1st Smoking of the Season

With today being a beautiful spring day, I was finally able to unleash my brand new smoker.

For the longest time, I’ve been toying with the idea of experimenting smoking style of BBQ. Last summer, I purchased a small cast-iron smoke box that you put in your propane grill. It did it’s job but it didn’t give off the same effect as a normal smoker. I kept on joking with my wife and said, if I win or place in a few fantasy football leagues I’ll treat myself in getting a smoker so by the time spring comes, I’ll get to finally try everything out. Sure enough I won enough money to purchase a Camp Chef Smoker Vault.

Today’s Smoke Session:

Ribs and a Spatchcock Chicken

Thanks to my wife Nicole, she got the ball rolling by rubbing both the ribs and chicken and put them back in the fridge to rest over the night and let the spices enter the meat. She put the same rub on both the chicken and ribs. Here is the ingredients of it is the following.

The Spice Dry Rub

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

1 tablespoon granulated onion

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

I took out the meat to get to room temperature around a half hour or so before I was about to pre heat the smoker.

Let the Games Begin

I’ll be honest, it got off to a rocky start because I didn’t read the wood chips had to soak for this style of smoker. Last summer when I used the cast-iron box I didn’t, so it got a little to smokey for our liking. We shut off the smoker and took the wood chips out of the tray.

After soaking the wood chips (we used Hickory for the record since it would pair nicely with the pork and chicken.), we pre heated the smoker to 300 and we placed the chicken on the top rack and the two rack of ribs on the bottom.

Chicken is tricky to cook, but when you use a thermometer, it is truly a lifesaver. Insert the thermometer into the breast at the beginning of smoking. When the thermometer reaches 165 degrees, you are good to go. It took about 3 hrs for our chicken to reach that internal temperature.

Now as far as the ribs, people normally do the 3-2-1 method. Since we didn’t have 6 hours, we found a quicker method to cook it in 4 hours. We found it on HeyGrillHey.com. She recommended this style and we found it to be helpful so if you don’t the time or energy I highly recommend it too.

This style is the following:

Smoke the ribs, rib side up at 300 degrees for 2 and half hours.

After the 2 and half hours take the ribs out of smoker. Wrap it in tinfoil creating a pocket, pour a cup of apple juice, cubed butter (half a stick) and carefully wrap it up tightly so no juice leaves the foil. Put it in for another hour or so.

After you feel its time to take the ribs out, unwrap it carefully and put your choice of BBQ sauce (we used our favorite Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce) generously over the rib. Hey Grill Hey suggested to only do this step for 10-15 mins so you don’t burn the sauce. After trying it, I agree with her that it was the right amount of time.

Final Verdict

After using this smoker for the very first time, Nicole and I did a solid job. We were super impressed with the smoke rings on both the ribs and the chicken. It’s all about the smoke rings! Everyone who ate both meats stated how delicious they were and how much they tasted the hickory flavor. I can’t wait to share our next smoking adventure! I’m open to suggestions and tips to become an even better at griller and smoker.

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