Preface – This was the first cook with the Slow-n-Sear in the Weber 22″ Kettle.
11/08/2015 – “Pork Loin Baby Back Ribs”, 4.5 lbs, bought at HEB two weeks before and frozen.
The day before thawed out the rack of ribs and rubbed it with Stub’s Hot Pork Rub we made. Rolled it up and into a 1 gallon zip lock bag.
Smoke Day – About 2:30 PM – Lit two sheets of newspaper under 12 Kingsford Blue Bag briquettes in one end of the SnS but that did not work. Moved them to the chimney. When lit poured them in the SnS and added coals up to the edge. Added four chunks of pecan that held up the hinged grate and to some extent the entire grate. [see notes below about too many briquettes]. Placed aluminum foil over lower grate to force air draft through the SnS. Let it get to 300 per the dome bi-metallic thermometer and 200 on the grate with another bi-metallic thermometer.
Laid the ribs on the upper grate and left it for about an hour with bottom and top draft ports at 50%. Checked the bi-metallic thermometer and the grate temp was at 300 so reduced draft upper and lower to 25%. Temp consistent at 250-300 until about 5:30 PM. Grabbed with tongs 1/3 and what hung over had wide cracks between the bones. Removed at 7:00 PM and wrapped tight in aluminum foil for Mary to warm up tomorrow night. Cut the rack into thirds and wrapped in HD aluminum foil. Left them out for an hour or so to cool then into the refrigerator.
The next afternoon Mary took the foil-wrapped ribs out of the frig, let warm up about an hour then, still wrapped, into the convection oven at 225-deg from 3:00 pm to 5:30 pm. Turned off the oven and left them inside until about 6:45 pm.
About 7:00 pm I opened the foil that was still very warm and the great smokey pork smell filled the room. The ribs were very moist. They sliced apart smoothly but the meat did not fall off the bone. It was tender and pulled from the bone easily when bitten as it should. The color was largely black but there was very little sooty oily residue. The darkness was another indication it cooked too hot–I think. They tasted great.
- Alligator clips really stopped the smoke leak around the lid.
- Used too many briquettes. See photos at http://www.abcbarbecue.com/#!lighting-instructions/c1r27
- See the above link for vent settings as they say the bottom vent once well lit, should be only “cracked” and the top to 50%. Mine was a lot more and that is why it seemed to be too hot.
- Who knows if the bi-metallic thermometer was accurate but… The grill must have been hotter than the thermometer read due to the wide cracks appearing during the bend test 1-2 hours earlier than it should have per http://www.abcbarbecue.com/#!ribs/c4gu.
- When took the meat off at 6:00 pm saved ~10 briquettes from the fire. The wood chunks had all burned-even the one over the unlit briquettes had turned to charcoal. The coals would have burned another 2-3 hours.
- The fire seamed to be more intense than I would have thought. Likely the aluminum foil over the lower grate force fed air to the burning briquettes and that made it hotter–especially with the vents open too much. Also had too many briquettes. See other Next Time note below.
- Once it heats up with the ports wide open turn them down to 1/2 top and only a crack for the lower. Then the aluminum foil on the lower rack will have value in forcing the small amount of air through the fire in the SnS. And the small amount of air will support the right amount of fire to maintain the right temp. At least that is my hope.
- For a one 4 lb. rack the SnS does not need to be level full of briquettes.
- If it seems to hot (until I get a digital thermometer) try turning up a corner of the lower grate’s aluminum foil to not force as much oxygen through the SnS.
- Count the briquettes as there are to be 80-90 or one full chimney.