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HOT Ribs!!! - Frustrating Cook :)


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I just pulled some ribs off of the Akorn and cooked them in record time, but not really on purpose. 

 

I've been watching the BBQ Pitmasters re-runs on destination channel over the last week, I hadn't seen the show before and I got a little caught up in it with the DVR :)

Anyway, I decided to try some Johnny Trigg ribs, which calls for 4 hours at 275.  Nothing too unusual, basically 2 hours open, 1 hour wrapped, 1 hour open again to finish.  When you foil them you put brown sugar, parkay butter and honey, which was what sounded interesting to me.  I'm from Memphis, sweet is good :) 

 

So, I get it going and bring it to temp, doing everything normally....and then, I think, let's try something new...

I remember reading a lot of posts here about controlling temp with the bottom vent open and adjusting the top, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. 

BIG Mistake!!

About an hour into the cook, I decided to open the bottom vent to 3, and close off the top to basically just the half moon, no sliver even.  It rode at 265-270 (where I was when I reset it) for about 15 minutes, and then it just started climbing into the 300's, it settled around 340-350 range.  Of course I shut off the bottom and pretty much snuffed it, added water to my diffuser, everything I could think of but I never got it back under control. 

I pulled them off at around 3 hours total, they look pretty good but haven't taken a bite yet.  They are wrappped and resting.   

Normally with the Akorn, mistakes are pretty good eating, so wish me luck. 

 

I guess I'll stick to my normal settings from here on out, that added a little fun to a fairly mundane cook.  I felt like I did the first couple of days I owned the thing today :) 

 

 

post-6195-0-89935500-1433028896_thumb.jp

 

This is the recipe I was going by - I pulled it from another website, this wasn't actually posted by JT so I'm not sure it's the actual recipe he uses:

 

Johnny Trigg Ribs:

- Johnny Trigg uses well-marbled ribs, trimmed to 3.5 inches with excess meat and membrane removed.

- He uses Rib Tickler Rub and black pepper.

- Let's them rest 45 minutes before putting on the smoker.

- I've read he sprays/spritzes with apple juice hourly, but I've never seen him do it.

- He smokes them meat side up with pecan and cherry at a temp of 275* for approx. 2.5 hrs.

- He Uses Squeeze Parkay in a wave pattern on the aluminum foil, handful of brown sugar, 3-4 runs clover honey and a 1/2" wide stripe of Tiger Sauce,

- Then places the ribs meat side down on the wrap mixture, and repeats the process on the bone side, and adds 1/4 cup apple juice, and closes the foil up tightly,

- He wraps with another layer of foil and returns to the smoker for another 1.5 hrs. or so in the foil.

- He unwraps and glazes them with a sauce made of tomato sauce, molasses and corn syrup and in the smoker (unwrapped) for 1 hr.

- Then he Re-glazes after he removes from smoker and slices with an electric knife.

Here's a list of ingredients:

 

 

His Rub:

Salt,

Paprika,

Sugar,

Garlic,

Black Pepper,

Red Pepper,

Brown Sugar

and Onion Flakes;

 

Foil Wrap:

Squeeze Margarine,

Brown Sugar,

Clover Honey,

and Tiger Sauce;

 

Sauce/Glaze:

Tomato Sauce,

Molasses

and Corn Syrup

 

He uses Lawry's Season Salt on his pork butt.

 

 

 

 

 

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Look good, normally with my Akorn on low and slow my bottom is 1/2 and top a sliver.

Yes, that is pretty similar to my normal settings. 

I was just doing a little experiment today. 

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UPDATE:

 

Should've never doubted the Akorn, thank goodness for Kamado cooking!  I'd have had shoe leather today on a regular grill I'm pretty sure. 

 

They turned out great, actually a little above average for me if anything :)

 

I normally add some apple juice when I foil, but I didn't this time, only the glaze type stuff, and I like the result.  It stayed a little firmer, no fall off the bone, just the consistency where you can bite off but nothing pulls off of the bone.  And this wasn't overwhelmingly sweet either, I'd recommend this recipe to anyone, just stick to the 275 if you have heart problems  :)

 

post-6195-0-40185700-1433031924_thumb.jp

   

 

 

 

 

 

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So, I get it going and bring it to temp, doing everything normally....and then, I think, let's try something new...

