Growing up I thought my dad could barbecue and smoke stuff like nobody's business and I still feel he was damn good. My brother, John watched and learned and perfected by dad's technique. Sorry dad, you can't touch John.
While my technique is FAR from perfect, it's pretty darn good. Let's face it, I'm no John, Larry or Chris but this post is for those of you who have not taken that step in to the smokey, slow-paced world of real outdoor cooking. This is a Beginner's or 101 post into smoking some ribs.
This is the bowl that goes down in the bottom of the smoker right above the charcoal. I lined it with foil for easy clean-up. The bowl is filled with liquid to keep the meat moist during the low and slow cooking process. Sometimes I add a beer to the water, sometimes I add a little bourbon, sometimes I add both. A cup or two of apple juice works well too. Fill the bowl about halfway with liquid.
Pile the charcoal in the place where the charcoal goes...sorry I don't know the technical name. Pile it up and PLEASE use real charcoal and not the easy light coals. There is a big difference in the way your food tastes.
Squirt the coals down good with lighter fluid and let them sit for about 10 to fifteen minutes. Soak them again and let them sit for another 10 minutes before lighting.
Place the bowl in the smoker. If you like to use wood chips when you smoke, now would be a good time to soak the chips in a bucket or large bowl of water.
Put the grill in place.
Fire up the coals. Since we have a wood deck, I placed some blocks under the bottom of the smoker to be safe and not damage the wood.
After the fire goes out and the coals begin turning white, spread them out a little. Be prepared and have more coals on hand. Since the cook time is slow, once you see your temperature beginning to drop on the smoker, load up a "chimney" with coals and soak and light them. When they begin to turn white, add them to the coals at the bottom of your smoker.
Place the rest of the smoker over the coals and wait for it to come to temperature. If you're using wood chips, you can carefully toss them into the hot coals through the little door on the front. Use an oven mitt, the door is hot.
When the smoker reaches its "Ideal" temperature, place your seasoned meat on the grill. Pour a glass of tea or pop a beer and relax!
I cooked these ribs for about 2-1/2 hours.
Slather one side with your favorite barbecue sauce and cook for another 30 minutes and repeat on the other side.
I can guarantee two things:
1. Your neighbors will be envious.
2. Your eyes will roll in back of your head when you eat!