Our Last Day in the USA

Photos by MJ Klein, including FOOD PHOTOS!

Part of the 2010 USA Trip Series

This post is for people who love real smoked BBQ!

Our Last Day in the USA

On our last day in the US on this trip, I wanted to use the wood smoker again.  It had been so long since I had cooked with one that I needed the practice to get back on my smoking game.  So I chopped up some wood and started another cooking fire in the fire box, using white oak, which is what I normally like to cook with.

Our Last Day in the USA

Once the wood is burned down as in the previous photo, you can add the food, which is what I did next.


Our Last Day in the USA

As you can see there are 2 types of ribs on the cooking rack.

Our Last Day in the USA

These are Arkansas ribs.

Our Last Day in the USA

These are baby-back ribs.  These types of ribs are not my favorite, but other people like them, so I decided to cook a couple of racks along with some Arkansas ribs.

Our Last Day in the USA

Once the food is placed in the smoker, you have to close the cooking chamber lid and adjust the damper for the correct amount of air coming in.  On some smokers, there is a smoke stack damper.  This damper should never be used as it makes the food taste bitter.  The correct place to adjust the smoker is at the intake damper.

Our Last Day in the USA

I have some more wood in case I need to use it.  When adding more wood to a smoker, you either have to burn it down with a second fire first, or you have to open the cooking chamber until the wood is burned down.  Only lump charcoal or burned-down wood can be used for cooking.

Our Last Day in the USA

I’ve talked about this before but it bears mentioning again:  When properly adjusted, the smoke will have a light blue tinge to it.

Our Last Day in the USA

A few hours later, this is the result of the effort – perfectly smoked ribs!

Our Last Day in the USA

Our Last Day in the USA

Because you can’t have too many smoked pork rib photos!

Our Last Day in the USA

Our Last Day in the USA

Closeup of the Arkansas ribs, my favorite!

Our Last Day in the USA

Closeup of the baby back ribs.  These ribs were every bit as good as they look in these photos.  I was finally back on my game!

Our Last Day in the USA

All the ribs together on a platter, ready for the table.

Our Last Day in the USA

My sister cut up some green tomatoes, in preparation for frying them – a Southern tradition.

Our Last Day in the USA

My favorite way to cook corn is to roast it over a fire.  The smoky flavor of the fire roasted corn matched the rib flavor perfectly.

Our Last Day in the USA

This is my sister frying up the green tomatoes.

Our Last Day in the USA

And this, our final shot, is the fried green tomatoes.  They went along with the rest of the meal deliciously.

We have one more installment to show you in this series – what happened to us on the way back home to Taiwan.  Thanks for reading!  Please leave us your comments below as well as your recommendations.  Use the Apture bar above, or the ShareThis service below for social media sharing.  We look forward to your comments!

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  2. MJ,

    I am a long time reader, but this is my first post. i just had too, after looking at those smoked ribs!! they look awesome!! i love to BBQ stuff but have never smoked anything myself. i have been thinking about getting a smoker for some time now, and i think you have just convinced me!!! they look great!!

    keep up the good work on the blog, love reading up on all your adventures! i hope everything is well with your eye now, hopefully you won’t have any more problems with it in the future!

    thanks again for sharing,

    1. hi Brian, and welcome to our blog – even though you’re a longtime reader, which we truly appreciate! we hope to see you in our comment section regularly from now on!

      thanks for your kind comments. i have a few new floaters but they seem to be diminishing as my body absorbs them. i had a follow up exam on the 25th and the doctor said i have degeneration of the vitreous but other than that, everything looks good (she checked both eyes).

      you really should get a smoker! it well become the talk of the neighborhood, as the smell of cooking ribs wafts through the air. you’ll be the most popular guy in town! i would be more than happy to correspond with you via email and impart what knowledge i have on the subject, so you won’t be on your own after you get it. there is plenty of good stuff out there on the web, especially at http://www.barbecuen.com/ . of course you’ll have to share some photos of the results!

      thanks again Brian. let us know how you make out getting your new smoker! take care.

