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The Smoke Sweet Spot PDF Print E-mail
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?




Burlington, Ontario


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.
--Dr. BBQ

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