Tuesday, November 06, 2007

First Backwoods Smoke

Sunday, I christened our new Backwoods Party.

I originally had planned to do my first cook Saturday, but the weather was really bad here in Southeastern Connecticut, so I pushed it back to Sunday.

I decided to cook two racks of spare ribs. I didn't want to try to do too much for the first time out of the box.
I trimmed the two racks down to St. Louis style.

Then, they were rubbed with Q Haven rib rub.

First, I listened to the advice of other Backwoods smokers and sprayed the entire cooking area with Pam cooking spray. I decided to start with a half chimney of charcoal briquettes to see how long it would hold temperature with a small amount of charcoal. I used Rancher (thanks Brendan!).

The temperature slowly rose to 225, and with very little air flow adjustment it stayed there. I added three chunks of apple wood and one chunk of hickory.

The ribs went on, and cooked for two and a half hours at 225.

The needle never moved from 225 for that whole time.

Opened after two and a half hours and sprayed the ribs with apple juice.

Back in the smoker for another hour. The temprature only went up to just over 200 after I opened it and sprayed the ribs. So I added another half chimney of Rancher and it quickly went back up to 225.

After three and a half hours, the ribs went into foil for a little more than an hour with apple juice. Temperature remained steady at just over 225 throughout this period.
Out of the foil, then back into the smoker for another hour. Then I glazed with sauce a couple of times and they were done.

We had some friends over, and the ribs disappeared quickly. I forgot to take pictures of the sliced finished product. I thought they were pretty good, but could have used a little more time in foil. They were a little tough. I'm trying to learn to cook good spares, but am finding the process difficult. They are much harder for me than baby backs or loin backs, but that's a discussion for a later post.

Anyway, it was great to use the Backwoods for the first time. Next, I will do an overnight cook with it and really "stretch her legs"to see how long it can hold temperature. Probably pork butts, as I am working on a new pork recipe for next season.


Ernest said...

If those are not smitfield or IBC packs that and the fact you are smoking too low at 225 is the reason for toughness. Never ever trust your gauge if its on the body of any smoker until you have learned its relation to the temp on the rack. The champions all smoke at much higher temps but not so high as to have bone shine. Billy Bones long time champion does 325 350 making foil useless and the 3 2 1 process obsolete. buy so much ribs i never take a look at the pack so i don't recognize it. If it says "enhanced with solution or broth" STAY AWAY.

Ted Lorson said...


With all due respect, I think I have won enough awards that I have a pretty good idea how to cook real BBQ. And cooking at 350 is NOT REAL BBQ. Maybe you should read some of the posts I have written about grand and reserve grand championships I have won.

Buzz Rose said...

Ted, I am a first time Backwoods smoker user and first time in about 30 years since I have smoked anything. Reading your recipe for success, how long do you allow each "glaze" to sit before next and final?