I just got off the phone with Cookshack Technical Support regarding the inability of my SM009 to reach proper cooking temperature (set at 225). I had attempted a smoke yesterday - with three full rack of ribs - and my SM009 never did make it to the target temperature of 225 degrees (even after 5.5 hours!).

It turns out that likely this is the result of improper loading of the pork loin back ribs (a.k.a. Baby Back Ribs) I was cooking.

I was attempting to cook three full racks of ribs in my SM009 as follows: a). Each rack was cut in half b). I had two halves on each of the three shelves in my SM009.

Cookshack Tech Support (thanks, Tony!) indicates that the bottom shelf - with one full rack of ribs - was likely the culprit. He said that likely this bottom shelf was preventing the proper circulation of heat.

At Tony's suggestion, I ran a Temperature Test in my Smokette as follows: a). Put my probe thermometer close to the Cookshacks thermostat b). Set the Smokette to 225 degrees. c). For a duration of three hours, take readings at 10 minute intervals.

I'm attaching the results of my test. Lo and behold: The Smokette seemed to be fluctuating properly on each side of 225 degrees.

Lesson learned: It really does make a difference on how one loads meat product into the Smoker. It has been recommended to me to load meat in an "upside down pyramid" style - to allow for the proper ciruclation of heat.

I thought I'd share this problem/research with the form.

Has anyone else out there experienced similar problems?

Joshua Dinerman
Laytonsville, MD


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Original Post
Thanks for the data.

I certainly have mentioned to load the bottom shelf last, now we have a great response telling us why.
So? Is it futile to try to do three racks of ribs on an SM009?

I suppose I could have tried the following configuration: bottom rack - 1/2 rack of ribs, middle rack - 1 rack of ribs (2 halves), top rack - 1.5 racks of ribs (3 halves)

Perhaps this is where the benefits of the new wider series comes into play ?

.... just trying to figure all this out.....
No, I wouldn't say that, just look at airflow and not block the air from circulating in ANY of the models. Heat has to rise and circulate, if you put a brisket on the bottom that blocks it, or a pan to catch dripping and it block it, then it might have an effect.

But, it hasn't been a major issue that I've seen. Plenty of people cook on all 3 shelves from whats been posted.
I've cooked 3 racks of ribs (cut in half, a full rack on each shelf) many times in my 09 smokette with good results always. Never even bothered to rotate them during the duration of the cook. Now I think I'll try rotating a 1/3 and a 1/3 through to see if there's any difference.
CT-Q.... Hmmm... that is exactly the way I had laid out my ribs. Oh well, I guess I'll chalk it up to unhappy BBQ gods.... Smiler

Thanks for all the feedback!
All ribs have different shapes and sizes. Some spares would fill up the bottom shelf and smaller shares would only fill up half a shelf.

Just keep airflow in mind
Yup, I sure will. Thanks for all the helpful suggestions.

From now on, I'm going to only purchase ribs that come with a spoiler. Ribs with airflow, baby! Big Grin
Pork Meister have you ever considered bending your ribs into a circle and run a skewer through the two ends?
I havent tried that with my 008 but I know other folks do it w/great sucess.
I usually cook one rack of ribs for the wife and me.

Another thought is hanging your ribs after cutting the racks in half with rib hooks or bacon hooks.

Cookshack sells rib hooks and my son hangs his ribs from the top rack.

Good Luck,

BBQBull - I'm trying to picture what you describe: bending the ribs into a circle and then skewering.

To form the likes of a "rib crown" - and cook it on end ?

That certainly would allow better heat flow compared with my failed method of laying them flat on the grill.

Thanks for the suggestion.
All these are good and workable solutions.

A thought to be, would be that this is not an "exact science".

The goal is to "eventually" get smoke/heat to drift/infiltrate around the product.

There is no "rule" like "this is wet paint and nothing can touch,or be near anything else".

Think about watching cooks at a bbq ,or a large restaurant,with lots of slabs to cook.

There will be lots of shifting,touching,moving,trading places,and removing ,when different items are finished.

Yes,we would like to not open the door too much,because that will extend cooking time.

But,that is also how we learn,take notes,make adjustments,etc.

After awhile,our experience will narrow the time window dramatically,and we also will know how much time to allow for a finished product.

Just my $0.02
Think about it you are smokin them so HANG them, that way the smoke cotes it all at the same time, if you lay flat on rack you have to open the door and drop the temp,
IMHO & $0.2.5 worth

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