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New Kamado Big Joe II, Going For A 4 Rack Rib Cook This Weekend. Help!


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Hey everyone!!

 

RIB COOK!

 

Well i just received my brand new Kamado Big Joe II this week and installed it in my new custom table that i just had built and delivered. ( that was fun , lol ) 

 

Anyhow, i am new to the world of Ceramic cookers.  I've read up quite a bit, but i'm reaching out to see if anyone has any tips for me to make these ribs come out tasty as can be.  I've cooked on my trusty weber kettle , with lump, for about 10 solid years now.  

 

I'm having about 12 people over and was planning on doing 4 racks of pork ribs. (Will be serving with some nice shrim cocktail as a side protein) I was going to add 2-3 chunks of nice Apple wood from Chigger Wood Products.  I dont want to go with two much smoke, as this is my first run.

 

My plan is to season with my favorite BBQ dry rub. And smoke uncovered at about 250 for the first 3.5-4hrs.  Then, for the last hour i was going to bast every 15-20 mins uncovered with some homemade bbq sauce.

 

Does this look / sound like it may work? Any tips or tricks that i should be doing?

 

Do i need to flip the ribs during the cooking process?

 

Should i be using a instant read therm for final doneness? Or just the "bend" test that i have seen?

 

Should i be filling the firebox fully? I currently have Royal Oak Lump and some FOGO lump.  I'm assuming i should use the FOGO as it is bigger pieces for a longer burn?

 

Any help / tips would

be greatly appreciated.  I'm avid griller, but this will be one of my first flirts with smoking / long cook.  I am excited as can be.

 

Here are some pics of my new

setup , along with my new patio and some

nice steaks i did to break the cast iron in. :-)

 

 

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

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Hey doc, move that away from your house!!!! :-D

 

Nice setup.

 

Your cooking experience should translate to the Kamado quite well. I'd check a little earlier than normal for doneness because, in my experience, the Kamado cooks faster. And, it's alsways a good practice to fill the firebox completely. After much trial and error, I don't know that the big pieces are any better for slow cooking, although I prefer them. The big thing for me is to include no dust. I also never turn my ribs though I do rotate them. So, are these spare ribs, st. louis or baby backs?

 

Oh, and I typically just go with the bend test.

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@CentralTexBBQ lays down some good advice....

 

Hope your cook goes well - and agree that your previous experience should serve you well.  Many of the "fatal" errors (putting food on prior to fire burning clean, etc.), you will already know to avoid.  Just don't start chasing temps.  Be good and heat soaked and stabilized before you put the ribs on and then when you do put them on,  don't mess with anything unless you really really appear to have a serious problem.....

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7 hours ago, KismetKamado said:

@CentralTexBBQ lays down some good advice....

 

Hope your cook goes well - and agree that your previous experience should serve you well.  Many of the "fatal" errors (putting food on prior to fire burning clean, etc.), you will already know to avoid.  Just don't start chasing temps.  Be good and heat soaked and stabilized before you put the ribs on and then when you do put them on,  don't mess with anything unless you really really appear to have a serious problem.....

2 biggest things for me right there... chasing temps and putting the food on too early.  When you open your BJ to put the food in, the temps will drop, don’t worry, they will recover.

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Let the kamado heat up naturally.  You'll have white billowing smoke while it's heating up.  You don't want to cook with that.  A pretty strange test I do is I basically shove my face in the smoke.  If it burns my nose and makes my eyes water, it's not right yet.  If I can smell the sweet hickory / apple smoke, it's ready.  If you want 250 and it settles in nicely at 24 or 260, I usually just leave it alone.  I hate trying to chase a specific temperature.  I am more going for a "close" temp and I modify the time accordingly.  And I pretty much always start with a relatively full load of charcoal.  It's easy to re-use if you have any that doesn't fully burn.  Just close up all of the vents and it will go out.

 

I would tend to over-cook ribs in the beginning.  Don't do that.  The bend test is great.  It's nice to make sure your ribs still have a little bite to them.  

 

I typically do the rub for about 2 1/2 - 3 hours and then spray with Apple Cider Vinegar and bourbon a few times for an hour or so. Then I spread honey on the ribs for the last hour or so just to let them get sweet and a little sticky.  

 

Good luck.  You'll love the Big Joe!!!   

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Is that vinyl siding you have the KJ right up against?  I'm not experienced with kamados but know from friends experiences that other grills can cause problems when near vinyl siding...

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8 minutes ago, gpb said:

Is that vinyl siding you have the KJ right up against?  I'm not experienced with kamados but know from friends experiences that other grills can cause problems when near vinyl siding...

 

What he said!

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15 minutes ago, gpb said:

Is that vinyl siding you have the KJ right up against?  I'm not experienced with kamados but know from friends experiences that other grills can cause problems when near vinyl siding...