I remember reading a lot of posts here about controlling temp with the bottom vent open and adjusting the top, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. 

BIG Mistake!!

About an hour into the cook, I decided to open the bottom vent to 3, and close off the top to basically just the half moon, no sliver even.  It rode at 265-270 (where I was when I reset it) for about 15 minutes, and then it just started climbing into the 300's, it settled around 340-350 range.  Of course I shut off the bottom and pretty much snuffed it, added water to my diffuser, everything I could think of but I never got it back under control.

 

Interesting. I'm probably the guy who talks the most about leaving the bottom open and controlling with only the top vent. On mine, leaving it at half-moons will usually snuff out the fire after a while. I'd definitely be interested in knowing what happens on yours if you use those vent settings to begin with (ie put them there when your grate temp first reaches maybe 180-190, instead of an hour into the cook).

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They look good I usually have everything open till I get to 200 then put on my deflectors and grate then wait till it gets back up to 200 and close the bottom vent down to a couple of inches and have the daisy wheel open and just let it go if it's creeping up I close the daisy wheel a bit depending if I'm going for 250,275 or 300 I have found any of these Temps have resulted in great ribs for me. As long as they past the bend test and are cooked I would not worry to much

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Interesting. I'm probably the guy who talks the most about leaving the bottom open and controlling with only the top vent. On mine, leaving it at half-moons will usually snuff out the fire after a while. I'd definitely be interested in knowing what happens on yours if you use those vent settings to begin with (ie put them there when your grate temp first reaches maybe 180-190, instead of an hour into the cook).

 

 

Yep, I think my downfall was trying to switch methods mid-stream :) 

 

My Akorn is sealed, and my normal settings for smoking at around 250 would be top vent at about 3/4 (looks like half moon and a small sliver) and bottom at 1/2-3/4. 

When I opened up the bottom on this cook, I was at about 270 and stable, 275 was my target so I was happy.  I opened the bottom to a 3, and closed the top to the half moon, and it started taking off shortly after.  I think I opened the lid to spritz at the same time also, but that was pretty quick, like a few seconds. 

 

I may do it again but go from the beginning, just to see what I get. 

I'm happy with what I've been doing, just thought it would be fun to try something new, and it was pretty fun for a while:)

 

This is just me, and I have no doubt that the top vent method works great for you (and some others too), but it has always seemed to me that on my Akorn, it is ALL about the bottom vent. 

When I first got it, it took me a few cooks to dial everything in, but once I learned to get control of the bottom vent early in the startup process, I got things to stabilize a lot easier. I had some leaks too, and sealing it up helped me as well, but again, that is directly related to the bottom vent and limiting air intake there.

Slight movements on that bottom vent always seem to make the biggest impact on mine, it's just the way I learned it I guess. 

At any rate, I'll take a closer look at one of your posts and try it again at some point. 

 

 

I think once you get used to cooking on a Kamado, you pretty much have to go looking for ways to create drama in your cooks.  I've never had another grill I could just walk away from for long periods of time like these. 

Also, knowing that you can do something like I did on these ribs and still come away with a delicious meal is a real testament to the level of forgiveness they offer.         

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I made some ribs this weekend with a stable temp the whole time. Unwrapped for 5 hours, only opened lid once. Everyone has their own way but the following has worked for me.

 

-Get rid of your water in your heat defuser;Its not needed and messes with the temps as it evporates.Plus all the humidity will snuff a fire if you are doing low and slow. 

-I set my bottom air inlet to 1 (thats what i use, others do it differently) and leave it there

-Top is just a sliver, if you keep on adjusting it you will be chasing temps

-Stop trying to smoke at 225, 250 or 275 (and its what the pro's do) is alot easier to maintain and you wont run the risk of snuffing it out.  

 

Going from an offset smoker to an akorn was a big change. It was instantly better, but for the first 6 months I would chase temps, overshoot, snuff fires, etc --- until I stopped using old techniques that were carry over from my stick burner days.  

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