      1. MJ,

        you will definitely see more in the comment section from now on! thanks for the link, there is some really good stuff on there, i will be reading some more on that site. it starting to warm up over here in NJ so i am going to start looking for smokers soon!! i will let you know when i get one, and would greatly appreciate some tips and pointers from you on how to get that thing smoking!

        im glad to hear that everything is going good with your eyes, my dad has macular degeneration, so while i dont have first hand experience i can understand how it feels to have problems with your eye site.

        i cant wait for warmer weather here so i can start BBQ’ing again, with out having to stand in the freezing cold or snow while cooking which i have been known to do 🙂

        thanks again,

        1. hi Brian, great! glad to hear it 🙂 we’ll be waiting anxiously for a report on your progress blowing smoke! take care, Brian.

  3. Darn… look at all of those smoked ribs… and I have to wait 4 months for the Phantom Gourmet BBQ Beach Party 🙁

    So… how long do you smoke your ribs for??? Do you smoke them long enough so that… as Floramo’s in Chelsea advertises… that meat falls off of the bone???

    When they interview some of the BBQ Masters that will be at the BBQ Beach Party… they say if you smoke them long enough so that the meat falls off the bone… you’ve cooked them too long. They say you want them so that a little bit of pull required to get the meat off of the bone. They say they usually smoke their ribs for 4 hours and then throw them on the grill for a little bit to throw on the BBQ sauce.
    mike01905´s last post ..New Years Eve in Boston – Ice Sculptures

    1. hi Mike. i smoke mine usually around 3 to 4 hours, sometimes less if i run the fire hotter. i agree with the comment about the meat falling off the bone – that’s too long and pork dries out badly. putting them on the grill to add a grilling sauce is not a bad idea but normally i don’t do that, and i normally do not sauce the ribs either. but that’s because i didn’t have any Bootsy sauce back then! sorry you have to wait so long for the BBQ Beach Party!

      1. Do you use any kind of dry rub on the ribs before you put them into the smoker???

        There was 1 person I think from Tennessee that use to be at the Phantom Gourmet BBQ Beach Party that didn’t put his ribs on the grill and sauce them up. He says… BBQ sauce is used to cover up the taste of bad BBQ 🙂 He did have containers of BBQ sauce for those that wanted to put some on his ribs. I ate his ribs without sauce.
        mike01905´s last post ..2011 New England Boat Show

        1. hi Mike. no i do not use any type of dry rub on them. i also don’t sauce them after with a “finishing sauce” as i tend to agree with the gentleman from Tennessee that the sauce covers up bad BBQ. on their own the ribs have a smoky, rich flavor that doesn’t need anything. now that being said, i did have someone at one of my many BBQ parties ask me for BBQ sauce and i gave them the only stuff that i had around, which was Hunts. he actually put it on the ribs and said it was “good.” these days i would use Bootsy BBQ Sauce and i might even be tempted to use it as a finishing sauce just to give it a try. Bootsy is the best sauce on the market and because it’s so unique, i’m sure people would enjoy it as a compliment to my smoked ribs. i’m still at a loss for a source of white oak here in Taiwan to use for smoking, or else i would do what i did in Thailand and that is to have a smoker built at a local machine shop. thanks Mike.

  4. Wow, looks just perfect.

    There is a lot of pleasure to be had from cooking something very slowly, I think. The chatting, the anticipation, the smell of good food waiting … 🙂

    1. hi Stefan. you are absolutely right about that. the smoker becomes the center of the backyard entertainment and people anticipate the food coming out of it later. in the meantime, there are the smells of the food cooking to enjoy, along with some drinking and conversation. it’s a great way to spend the afternoon! thanks and take care!

  5. Hey MJ.

    That looks like one heck of a BBQ (or as we say in South Africa Braai). The end result looked incredibly delicious. Would have been aesome to taste. Ha ha. I remember those days in South Africa we braai every weekend – come sun or rain – lol – now in Taipei there is nowhere to start a fire. Ha ha.

    Anyway, looks like you had a an awesome trip home.

    Paul´s last post ..African Dream Pt 2- Zulu Dancing in Durban Botanical Gardens

    1. hey Paul, how are you? it’s been awhile since we’ve seen you in our comments section. i know what you mean about not having a place to start a fire. having your own land in Taiwan is a precious commodity! i wish i could find some wood for cooking…. maybe someday i’ll find a source here. thanks and take care, Paul.

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