Baby Back ribs from Tuffy Stone

Lynn Dollar

TVWBB All-Star
To make Smoke Day more special, I joined the 26'er Club. Bought a 26" Kettle from Ace Hardware.

And to break it in, I found a baby back cook from Tuffy Stone's book " Cool Smoke " , that I'd never done before that can be found here ...


And a similar version from the Cool Smoke site that's left out a couple ingredients that are harder to source , like sun dried cherries, that Mrs Dollar found at Natural Grocers

Got the new 26'er home and assembled. Its new , shiny, and huge compared to my 1999 Kettle.

Even has brand new charcoal baskets, which I will put to one side and instead of a drip pan, I've just lined with foil. I put 40 Weber Briquettes in the chimney and added a couple small chunks of cherry, I mean really , what else would ya smoke these with :)

Got the cooker up to a steady temp and cracked open a pilsner. It settled in at 298* and held rock solid.

I bought a case of baby backs from US Chef Store last month. I expected them to be packed two slabs to a package, to my surprise, there were three slabs. Dang good thing I'd bought my new 26. And this had to be an omen that the 26 was a good purchase :cool:

This was one hour into the cook, at the first spritz with apple juice.

Well past an hour into the cook, another pilsner and its still holding steady temp at 300*

A look at my set up, sort of Slow'NSearish. The one rack of ribs had double bones, and on the meaty end they were smashed. I had to cut a lot away to ensure there were no pieces of small bone in the meat.

At two hours , recipe called for wrapping in foil, without any liquid. I thought it needed something to help braise the ribs, but they created plenty of their own au jus.

At that point, the temp had slipped to 275 so I added 10 briquettes. It quickly got back up to 310.

I have always served ribs dry with sauce on the side. But Tuffy says to sauce these at the end of the cook, and since Mrs Dollar made the cherry barbecue sauce, we decided to go by the book and sauce them.

We wrapped at 2 hours and they cooked another 1.5 hour, which was too long, they were fall off the bone. And they were a bit dark, we should've wrapped sooner ........but hey, nothing goes perfect in my cooks

But still, they were delicious. This is a cook I will probably do again. And I'm very impressed with the 26. This Kettle has a lot of potential for different cooks.



TVWBB Wizard
Congrats on your Big Boy! Thanks for sharing this post; it was an enjoyable read and your ribs look awesome. Mine don't stay shiny very long, and I don't do much cleaning :(

Lynn Dollar

TVWBB All-Star
Congrats on your Big Boy! Thanks for sharing this post; it was an enjoyable read and your ribs look awesome. Mine don't stay shiny very long, and I don't do much cleaning :(
I'm gonna get one of these to clean grills. And the sauce in that recipe made a mess of my new 26 grill ;)


Jan M.

TVWBB Member
Good looking ribs!
Damn I never used my 26" Kettle as yes. Maybe I should try it with some ribs. :)

Monty House

To paraphrase the late painter Bob Ross, "Happy little accidents." That looks like great eating, and I applaud how you jumped in with enthusiasm. Have fun with your terrific new Kettle.

Bill W San Diego

TVWBB Super Fan
Hi Lynn, Jim Lampe posted a "hot & fast" baby back rib cook were I think it was 45min indirect 30min wrapped, 5min over direct heat and 10min indirect and sauced. Please do a search, Hot and Fast, and look for Mr Lampe's post. Myself and many others here have and continue to use this method with wonderful results. Good luck and good cooking.


Lynn Dollar

TVWBB All-Star
Bill, I'm really not a fan of wrapping baby backs. On the Kettle or the 26'er, I'm already smoking at 300* to 350*, that's plenty fast for me. Baby backs have plenty of marbling to handle those temps. Wrapping speeds up the cook and can limit the amount of smoke on the meats, but I really think its more trouble than its worth. At 325*, my baby backs take about an hour and a half to two hours, that's plenty fast for me.

And really, I won't wrap spare ribs either. There are times I do the comp thing, coat the ribs with honey, brown sugar, and butter and then wrap, but that makes a really sweet rib and that's not something I want on every cook.

I kinda think wrapping is over rated. On a brisket cook, it helps make a good bark if using butcher paper. Using foil makes a mush bark and its really brazing the meat. The real value of wrapping is it speeds the cook along and most of the time, I'm not in a hurry.

But thanks, I'll go look for Jim's cook.