Just remember that every time to door is open its adds at least 30 minutes to your cook time. And just keep a good set of notes and before you know it you'll be pleased. And WELCOME !!!!

bigwalleye
03-31-2012, 07:28 PM
I've foiund that while a lot of items in the smoker are a "temp" thing, ribs are more of a "time" thing. 5 hours should be pretty close in total, but experience will be your best guide here to get the flavor, texture and bark the way you want it. I just checked my smoker diary. I run 3.5 hours at 250, foil the racks for 1 and 1/4 hours, then take them out of the foil for 45 minutes more, and sauce a little at that point. Just me, and I use white sugar in my rub, but I find that thr foil drives the temp a little higher, softens the bark a bit and breaks down the last of any collagen and fat, and the last 45 sets the bark and caramelizes the sauce. While I'm in for 5 hours, it's broken into a series of steps to get the results I want.

Smoke on!

ajax
03-31-2012, 09:15 PM
Thanks for the tips. The spare ribs turned out pretty well for my first attempt. Checked them at 4 hours with a pull on the bone. Left them in for another 30 minutes and then tented them in foil and let them rest for 15 minutes in the kitchen. They were a little too smoky for my taste. I used about 2 ounces of hickory chips. They didn't fall off the bone. I like to have to bite then have the meat pull off the bone fairly cleanly which it did. Now it's on to a 6 lb brisket flat tomorrow that I plan to put on early in the morning and see if it'll be ready for dinner. If not I've still got some ribs left to get me by.

bigwalleye
04-01-2012, 09:04 AM
Rather than just tenting the ribs, try wrapping them tight. The bark will soften and the moisture will go up. Take a look at my earlier post and increase time in the foil and decrease the final "out of foil" time. That might move you in the direction you seek.

Re: wood, stronger flavored woods can easily overpower meat, but try to decide if it's a case of "too smoky" or "too hickory". While each person's taste is different, and experimentation is the key, try chunk wood and perhaps less of it by weight. Milder woods will impart less of the wood's flavor but still give the smoke. Apple is a milder flavor, and it's harder to use too much.

ajax
04-01-2012, 09:44 PM
Thanks bigwalleye. Your description is correct. The hickory is good but after only eating a little it gets a bit overpowering. Besides apple chips do you have any other favorite woods or combinations that you use for good but not overly strong smoke flavor? I think I remember hearing a combo of hickory and oak being used by some bbq joint on one of the tv food shows I watch. Apple sounds interesting. Do you combine it with hickory or is it strong enough on its own? BTW - my 5 lb flat took 12 hours, including the famous "stall" at around 165 degrees for about 3 hours. I didn't foil it but just waited it out and pulled it off at 12 hours with a temp of 190. Good flavor(strong hickory again) and a slight chew but not tough and very moist. Next time I'll try the foil wrap when it stalls to see how it compares to " it's done when it's done". So far I'm extremely pleased with my first two attempts. Seems like the ST is pretty foolproof.

bigwalleye
04-02-2012, 07:39 PM
Apple is plenty strong on it's own. I have run it straight on porkribs, cheese, shrimp, and on my pork butts. Sometimes I'll throw in a little cherry on pork ribs or butts.

See my other post re: your prime rib, I've offered a little more re: wood there.

Smoke on!

DReeves
04-12-2012, 08:11 AM
Ajax,

This is also a good point to add: start a little notebook, keeping notes on which wood you like with each meat, as well as cooking time, technique, etc. As you "age" like some of us, you will be glad you did ;)

ajax
04-20-2012, 09:53 AM
DReeves--Good idea. I'll start a smokin' book today. At my age I can hardly remember how many beers I drink waiting for the meat to finish...Come to think of it, maybe it's not my age that makes me forget!

DReeves
04-20-2012, 09:57 AM
Yeah, I think many of us here (I for one) suffer from CRS disease.

It's been said "the mind is the second thing to go...." Like hell if I can remember the first :D

BillyBob
04-20-2012, 10:25 PM
:DI started a book years ago....can't find it anymore!!!!:D

BillyBob