Justin here are several things that you can try if you would like and see if they help. First off, ditch the water, the wet wood, and the charcoal. Just my opinion, but all these things put stuff in your offset cooker that you don't necessarilywant or need. You'd be OK if you used lump charcoal, but briquettes have all kinds of crap filler in them, they might as well come off the floor of the Lumbermill from the shavings. I always use dry wood, and use a fat wood stick or two to lite it with. You can get fatwood at an Academy sporting goods store. It is just a stick of pine that has retained resin and therefore burns, but will burn off the resin quickly and Tends to be a good starter for your dry wood. Build a big honking fire initially and let it burn down to a solid bed of coals before you put your rack on. Thereafter, use small splits, preferablylike one or two Inch sticks if you can do it, to "feed the baby" for the rest of the cook. This will help you control spikes in the heat, because you're not putting in a bigger volume of fuel that's smolders at first creating a bitter taste while it's trying to get up to speed, then suddenly flares up into a bigger fire because of the volume of wood involved. Use the turtle principal, small slow and steady gives you a controllable consistent fire, that's Ranger policy.
Next, at least till you get the hang of it, go with Hickory if you can get it. Make sure it is good, dry, and hard cured. Academy also sells bags of this at reasonable prices in small splits that should fit in even a small offset cooker. Hickory provides a sweet sharp smoke, Burns well through consistently and long, and is a reasonably hot burning wood. It is all we use for chickens and pork, One benefit is that it almost always renders a nice mahogany color to the meat.
Another good trick is to brine your ribs overnight in the fridge prior to cooking. I use a brine of Bock beer, a little bit of rub, and don't shoot me for saying this, but teriyaki and a little bit of pineapple juice. We find this is just a little bit of a Hawaiian influence to the flavor. The brine will help draw out the bitter gamey taste that pork sometimes gets, and will help you get a juicier rack.
Finally, a lot depends on your temp and cooking time. I run mine at 200 to 225 for 7 to 9 hours, often times wrapping them in foil for the last three or four hours, with a little bit of Bock beer poured in the wrapper for moisture.
Hope some of this helps and good luck. – Boots
Last edited by Boots
on Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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