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LBGE Temperature Control & Smoking

Hi all - short-time lurker, first time poster! 

 

Bought a LBGE just before Memorial Day and have given it a couple runs - burgers (didn't trust myself), Slow cooked pork shoulder in foil & marinade (cochinita pibil recipe - pulled it too early, but not bad), kabobs (good, but left on a little long for the meat - didn't trust myself again) and pork chops and veggies last night (very good - finally trusted myself, and my Thermapen!). 

 

I'm going to smoke spare ribs tomorrow for the first time.  I love experimenting, but I'd be lying if I said I was doing anything other than a bit of a wing and a prayer.  I've read up a lot on how to handle the ribs, and I think I have the plan I'm going to try, so thank you to everyone for suggestions that have been posted here over time. 

 

The questions I have now are mostly functional, and pertain to tomorrow:

1) smoking chips - I bought hickory; soak for 30 minutes before hand and then scatter among the charcoal before or after lighting?

2) stabilizing the temp - so far I've let the Egg fire way up, closed dome with the bottom vent open and the top vent off completely, then tried to bring it back down.  It works, but it takes a while bringing it down, especially if I'm trying to bring it way down.  So is it best to do it the other way and get to 250 on the way up and damper everything to try to stabilize there, or is there a danger of killing the fire that way? 

3) I don't plan on foiling, but do plan on using a water-filled drip pan - is one or the other more likely to cause the meat to be too moist, ie mushy?  I want them tender, but I don't want mush. 

I also plan on spritzing and saucing very late - I've watched the Franklin BBQ videos a couple times now and plan on buying a checked shirt and hipster glasses and growing a beard so I can be a truly bad-ass Q'er.  Really, great stuff in those videos, but he's doing things a little differently than I've seen suggested here so I'm trying to take the best and most logical from everyone. 

 

Thanks in advance - I just got approved on these forums, but have been reading them since the weekend and finding all kinds of nuggets of wisdom!

It's an obsession, but it's pleasin'

Comments

  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,778
    1)  Chips don't need to be soaked if you are doing low temperature smoking.  You can mix them in with the lump when you build your fire, if you like, and then light it.

    2) Always try to throttle down the vents as the temperature is rising so as to approach your target temperature from below.  Once the cooker ceramic walls get hot, it can take a lifetime to cool things down to a low temperature again.\

    3) I wouldn't use a water filled drip pan unless it is your only barrier for your indirect cook and you are worried about drippings burning.  I use a plate setter for the barrier and put a foil pan to catch drippings.  I never use water in the pan.

    Good luck!
    The Naked Whiz
  • CANMAN1976CANMAN1976 Posts: 1,415
    Raise the drip pan off the stone so you don't get bad smoke...I learned this the hard way when doing moink balls!!!!
    Hows ya gettin' on, me ol cock



    Kippens.Newfoundland and Labrador. (Canada).
  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,778
    Can't say I've ever noticed "bad smoke" when using a foil pan on the plate setter to do ribs.  You don't really get "drippings" per se as much as you get grease.  At 250 degrees, I just get a pan of grease.
    The Naked Whiz
  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,261

    Would agree with everything NakedWhiz said.

    No soaky of chippy's - not needed.

    Chips = smoke for short time

    Chunks = smoke for longer time

    When I want to stay low in temp, I really do not ever want the temp to get above my target.  That said, lets say if I let it get to 300 and I am wanting 250, I know I am going to get some cooling when the plate setter goes in.   ( that's why I never put the platesetter in until after I am stabilized on temp)

    So, if your at 250 - you open up put the platesetter in, load the food, and close back up.   You may get a short bump in heat due to the top opening ( gauge drops, but the fire gets more air for couple of minutes) - but the temp will return to its stable point.

    If you are 300 - when you load everything - give the bottom damper a tap or two.  Temp drops a bit, but doesn't recover all the way back to 300 - your lower.  Top damper lets you inch it back down.

    Just my approach - I stabilize beforehand - may take 45 + minutes.   After I load, I watch pretty close until I know I am back stable again - lots of looks the first 45 minutes.  Then after that I ignore it till its time to open up.

    Cookin in Texas
  • Great stuff, guys, thanks. 

     

    For a drippings (grease) pan, no need for water to keep the grease from burning/smoking?  I have the platesetter for indirect, so planning on 250 indirect with some spritzing after a couple hours. 

    If I got just hickory chips, not chunks, is a 4-5 hour cook @ 250 going to run out of hickory unless I overload it, and does it matter much if it does only last for a portion of the cook?  I read a link that said the first couple hours is for the smoke and after that the smoke flavor is mostly taken care of, presumably eliminating the need for smoke chips after a while. 

    It's an obsession, but it's pleasin'
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,019
    IMHO, light smoke for longer periods results in a better flavor than heavy smoke for a short time.  The smoke flavor will "stick" to the food any time there's smoke.   Where you get deep smoke penetration is cold smoking - fish and hams can be smoked for days or weeks - it's an age-old preservation technique.
    ______________________________________________
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    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,778

    Great stuff, guys, thanks. 

     

    For a drippings (grease) pan, no need for water to keep the grease from burning/smoking?  I have the platesetter for indirect, so planning on 250 indirect with some spritzing after a couple hours. 

    If I got just hickory chips, not chunks, is a 4-5 hour cook @ 250 going to run out of hickory unless I overload it, and does it matter much if it does only last for a portion of the cook?  I read a link that said the first couple hours is for the smoke and after that the smoke flavor is mostly taken care of, presumably eliminating the need for smoke chips after a while. 

    You can mix the chips in with the lump as you load the fire.  You'll get smoke the whole cook.
    The Naked Whiz
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