Help: Smoker Emergency (BBQ)


I’m smoking up a giant mess of BBQ for the Super Bowl. I have a two-tiered Brinkmann vertical charcoal smoker. The problem is that I’m out of room, and one big rack of ribs to fit in there. Let me break it down:

Bottom Rack:
12 chicken thighs

Top Rack:
1 small rack of baby back ribs
1 Bacon Explosion (yes, *that *Bacon Explosion)

Everything was put in 40 minutes ago. I think that, with a little maneuvering, I can get the chicken out of there in another hour and a half, and put the full slab in (which needs to be cut in half, because it won’t fit as is). But that’s a lot of BBQ ballet, involving shuffling everything around. Does anyone have any experience with stacking a few slabs of ribs? I don’t have a rib rack (which I just ordered, as well as a third tier which stands on the bottom tier - which would have been perfect), so I’m out of options.


I’ve had good luck using balls of tin foil as emergency racks. See if you can strategically place tinfoil balls between racks to try to keep the vertical. At the very least, they’ll provide space between the slabs for the smoke to circulate, even if they won’t hold them completely upright.

Good call. Foil balls are deployed, and there’s a lot more room for circulation in there.

I ended up just stacking the ribs on the top tier - they’re too big to wait for, as they won’t be done for a long time. I definitely should have used toothpicks to pin the bacon together once I rolled it - it’s definitely starting to unravel (but I did have to move it, which accelerated the process).

“Stacking” may not be the right term. They’re on their side, at about a 45 degree angle, resting on the bacon explosion log, with a ball of foil, then a rack, then another couple foil balls, then the other rack. Hopefully, we’re good to go.

What time should I come over? :smiley:

Kickoff should be fine. There’s plenty to go around!

Munch, I’m too late to give you advice for this time, but here’s some advice for next time:

Use the space between the racks for the ribs. Hang them from the top rack with hooks, like curtains.

First, put in your bottom rack and fill it up with whatever is going to smoke there. Make some wire S-hooks out of heavy baling wire. Hook the ribs with three or four S-hooks per portion and hang them on the top rack. Then fill the top rack with whatever is going up there, and fire up the smoker.

It works great - I used to fill my Brinkmann like that every time I fired it up (I have a different kind of smoker nowadays.

Munch, how did the Bacon Explosion come out? Pics?


Everything turned out great. The chicken was absolutely fantastic. The pork ribs were tender and flavorful. I think I’d opt for more pork ribs before I got another slab of beef ribs, though (they were still good - just a little fatty). As for the bacon explosion…

It was awesome. If I had been doing just the BE, I think I’d have kept the temperature up a bit more, and let the outer bacon layer crisp up more - as it was, the outer layer was tender and cooked (a consistency not unlike canadian bacon), but I would have prefered crispier. The sausage, though, was the highlight of this dish. I had gone with a mild italian sausage, that took flavor from the rub better than any meat I’ve smoked before. The inner bacon was delicious, and kept its form (if you’re going to do this, take BBQ Addicts’ advice - cook the inner bacon the way you like it, and don’t expect it to get any more done during this process). Luckily, I had a bottle of Jack’s Stack squirrelled away (the sauce they recommend) from my last trip to KC, and it was the perfect compliment (I had Gates for the ribs and Zarda’s for the chicken, so I was well prepared).

I have pictures, but I won’t be able to post them until tonight or tomorrow.