Cooked up my first rack of side ribs this weekend. Not entirely sure why, but side ribs are much harder to come by around here than back ribs are. It also gave me a chance to try wrapping my smoker in the fibreglass welding blanket I recently bought:
The idea was to add extra heat insulation to keep the pit temps up when the weather gets cold or rainy. The extra length of blanket at the bottom would probably act as a good wind baffle for the intakes, too. Theoretically. Turns out it was quite mild on Sunday and the pit got so hot I had to take the blanket off anyway. I guess I’ll have to do another test soon.
Barbecue is an inexact science. Which is to say that these ribs turned out with a much darker bark than I was expecting, and I’m not sure why. I cooked these at around 275°F, which is quite a bit hotter than the 225°F I usually use to cook back ribs. I didn’t do this on purpose, of course—once the pit got too hot, I abandoned any attempts to get the temperature back down. So maybe the extra heat had something to do with it.
Or perhaps, the darker bark was a product more brown sugar. These ribs tasted sweeter than usual, so I may have used too much brown sugar in the rub. Like I said, inexact science (or human error).