 

Hi !  Yes it is Vinyl.  I actually melted a nice size section of my siding a few years back using my Weber Kettle, so i'm hoping i learned my lesson. lol   

 

With that being said, I plan on moving my Kamado a few feet out when doing cooks over 300 degrees. Thank god for wheels!  :-)

 

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1 hour ago, mstewart39 said:

Let the kamado heat up naturally.  You'll have white billowing smoke while it's heating up.  You don't want to cook with that.  A pretty strange test I do is I basically shove my face in the smoke.  If it burns my nose and makes my eyes water, it's not right yet.  If I can smell the sweet hickory / apple smoke, it's ready.  If you want 250 and it settles in nicely at 24 or 260, I usually just leave it alone.  I hate trying to chase a specific temperature.  I am more going for a "close" temp and I modify the time accordingly.  And I pretty much always start with a relatively full load of charcoal.  It's easy to re-use if you have any that doesn't fully burn.  Just close up all of the vents and it will go out.

 

I would tend to over-cook ribs in the beginning.  Don't do that.  The bend test is great.  It's nice to make sure your ribs still have a little bite to them.  

 

I typically do the rub for about 2 1/2 - 3 hours and then spray with Apple Cider Vinegar and bourbon a few times for an hour or so. Then I spread honey on the ribs for the last hour or so just to let them get sweet and a little sticky.  

 

Good luck.  You'll love the Big Joe!!!   

 

 

This is great info!  I like the honey idea at the end, I might try that! I love a nice sweet rib.

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10 hours ago, KismetKamado said:

@CentralTexBBQ lays down some good advice....

 

Hope your cook goes well - and agree that your previous experience should serve you well.  Many of the "fatal" errors (putting food on prior to fire burning clean, etc.), you will already know to avoid.  Just don't start chasing temps.  Be good and heat soaked and stabilized before you put the ribs on and then when you do put them on,  don't mess with anything unless you really really appear to have a serious problem.....

Perfect!

 

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10 hours ago, CentralTexBBQ said:

Hey doc, move that away from your house!!!! :-D

 

Nice setup.

 

Your cooking experience should translate to the Kamado quite well. I'd check a little earlier than normal for doneness because, in my experience, the Kamado cooks faster. And, it's alsways a good practice to fill the firebox completely. After much trial and error, I don't know that the big pieces are any better for slow cooking, although I prefer them. The big thing for me is to include no dust. I also never turn my ribs though I do rotate them. So, are these spare ribs, st. louis or baby backs?

 

Oh, and I typically just go with the bend test.

 

Thanks for the info! These will most likely be baby backs. :-)

 

On a side note, I do plan on moving the Kamado out a few feet during hotter cooks, however I was wondering if it is ok to have the Kamado Joe just on the ceramic feet on top of the wood.  I noticed some people put granite or firebrick underneath. But then I've also read that granite or firebrick might make more of on issue?  I"m thinking of testing it with a thermometer gun during a high heat cook. Thoughts?

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Some great advice here, you never said if the ribs are BB, full, or St Louis. It make a big difference is cooking times between the different types. I prefer BB's and that's about all I cook anymore. I have found the BB's take a little more time that regular ribs. I know this is opposite from what everyone else says. I cook mine at 225°-250° for about 4½ hrs before I even check them. I then start checking with the bend test. Most racks take about 5 hours to reach the condition I prefer. I don't want them fall off the bone but I like them a little more done than the competition style. I stopped doing sauce at the end because I have found I prefer them with just the bark from the rub. I add sauce on the table for anyone wanting it.

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2 minutes ago, Krazystang said:

 

Thanks for the info! These will most likely be baby backs. :-)

 

On a side note, I do plan on moving the Kamado out a few feet during hotter cooks, however I was wondering if it is ok to have the Kamado Joe just on the ceramic feet on top of the wood.  I noticed some people put granite or firebrick underneath. But then I've also read that granite or firebrick might make more of on issue?  I"m thinking of testing it with a thermometer gun during a high heat cook. Thoughts?

 

@Krazystang, my concern was for more than your vinyl. The fact that nothing has caught fire until now, does not invalidate the danger of burning any fire- even a kamado at low temps- that close to your home. For your sake and that of any in your home because let's face it, it's on the longer cooks, that the kamado will be unattended for longer periods of time. My kamado is never burning closer than 20 feet of my home. from the NFPA: 

Quote

The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

 

11 hours ago, Krazystang said:

My plan is to season with my favorite BBQ dry rub. And smoke uncovered at about 250 for the first 3.5-4hrs.  Then, for the last hour i was going to bast every 15-20 mins uncovered with some homemade bbq sauce.

 

If you are cooking baby backs, please be ready to adjust your timeline downward. I'll defer to others who can advise you better (I cook ribs in mass and in volume rather than often) but, 5 hours is probably too long for baby backs imo.

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