- Set your smoker up for indirect heat and bring your smoker up to 120ºC and place a water pan with hot water underneath the cooking grill. This will help keep the meat moist and also catch any meat juices so it doesn’t drip onto the deflector plate and burn causing an acrid taste.
- Sprinkle an even salt and pepper mix over your rib and refrigerate while smoke is heating up. I always put cold meat directly from the fridge into the smoker to help create that glorious smoke ring.
- Once up to temp, place the rib rack on the grill, meat side up directly over the water pan. You should wait for the smoker to stop producing a white powdery smoke and instead wait for that thin blue smoke. The white powdery smoke will give a bitter taste to the meat. So always use seasoned wood and never wet or green wood. I always use chunk or whole split pieces of smoking wood, as chips don’t last long enough.
- Now close the lid and if you like use a thermometer probe which you can monitor from outside the smoker, such as a wireless type. Keep the lid closed! Because if you’re looking you’re not cooking!
These ribs took about 7 hours to cook. At the 3 hour mark I take the first look at these ribs and usually spritz with apple cider vinegar, this helps to keep the meat moist, and then spritz every hour or so until done or wrapping.
- The meat will reach about 70ºC and then stall, this means the meat has begun to sweat and will cool itself down. Don’t worry if the meat stays at this temp for a couple of hours as it is normal. You can either ride out the stall or wrap in some tin foil, it’s really up to you and how long you have. When you wrap you do run the risk of ruining that precious bark.
I normally wait till the stall is over about 76ºC and then wrap. It normally only takes an hour or so after wrapping at 76ºC to reach finish temp of around 90-96ºC. Normally wrapping for an hour won’t compromise the bark.
- Use the temps as a guide but to check if it’s done get a skewer and probe the meat between the bones, and it should go in like butter. Once you’re happy, wrap in a towel and put into a preheated chilly bin with some hot water bottles around it and rest for 1 hour. Then slice and enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of Matthew Melville.