Tonight I fired up the KJ and threw on some baby back ribs and corn on the cob in the husk. I've used this method to cook ribs before (it is a variation of the Texas crutch method) but this was my first time with my new KJ and I gotta say, they were amazing! See pictures.
So thought I would share my instructions and recipe for anyone that is interested. If not, no biggie. I'm no grill boss or expert, just a man who enjoys fine grilled meat.
Homemade dry rub recipe:
Brown sugar and crushed red pepper concoction... At the time of writing this I am not able to access my written recipe (I already had some premade dry rub ready to go) but I will get it tomorrow and update this post.
Step 1. Soak wood chips in water for about 1 hour (I used pecan wood chips this time). If your using big chunks, then really only need a few. If using small chunks, a few handfuls.
Step 2. Fire up the KJ with 3/4 - full firebox. Close lid after it's been going 10-15 minutes with bottom and top vents fully open. At about 180 degrees I shut bottom vent about 3/4. At about 200 degrees I begin to dial in the temperature with the top vent (I have the older style Daisy wheel vent so I shut the vent completely but left the daisy wheel holes open). Temp should level out at about 225. Give the grill plenty of time but keep an eye and make small adjustments as necessary. Don't get the grill too hot as it's much harder to bring temp down than to bring temp up slowly. Temp control and mastery is part of the art of grilling (I'm not against temp controllers if you're wondering), be patient. Of the few cooks I've already done on my KJ, I've been able to successfully bring it up to temp and maintain it for as long as necessary by being patient and realizing that less is more when it comes to adjustments.
Step 3. (You can do this while bringing grill up to temp) Prepare your ribs. I like to do a quick pat to remove excess blood and liquid but don't pat dry; just enough to keep it from dripping. Use a healthy dose of dry rub on both sides of the ribs and all over.
Step 4. With your coals white hot, add wet wood chips evenly to firebox and then set your Divide and Conquer grilling system onto the firebox with heat deflectors in place (full moon) and stainless steel grates on top. Place ribs on grill bone side down (irrelevant if using rib rack) and shut the lid. Let these smoke for only about 25-30 minutes at 225 degrees just enough for the meat to get it's smoke ring and absorb the flavor of the smoke. Wood chips will help tremendously with flavor and producing a lot of smoke. Internal temp of ribs should reach about 130 but no higher than 140.
Step 5. Time to get your Texas crutch ready (aluminum foil). Wrap ribs in Aluminum foil completely and place back on grill. Adjust vents to bring grill up to about 300-315 degrees. These will cook on here about 30-40 minutes but it's important to flip the ribs every 8-10 minutes. If you don't then that aluminum foil is gonna overcook one side. Internal temp of ribs should reach about 175 degrees.
Step 6. Remove ribs in Aluminum foil from grill and set to the side (probably on a pan or something so you don't ruin your side tables). Use grate gripper to remove grates and then use a combination of your ash tool and the grate gripper (with a mit on) to safely remove the heat deflectors and then replace your grates. Unwrap your ribs and baste with BBQ sauce (I use sweet baby Ray's) on bone side first, then set ribs back onto grate bone side down and baste the top side of the ribs with sauce. Shut the lid but don't go far. You'll need to turn the ribs and rebaste every 4-5 minutes. Do this twice for each side (4 times total) to create a nice glaze using the direct heat.
Step 7. You're ready to cut, serve, enjoy. Grab some extra napkins. Total cook time should only be about 70-90 minutes (the Texas Crutch method really reduces time it takes to cook amazing ribs), rely on a combination of both time and internal temp readings and remember to account for variables. This is based on cooking baby back ribs and not spare ribs (which are generally larger and would require longer cooking times).
Hope someone finds this beneficial. Sorry if I was writing everything with baby steps. I wanted someone who may be a new KJ owner like me to be able to have full instructions with details on how to cook ribs and operate their new grill.
Wife decided she wanted some ribs yesterday but we were pressed with time with all of the rearranging going on in the yard. Managed to finish these in just under 2 hours. Of course wife deep fried a few.