Well my Mrs got around to practicing on smoking ribs and chicken today and, as usual, I sure did enjoy snacking on the experiments. Her chicken was as good or better than any smoked chicken I have ever had. Perfectly tender, moist, and with deep deep smoke flavor throughout. She did boneless skinless breasts today and I wouldn't change a thing. The crispy bits were beyond awesome. I think chicken is one of those things that suffers most from holding time so getting them hot off the smoker certainly helped. However I think it was her secret marinade and perfect cooking time that sent these birds over the moon.
The spare ribs were a bit more experimental. Before cooking we actually cut the slab in half, down the middle, so she could try some different techniques and cooking time. We left the membrane on and smoked the whole thing. She was convinced when the chicken came off that the ribs were "done". I told her they needed more time for the low and slow to work it's magic. We ended up wrapping both halves in foil, smoking one more hour, then pulled one of the half-racks. The smoke and flavor were definitely on target, however they weren't near tender enough. We left the second half on for a couple of additional hours and they came out close to perfect. Still, just a tad on the chewy side, but way better than the first half. North Main BBQ doesn't have anything to fear from my Mrs just yet, but given a few more shots she's going to be in their neighborhood.
The smoke this time was charcoal fired with chunks of store bought hickory, supplemented with pecan and oak from our yard and fired in a bullet smoker.
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