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quick question: first slow and low cook, do I need to make sure all of charcoal is lit?


Jon K
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So, I'm about to start my first slow and low baby back ribs at 225-275F

 

I know how to get a strong fire going for regular grilling, but as I understand it for a slow and low cook, I only need to start the first in the middle of the charcoal. Then my question is, how do I know that the rest of the charcoals will get lit after I close the vents?

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it went well for my first slow and low cook. surprised that it worked with just lighting the center.

 

I had small baby back ribs from Whole Foods. maybe about 1.5lbs for a whole rack. I did a 2-1-0.5 and that was almost too much. so, for thinner ribs, which should I shorten? the initial unfoiled smoke?

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I don't wrap mine i just use a tooth pick to test for doneness. Your method  will get you in the ball park

From there it is a bit of trial and error each rack maybe a bit different. What didn't you like about them? Also watch the ends don't hang over past the deflector plates.

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it was good, but it might have been a little dry. It was my first time making baby back ribs this way. I've cooked a ton of baby back ribs on the grill at 325 - 375F for ~30 mins with frequent turning and it's great. Extremely juicy, but just a little hard to bite.

 

the low and slow method makes it more tender, but I think I dried it out a bit. Wish it were more juicy.

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My first attempt at low and slow it jumped over 300 and took closing all vents off for about 30 minutes or so.  It taught me a lesson. Now for low and slow I start closing vents down well before target temp and SLOWLY CLIMB up to target. No problem anymore 

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Yeah, overshooting the temp is something you want to avoid. Take your time and bring it up to temp and let it stabilize before you open it up and put the the meat on. Then you know when you close the lid it'll just stabilize back out again and will only require minor tweaks throughout the cook (or no tweaks, if you have one of those fancypants controllers)

 

I have done 15+ hour cooks that way and only touched the vents a couple times.

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Just to follow up. This is my 2nd slow and low cook ever on a ceramic egg.

 

I had a little fluctuation when re-using charcoal from my first cook. I found that it needs a little more air to be stable at 225-250F, so the vent openings were a little bit wider.

 

anyhow, I also used a different baby back ribs, these were from costco and they're much thicker. Which worked out much much better. I did a 3-1-0.25 cook, 3 hrs unfoiled, 1 hr foiled, and 15 mins unfoiled with a little sauce. Turned out perfect. Ribs were tender and still juicy.

 

I've been converted... to the slow and low style of cooking ribs. 

 

IMG_4796.thumb.jpg.e1dde08b59520f7ee4c396df983c1602.jpgIMG_4797.thumb.jpg.7fe487f6fa3d686148f00a8e0608e901.jpg

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