Greetings to all. I have had a large BGE for about a year and a half and have only really had the time to do some steaks on it. Don't get me wrong, the steaks have been awesome, but this year, I have pledged to the Gods that I will spend as much time as necessary to unleash the power of this bad boy. This could be too long a read so if it bores you feel free to look away, I won't be offended.
My first mission was to attempt ribs. I would like to take a quick moment to thank everyone on this board, your extensive posts and helpful responses to others made me feel like I could eliminate many problems that I would have encountered. So I settled on two slabs of St. Louis style pork ribs. I dusted them overnight with some Stubbs rub (which was the least salty I could find and I didn't have the time to make my own like I planned) and let them sit overnight. I decided on the 3-1-1 method as I like my ribs a little more meaty than mushy fall off the bone but was open to seeing how it went.
The day of the smoke, I started my egg fire and then my wife grabbed me for some "urgent" house matter and after that she left and the child who isn't potty trained performed what I will call the "brownie smear" around the bathroom which needless to say took my attention away from the Egg fire. When I returned my fire was almost 500 degrees!! I felt great sadness that I would not be able make my ribs and contemplated quickly moving to a turbo method if I could get my flame down. Reading some things on this forum I read that throwing a cold plate setter pizza stone could bring down the temp so I shut the air down and then after an hour or so threw in both a plate setter and a random pizza stone I had in the hopes that the fire would go down. Amazingly, it did but I could not get it below 250 for a long time which I felt was close enough to strike.
I threw my two slabs (along with some non bone bonus cuts) on the BGE for 3 hours uncovered, bone side down, drip pan below with some apple juice/cider vinegar concoction as well as some apple wood chips wrapped in foil (couldn't find chunks) one batch soaked, one dry. The temp did get down to 225 after an hour and a half so I let it go the full 3 hours. I followed the remainder of 3-1-1 method though I basted some sauce for the last hour. The weird thing was that the ribs were essentially done after the hour in the foil based on the meat temp. Also, in the last hour I think that one side of my flame went out.
So the real question is, how did they turn out? For a first time I have to say I'm incredibly impressed. The smoke permeated the ribs which is a flavor I find to be heavenly. The ribs were definitely done and quite tender, though I think they could be more tender going forward. My wife stated that they were better than several BBQ joints we frequent and I fooled some friends into thinking they were from a local BBQ spot and they loved them. I am quite pleased with my first effort.
If you read this far I thank you, and I hope you will read further as I have a couple questions for the wise Eggheads that dwell in this forum:
1) Were my ribs victimized by too high a temperature during the 3 hours uncovered term? What would an expected meat temp be after this stage and the foil stage?
2) How much juice/cider should you put on the ribs before you wrap them in foil? How tightly do you wrap them?
3) What is the quickest way to get an egg fire going? I find this is the hardest part of it all.
I think next up is doing a whole chicken.
Pics of efforts (crappy iPhone photos)
Fresh on the grill
Post 3 hours:
Pre-In My Belly: