Pappa Dukes Bday Ribs

So smoke number one was a raging success if I do say so myself – well that and the fact that there was not a single scrap of meat was left over. I’m thinking we’re going to be good at this, we’re pretty much professionals now lol

A couple of weekends later, the weather is finally starting to improve, and we are looking
for any excuse to break out the smoker again. Luckily April 17th was my dad’s birthday, so
in our obviously over-confident minds we thought; “lets make ribs!” – despite the fact we
have read everywhere online that ribs are extremely difficult to do right. Chicken was easy
though so how hard could this be? By some absolute miracle April 17th was also looking like it was going to be 25 degrees!!! We could hardly wait. My mom went out and purchased a ridiculous amount of ribs and right away I got busy researching recipes. Ok so I will will admit, I’m obsessed with recipes, I love love looking up delicious recipes and I always save them for later but rarely do I find the time to actually MAKE them. That’s part of the reason I think I am so excited about this smoker, and why I made this blog, it will give me an excuse to search out and put into practice so many amazing recipes! And while I love online recipes sometimes it’s hard to find specific smoking ones, so I decided I needed a cookbook, not an app – a real live cookbook lol.


I read a lot of reviews and finally decided on “Smoking Meat” By Jeff Phillips –  I highly recommend it, the recipes are easy and sound amazing as well he gives a lot of information about setting up the smoker and tips and tricks for doing it right.

I decided to follow the Baby Back Ribs recipe I found in the book, and other than cooking time being a little off it was perfect. Straight-forward and easy to follow, not too much prep work to be honest. I used the rub recipe I found in the book as well.  Everyone claims to have “THE” rub recipe but for what I’ve seen they’re all pretty much the same; just sugar and whatever spices you feel like adding. Of course my brother in law and my boyfriend were working nights so our birthday dinner was going to have to be a lunch instead, and since the book said they would take about 5hrs plus an hour to get the smoker to temp I knew I was going to be starting this thing pretty early.  I decided to do a lot of the prep work for the meat the night before so we could really just focus on getting the smoker ready. Again I’ll post the recipe and steps on my recipe page, but for the most part I just slathered the ribs in some mustard and coated them with a healthy layer of the rub. I wasn’t too keen on using mustard to make the rub stick but its what the book suggested and true to his word the tangy mustard taste disappeared with the smoke.

I aimed for us to eat around 1:30-2pm, I was up with the horses at 7am anyways so I got right to work once I was done with them and got the fire started in the firebox.




Ok, ok people will probably call us cheaters right now, but honestly this little fire starter is the best thing ever invented! Ideally the charcoal needs about 20min to really get going before you want to dump them in the firebox, so with this you place the charcoal bricks in the top and light some wood or paper underneath. The fire perfectly ignites the charcoal, after about 15-20min once theyre all glowing red I dumped them in and shut the box.


For whatever reason we struggled really really hard to get the temperature up to 225 degrees, we still need to work that out I guess, or maybe it was just the pressure of having to have lunch done for a specific time. Anyways we got it done, some morning spicy ceasers got us through it. We put the meat on and sat down to enjoy the sun, some cold drinks and finally some nice weather. dyna







cooking ribs


Sadly I didn’t take any photos of the final product, I was more concerned about the healthy tomato red I had become from sitting outside all day.  But trust me when I tell you they were unreal.  The rack near the bottom got a little darker in colour then we wanted but lesson learned I guess; rotate your ribs!!

Our First Smoke!

After a fairly mild but long Winter, Spring finally came to Southern Ontario; but she wasn’t very nice to us! The end of March and early April brought temperatures in the negatives, blustering winds and what seemed like never ending snow falls. The horses came home from their “winter farm” April 1st but very quickly while trudging them into snow covered paddocks and battling with frozen water buckets, I wondered if we hadn’t moved them home too soon. But we were hopeful, and the weather man kept promising relief was only a few days away. And we got it, finally! A couple of days of gorgeous +15 degrees, we quickly got online and ordered our smoker, excited that Sunday Fundays were about to become a regular occurrence around our place. The smoker arrived and we could hardly wait to try it out. With Colten’s hectic schedule it seemed like Sunday dinner was the only time we could make it work… weather forecast -10 and snow. Ummm pardon?? But we had to, we couldn’t wait any longer. I did some research online and figured for our first crack at this we should probably be sticking with something simple, like a chicken. That way if we mess it up its just a chicken right? I don’t feel TOO bad about throwing $20 of burnt chicken in the garbage, I mean its sad but better than $50 of prime rib.


As I wasn’t anticipating writing this blog I sadly dont have too many photos of our amazing first smoke but trust me when I say it wasn’t really that exciting.  I was so annoyed it was snowing I sat inside and pouted while Colten braved the cold and religiously tended to the fire.  Hey I did all the prep work so I figured I had done my part.  Surprisingly our chicken did not take too very long, we made sure to purchase a wireless meat probe so we could monitor the temperature without constantly opening and closing the smoker door.  After about 2-2.5 hrs she was done!!!  I’ll post the recipe later on so we don’t forget, the rub was absolutely perfect for the chicken and we could not believe how juicy the meat was, never in my life have I had chicken that good.  I kept having to beat Colten away from the cutting board while we were preparing the rest of the dinner, he just couldn’t wait.

Some roasted potatoes and a ceaser salad whipped up and we were ready to go.  Thinking about it now I’m drooling, and its just chicken!! Again Im sorry for the terrible photo quality but I really wasn’t planning on doing much with them except send them to a few jealous friends and family.  Our first smoke down – I’d say it was a success!