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Thread: Rib Question

  1. #1
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    Rib Question

    I'm going to focus on spare ribs for the next couple of smokes, and I want to max out capacity on the 18.5". From what I gather (and the 3-2-1 recipe on this site), I can fit 3 slabs per grate by snaking the slabs on the rack. The thing I can't figure out is, when it comes time to foil the slabs, do I just stack the foiled slabs on top of eachother (assuming they'll shrink and will fit), and then put back into the rack for the last portion of the smoke? Or do I just skip the foiling if I want to max out capacity and keep the ribs in the racks? Searched a bunch with no luck on this one, any help would be greatly appreciated, got a party to prepare for!!

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    TVWBB Hall of Fame ChuckO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelP View Post
    I'm going to focus on spare ribs for the next couple of smokes, and I want to max out capacity on the 18.5". From what I gather (and the 3-2-1 recipe on this site), I can fit 3 slabs per grate by snaking the slabs on the rack. The thing I can't figure out is, when it comes time to foil the slabs, do I just stack the foiled slabs on top of each other (assuming they'll shrink and will fit), and then put back into the rack for the last portion of the smoke? Or do I just skip the foiling if I want to max out capacity and keep the ribs in the racks? Searched a bunch with no luck on this one, any help would be greatly appreciated, got a party to prepare for!!
    If you get a rib rack ($5-$10 at Home Depot) you can easily have five ribs (per grate)

    I'm not a fan of foiling, I prefer to cook Ribs (Baby Backs) at low temp (225 degrees) for a long long long time (five hours is not uncommon for me) however if you really wanted to foil them, you just pick up the whole rack of ribs, lay down a large sheet of foil on your grate, put the rack of ribs back in (on the foil) and wrap them all up, you're good to go. The reason I don't foil is (imho) foiled ribs become "soggy soft" and I prefer to have "crusty soft" ribs. Ribs are done when you can stick a tooth pick in them effortlessly

    Enjoy your rib cook, post photos of your cook
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckO View Post
    If you get a rib rack ($5-$10 at Home Depot) you can easily have five ribs (per grate)

    I'm not a fan of foiling, I prefer to cook Ribs (Baby Backs) at low temp (225 degrees) for a long long long time (five hours is not uncommon for me) however if you really wanted to foil them, you just pick up the whole rack of ribs, lay down a large sheet of foil on your grate, put the rack of ribs back in (on the foil) and wrap them all up, you're good to go. The reason I don't foil is (imho) foiled ribs become "soggy soft" and I prefer to have "crusty soft" ribs. Ribs are done when you can stick a tooth pick in them effortlessly

    Enjoy your rib cook, post photos of your cook
    Chuck- thanks for your tips. If I were to go with a slab in each slot of the rack, would definitely have to trim a rib or two off the side as some slabs would be too long for the 18.5". It would be impossible to foil all those ribs (unless you stacked up the bundles), but I might have to try and leave them unfoiled. I smoked spare ribs one time so far (last weekend) and used foil (turned out great), but it was only 2 slabs
    Last edited by MichaelP; 06-16-2017 at 06:39 AM.

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    TVWBB Hall of Fame ChuckO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelP View Post
    It would be impossible to foil all those ribs (unless you stacked up the bundles)
    I've done it in the past. You just get the extra wide foil (24"...?) and peal off a long sheet of it (3') lift off the ribs (in the rack) lay the foil down and, put the rack of ribs back on and wrap them up. Foiling does speed up the cook, I'll give it that much, but I prefer the long wait and the crust you get when you don't foil
    85 78

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    I've done 7 racks of spares at one time using the 3-2-1 method in the WSM 18. Yes, after you foil you can stack them any which way. I returned them to the racks for a bit after removing from foil. It worked fine.

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    I did 5 in a rack, but it was spares and BB.https://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?36878-Ribbage

    Tim
    Different smokes for different folks. Wish the Dollar Store sold gas!

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    Did some smoking over the weekend and things make more sense now. I noticed the slabs definitely shrink enough to lay down on the smoker if I wanted to foil. I started with 2 shoulders the night before. In the morning, I moved the shoulders to the bottom grate (questionable move) and threw on 4 slabs of spare ribs. 3 snaked onto the rack and one next to it rolled up. Didn't use foil. Ran into issues as we were running late (plan was to bring to parents house for Father's Day). Pulled the ribs off at about 5.5 hours. The shoulders got up to 186 and stayed there, super frustrating. Wife yelling at me, kids all cranky wanting to go, it was rough. So I pulled and foiled the shoulders. This was my first time with a shoulder (last week's was a Boston butt), but really wanted to get to 195, where I pulled the butt last week. It definitely seemed a tiny tiny bit dry to me, wasn't sure if it was from pulling off too soon or just the cut of meat. Ribs were good, but to me not as good as when I foiled them. Next time will definitely start earlier (especially with more meat), maybe put the ribs on the lower grate, and will be foiling for sure. Brought a leftover slab of ribs to the office and they tasted better than I remembered. And I'm also all of a sudden the most popular person in the office
    Last edited by MichaelP; 06-19-2017 at 10:54 AM.

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    TVWBB Hall of Fame ChuckO's Avatar
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    Remember, BBQ is suppose to be fun. Don't take on big jobs until you're ready. Read the forum as much as possible, you'll look the tricks of the trade and then the only thing the wife will be yelling at you is for more BBQ
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