First Smoke - Ribs


Paul Johnson

New member
Hello all,

I've been lurking around for a quite some time and I finally made the plunge and purchased a 22 WSM.

I checked the lid thermometer in boiling water and it read 205 degrees. I also checked a probe type thermometer that I've been using and it read 205 as well. I know it's a little low but if both are reading the same thing they should be fine. I hope

Anyways....I'm planning on smoking 3 racks of baby backs and they are all just under 3lbs each.

I'm hoping from all the reading I've done that I have a good base to start with. I'm going to dump one chimney of unlit and add about 30 briquettes of lit along with a 2 to 1 ratio of mesquite and cherry. Water pan will be almost full with warm water.

The weather is about 40 degrees with light wind. I'm thinking of doing the 3-1-1/2 or 1 method. Do you guys think I can maintain 225 to 250 or so with this amount of fuel or should I add more to start?

In a smaller weber I was only using Kingsford briquettes...however, after reading several good posts I will be using Maple Leaf briquettes today and possibly forever



Paul Johnson

New member

I just wanted to give an update to my first smoke.

I ended up starting with 1.5 chimneys of ML briquettes with 30 lit ones.

I added the 3 slabs right after adding the lit charcoal.

Here is my log so far with temps coming from the lid thermometer which registered 205 degrees in boling water.

12:30 All vents 100% - Top vent will stay 100%
12:45 200 - Bottom vents set at 50%
1:00 230 - 50%
1:15 252 - 50%
1:30 255 - 50%
1:45 260 - 50%
2:00 260 - 50%
2:15 257 - 50%
2:30 264 - 50%
2:45 267 - 50%
3:00 264 - 50%
3:15 260 - 50%
3:30 261 - 50% - Foiled & spritzed with apple juice.
3:40--Ribs back on, set bottom vents to 25%
4:00 250 - 25%
4:15 246 - 25%
4:40 250 - 25% - Took ribs out of foil
5:00 240 - 25%
5:15 245 - Sauced ribs twice
5:30 Ribs are done.

So far the temps looks pretty good. What do you guys think? Temps look okay?

Well I have to say the ribs came out fantastic and were the best ribs I have ever cooked. I'm very happy with the WSM during the first cook.

Thanks to the members for sharing such valuable tips!


K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Yes. They are higher than your target (no big deal) but this can shorten cook time. Test the ribs for tenderness to determine done. Don't cook by time alone.

Have fun. Welcome to the board.

Paul Johnson

New member
Thanks for the website Allen. I checked my elevation and the boiling point is 211 so it's a little off. I'm not sure why both thermometers were off by 6 degrees.


Doug Wade

TVWBB Super Fan
I think that kind of temperature difference is in the category of odd but of no real importance. Stick a thermometer in the oven and see how much the temperature drifts around over a couple of hours - it's probably just keeping it in a 50 degree range.

Anyway your temperature control seems fine. The food was good, right? So there ya go.

If you were running with water you might have been able to go at 25% the whole time and save some fuel and the water would last longer. Next time once it hits 200 degrees go to 25% and see how it compares.