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I have been cooking 100's of rack in my restaurant on a Traeger, and had them dialed in.  I switched to a SM160 to place indoors, under my hood.  I cooked my first batch and they were WAY to smoky, I backed of on the amount of apple wood, and they were better.  Here my issues:

I used to smoke at 275 after a dry rub and membrane removal.  I spritzed with Apple Juice after 45 mins, then spritzed again after another 45, flipping them bone down for 30 minutes.  I would wrap for another 1 hour.  They were perfect.

I'm trying to approximate the results,  pull easy of the bone, retain the rub, and a nice light bark.  The rub I use doesn't have sugar of any kind.

When I place 2 oz of wood in SM160, set for 275, with 13 racks of ribs, it takes forever to get to 275 (I assume because of the moisture).  Seems the ribs are just steaming themselves.  I lose a lot of the rub, making it difficult to nail the spice level I like to have.   

Any tips to try and approximate the results from the Traeger (yes I know the Traeger is a really both a smoker and a grill, in effect).  I'm not real happy with the 'boiled' steamed levels. 

I'm guessing I need to get closer to a 3-2-1 procedure?  I need to make sure these aren't overly smoked, and are pull easy off the bone tender, while retaining the spice level I apply at the start.  It'd be easier to dial in if the recovery time for temp didn't take so long ...

Any help is hugely appreciated.

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LuckyDuck when doing a full load of rib's it can take longer to reach temp but if it never getting there you have a problem. I would do an empty test run set at 225° to see how long it takes to get to temp. It should reach temp between 30 and 45 minutes and if not we probably need to do some trouble shooting. If you or a tech can give Cookshack a call and ask for tech support we can assist. Whom ever is doing the trouble shooting will need to have a multi tester to do some voltage readings.

It'll get to temp if I wrap the ribs, or if I just do an empty test, so that isn't a problem.  I'm looking to find exactly how long it takes to come to temp with 13 racks of ribs (that's a case of the baby backs I buy.   Problem is the amount of moisture keeps my from reaching 275 until I wrap, an before that they create so much moisture that all the dry rub ends up all over the inside of the smoker, not on the ribs!

I'm looking to dial in a happy medium with the right amount of smoke, the right amount of rub (of course attached to the ribs) and the right timing.  

I'll try smoking a few less ribs next time and let them smoke until I get up to temp and likely re-rub after that.


It is hard to give an exact time because meat temp oven temp at start as well as the meat density all have a play in that. To give you my best estimated guess starting a 26 lb. load with 50° meat temp on baby backs from room temp. My best guess would be 2.5 to 3 hours. I have seen full 50 lb. loads that took 3.5 hours to make it to temp. Keep in mind that the ribs are cooking that whole time. How is your unit vented?

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