Q: Hi Dr. BBQ,
Quite often when I barbecue baby back ribs, I find it hard to determine the fine line of just the right amount of smoke and too much smoke. I don't mean "for my own personal taste," I mean the difference between the nice, subtle smoke flavor and oversmoked, almost "dirty" taste. Is there any rule of thumb as to how much wood per rack of ribs and/or when to add the smoke wood to the established coals?
A: Hi Roger,
Sorry, but there is no rule of thumb because every cooker is different. There are some basic rules that do apply to most cookers though:
- Always use well-seasoned wood.
- Some woods are stronger than others. Hickory can easily cause a problem. Apple is pretty mild.
- Ribs don"t have much meat on them compared to a roast so they will need less smoke. Start with a small amount of wood; if they"re undersmoked, you"ll still have a good dinner. Add a little more each time until you have just the right amount for your cooker.