After purchasing the Quality Grill Parts Heavy Duty Stainless Charcoal Baskets I was so impressed with how well they were built and the quality of the material I wanted to upgrade the grates on my 18.5 inch Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker.
I planned to cook up four racks of pork ribs for yesterday’s Pats/Texans playoff game.
Only problem was that fitting four slabs of spare ribs on an 18 inch WSM I was going to need to use a rib rack. The Weber Rib Rack for $12.99 is a nice value, purchase here. It’s well built and designed. The slots are spaced enough apart that the ribs don’t lean up against each other. When comparing them to the Char Broil ones they both had nice builds but the Char Broil one had six slots instead of five which would have placed the ribs closer together and if the ribs are leaning up against each other they won’t develop bark where they touch.
Trimmed the spare ribs into St Louis cuts which basically squares them up.
The Quality Grill Parts Heavy Duty Grate for 18.5 inch Weber Smokey Mountain did not disappoint in terms of quality compared the the charcoal baskets I bought from the company. Same over built, high quality 304 stainless construction. Comparing the build to the grates that come with the WSM it’s night and day. They cost $40 on Amazon- purchase here
Check out the short video review here-
Here are some comparison photos between the Quality Grill Parts 18.5 Heavy Duty Grate and the Stock Weber Unit-
Here are the ribs on the new grate and racks-
It’s hard to put into words how good Kate’s chicken pot pie is, especially after giving it the smoke for an hour and a half.
Teaser for my review- (I haven’t even taken it completely out of the box but initial impressions from the quick peek are how thick and sturdy the build quality is)
Found on Amazon Here-
As I said before the build quality is thick like Weber’s Gourmet Grate System.
Here is how I started out. A regular smoke set-up using the snake method. The Country Style Pork Ribs offset of the coals with apple chunk and cherry wood chips.
Next to add the Upper Deck. It fit right in place and there were no issues with clearance of the lid.
The Upper deck provides a whole lot of extra space. it is billed as a warmig rack but I think where it will shine is with that huge amount of extra space it affords you when smoking.
Next I dropped onto the Upper Deck a porcetta roast and set up the Maverick remote thermometer.
When the country style pork ribs had the color I wanted I slid a Weber disposable tin pan under with some Sweet Baby rays and coated the ribs, then covered with aluminum foil to let them braise for about 40 minutes. The tin pan fit perfectly under the Upper Deck unit allowing a continuation of indirect cooking while still having the porcetta roast unfazed on the “Upper Deck”
My Sister Topped The Smoked Porcetta with Her Carrot Cake Marmalade, Yum!
Find the recipe for that on her website www.sistafeliciaskitchen.com
Would not have been possible to cook both things at the same time on my kettle without the Upper Deck. Obviously with the incredible build quality and huge cook space increase, this is an absolute no brainer purchase.
Obviously I love BBQ cooking. I love the versatility and ease of using two kettles but if I were only going to own one it would have to be a Performer. That cart just makes everything so simple and convenient. Being able to rest your tray of prepped food of hold your remote thermometer sensor makes things so simple. When you factor in the gas assist for starting your coals, to me, it’s a no-brainer to go with a Performer.
When you consider the fact that unlike gas grills , a Weber Kettle can easily last you over 20 years with the bare minimum of care and you divide out the cost of ownership over all those years, I’d recommend you buy a Performer every time. It’s only a couple hundred more and when you think that you probably only get 5 years on average out of a gas grill, the Weber Performer Charcoal grill with gas-assist will outlast a gasser by 4 times as long.
Anyway here was my set-up for some pork ribs that went on at 7:41 AM to be ready for lunch!
Snake method charcoal set-up with apple chunks and cherry chips. Ribs slathered with frenches yellow mustard and then rubbed with the Paul Prudhomme rub. Wait til pit temps hit 225 and then toss the ribs on offset the coals. Then let er rip. The top vent wide open bottom vent wide open. Because we are using the snake method, only a portion of the coals are hot at a time as it works it’s way around the bowl.
Pork Ribs Twice In One Week? When they’re that good, sometimes you gotta double up just to make sure you weren’t dreaming…
Picked out some nice meaty Beef back Ribs At Stop and Shop East Gloucester
Changed Up the rub from my usual Beef Rub of just Salt and Pepper. Went with Paul Prudhomme Blackened Magic, Some Turbinado Sugar, Steakhouse Seasoning (It’s just like Montreal Steak Seasoning) Atlantic Saltworks Salt and some Black Pepper.
Set up the Kettle using the snake method with Kingsford briquettes, Mesquite chunks and cherry wood chips.
3.5 hours she ran between 250-300 and I didn’t adjust the vents once.
4:40AM Light The Chimney with about 12 Kingsford briquettes and set up the pit for snake method smoking using mesquite chunks and cherry wood chips.
Outside conditions 39 degrees with a light drizzle.
I’m trying a little something different as the beef ribs are so rich and I wanted to cut back on the salt so I put together a beef rub consisting of-
3 tbsp restaurant grind black pepper
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp granulated garlic
2 tsp ancho powder
1 tsp cayenne powder
At the dollar store I picked up this $1 sugar shaker to use to disperse the rub.
First a light slather of yellow mustard for the rub adhesive and then I applied ground Himalayan salt to the ribs as if I was seasoning a steak ( a lot less salt than the 50/50 pepper salt ratio I was using before). Once the salt was on I shook on the rub using the sugar shaker.
5:20AM Ribs Hit The Kettle-
6:57 Update: Temps have fluctuated from 250- 325. I’m not sweating the temps, they’ll be done when they’re done.
9:40AM. Probably the first time ever that I didn’t lift the lid once start to finish. The temps within the first hour varied from 250-325 but after exactly two adjustments she settled into a much tighter range of 270-289.
They were fantastic but probably could have benefited for spritzing at 20 minute intervals during the final hour. I also will absolutely use this rub again as they had a much better pepper/salt flavor.
Follow along the live smoke all morning at www.northeastbbq.com
5:30AM Set up the kettle with a aluminum pan filled with water and briquettes set up snake style around the bowl for a low and slow sesh. Lit 12 briquettes inn the chimney and dumped them on the left end of the trail of briquettes which we’re looking to gradually catch and provide steady even heat between 275-300 degrees. using cherry chips and mesquite chunks.
I’m not sure if it’s just our local Stop and Shop market that pre-cuts the racks of beef ribs or if it’s done elsewhere as well. I buy what’s on sale usually and they had 2.4 lbs on sale for $2.24 per lb so I couldn’t pass them up (you can’t see the sale tag in the first picture).
Slathered them up lightly with yellow mustard and applied a generous coating of coarse salt and black pepper (Texas Style rub).
The pit set up and getting up to temp. Water in the pan to keep a moist smoking environment-
6:24 The Beef Ribs Hit the pit.
8:39AM Cranking along Grate temp 284 degrees. Only adjusted the vents once since 6:24AM Got a ways to go. Haven’t opened the lid once. “If you’re looking-you ain’t cookin.”
9:54AM 3.5 hours in-
11:45AM- They’re all jiggly and the probe slides right in so it’s time to take ’em off-