Well, I did it. I cooked the menu listed for Monday. Man was it good. In a nutshell, here is what went down. The weather was pretty but boy was is hot. The air temp was at about 88°F but with the heat index it went to 95°F. Note to self: need to build a cover over the smoking area soon. A light southern wind at 5 mph was a well-accepted blessing. I’ll skip all the negative things that happened as I was trying to get the chimney lit. I have been having problems with this one for a while. I have tried everything I know to do and it still will not light. Even placed vegetable oil on the paper wicks this time. Still no go. The only thing I can think of is I might be putting too many coals in and there is not enough room for ventilation. I also have just about decided that there is a Weber Chimney in my immediate future. Possibly two. I placed a chimney of unlit coals in the SFB and when the finally lit chimney was ready I poured them on top of the unlit coals. Placed 4 chucks of hickory in the mix and things were looking good.
While everything was getting hot I had time to get to know my ribs a little better. I have been guilty of not having my own special rub that I use. I have tried store bought. ‘Nuff said. I have tried several variations that I have found online at places like BBQ Forum and Barbecue Bible and others. Everyones tastes are different and I still had not found the one that “hit the spot”. That was before this time.
I made a post the other day about Dr. BBQ’s new book. This one is a keeper. I decided to give his Big Time BBQ Rub and his Thick and Sticky BBQ Sauce a run around the block. I am not a big fan of chili powder (and this rub has 2 TBS) but I think it made the difference in this rub. It not only gave the ribs a deep dark color before they even hit the heat, but it also pushed the taste into the “oh so good” category.
Anyway, with “Ole Smokey” fired up and ready to go, I placed the pan of BBQ beans on the charcoal tray of the CG. Then I placed the ribs over the beans so that the beans would catch all the juices that fell. The temperature gauge was holding steady at 225°F and the smoke smelled real good.
At the 2-hour mark, I removed the beans and gave them a good stir and placed foil over them and stuck them in the oven to hold their heat. I also removed the ribs and checked temp for the first time. Those babies were readying 155°-160° and some of the meat had already started pulling away from the bone. I decided to go ahead and foil them. Due to the already high temp I knew they would not last the remaining 2 hours of my 2-1-1. Because I did not want them to dry out I poured some apple juice in the foil and sealed them up. Placed them back on the grill for about 40 minutes then pulled them again. They were dead on 170°. I removed them from the foil. I took several of the burning coal from the SFB and placed them on the grill side of the smoker. After moving the grates over the coals I placed the ribs over the coals and grilled them for about 10 minutes covering them with the thick and sticky sauce. These dudes were looking good. Add some cornbread casserole and baked sweet potatoes and you have a plateful of “Surely goodness and have mercy”.
All in all this was a good cook. Still fighting a problem getting the coals lit. Still want to make some grill mods to the CG but I am very pleased with my product. Check out the pics and let me know what you think.
1) Ribs and Beans
2) Ribs with Dr. BBQ'a Big Time BBQ rub
3) Ribs on smoker
4) Finished ribs
5) Finished beans