Jump to content

Hello from Bristol

Karen hensman

Recommended Posts


I thought I should introduce myself and say hello.  I am pretty new to this BBQ malarkey.  I found out about this forum from a card in my Smokewood shack delivery and it seems a good source of UK based information. 

I bought a 47 WSM for my partner as a gift earlier this year because we both love pulled pork and brisket but after his first attempt I quickly realised that he simply doesn't have the patience for it (constantly lifting the lid and I even caught him stirring the coals to try and speed things along !! ?).  So I have assumed control of the WSM and he is no longer allowed to touch it.  I've done a few runs now, mainly pork shoulder and pork belly burnt ends and I'm doing my first spare ribs this weekend.  It seems fairly straightforward so far, provided I can keep the other half away until its cooked, but I am assuming there is a load of football on this weekend which will help ?.  Everyone is commenting on how great the food is so that is a good sign I think (maybe they are just easily pleased because its better than the normal run of the mill burnt sausages and cremated burgers).  I've signed up to a Weber Academy American BBQ course in August which I'm hoping will give me confidence to try new things.  The hardest thing I'm finding is knowing what to ask the butcher for.  I've found a friendly one but I think I amuse him with not knowing the answers to some of his questions and not really knowing what I want just yet.  I'm sure it will get easier the more I do it.

Well I look forward to getting to know you all.  It looks like a good weekend ahead for BBQ on the BBC weather app. ?

Bring it on!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Karen, welcome to the Forum.

There is a saying, “If Your Looking, Your Not Cooking”


Stirring the coals, will only have the effect of producing more heat, which is not what you are looking for with Low & Slow Cooking. Best keeping him away from the Smoker.

Its always good to get a good Butcher on board, and teaching them what you want.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Karen and welcome to the forum.

As you have found, cooking good BBQ is similar to meditation or tai chi - the more patience you have and the calmer you remain, the higher the spiritual enlightenment you will achieve :)

The mastery of temperature control is one of the most important skills to learn on your smoker and it appears that your partner has yet to enrol on the course - LOL. As you are doing, keep him away from the smoker and let him be your official food taster. With pork and burned ends like that you are clearly mastering it :thumb1:. Are you using only the built in lid thermometer r have you invested in a twin probe digital thermometer that will allow you to monitor the temperature of the meat as it cooks and the smoker temperature at the cooking grates?

Weber do some great courses, as you would expect, and I am sure that you will learn a lot of technique from the one you are booked on. Remember though that, although there are wrong ways to cook low-and-slow there is no one right way. Everyone develops their own methods and tweaks that results in the kind of food that they enjoy. Take as much as you can from the course and then combine it with the experiences of others and you will soon develop your own distinct method.

How did the ribs go? Most people start with the simpler meats and progress to the more tricky briskets but I see you have gone the other way round. Ribs are great to cook and you can get amazing results. The important thing is to get good ribs in the first place. When cooking low and slow I find the "meaty ribs" are the best as they have much more meat on them than the normal racks of ribs you get at the supermarket. Rather than needing half a rack per person, with the meaty ribs just 2 ribs will satisfy the hunger of most football loving partners... If you have a local Booker then you can get some very good ribs ("Belvedere Meaty Pork Spare Ribs") or your local butcher should be able to get provide similar with a little bit of notice. 


What method did you use to cook your ribs? If you have photos it would be great to see them :thumb1:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Wade

Yes I did invest in a twin probe digital thermometer, it was a cheap-ish one from Amazon but seems to be pretty reliable and it talks to my phone so I can monitor from indoors too.  It seems that the lid thermometer isn't massively different though, just a little either way.

The ribs went well.  I got a great meaty set from the butcher, when I got them out of the bag I was worried they were a bit too meaty, they even had some large flappy bits overhanging the last rib which I trimmed off and made some more burnt ends (reserved for the pitmaster as a reward ?). I did have to trim them myself but I watched a few you tube clips and seemed to do it ok. The membrane came off fairly easily too.  Sadly no photo of the finished ribs as by the time I went to get the camera the family had eaten all but 2 ribs!!! I take that as a good sign, I was pleased as they even had a decent smoke ring (first time I've noticed it on my meat).  I used the 3-2-1 method but the last hour was more like an hour and a half/two hours as the sauce took longer to set than I was expecting (I used firefly Texas sauce).  The meat didn't fall completely off the bone but came of easily with a pull so was pleased with that. 

We are having another gathering next weekend and when asked the vote went for more burnt ends so I put in another order with the butcher, he even knew it was me calling this time.  He did ask me when I was going to be brave enough to order a brisket though lol! Maybe next time!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Success :thumb1:.

You did right to trim off the flappy bit at the pointy end of the ribs back to the first main rib (note the technical jargon). This can be cooked in the same way as the ribs and the meat used later in risottos or even to add into your pulled pork. The other bit of tidying up is to make a cut from the flexible joint at the thick end almost parallel to the edge where the rib bones are cut. This helps to remove a lot of the cartilage that is at the edge of the ribs which can be unpleasant to bite through. This is then called a St Louis cut rack of ribs. As with the end trimmings, cook these alongside the ribs and pull the meat off for later use once cool enough to handle.


  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...