I have three girlfriend that own Weber Smokey mountain Cookers, and also a while earlier we made decision to gain together and smoke increase a bunch that ribs. No just any kind of ribs, however the great ones—the small, soft slabs you uncover in the finest barbecue joints.

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On a warmth Saturday in might 2001, we organized “RibFest 2001”, cooking up 21 slabs that ribs on 4 WSMs. Not just did we have a great time together and also eat a many of great ribs, but we learned a lot of in the process because we might compare miscellaneous rubs and cooking methods in a side-by-side taste test. It’s the kind of event you should shot with her friends if you ever before have the chance.

21 Slabs…35 Pounds…$5.70 per Pound…Yikes!

I contacted a regional meat agency and placed an order because that a situation of “1-1/2 to 1-3/4” pork loin ago ribs. This is “butcher talk” because that slabs the weigh in between 1-1/2 and 1-3/4 pounds each. As soon as I placed the order ns asked how numerous slabs were in a case, and also the guy on the call said, “about 15”. My following question: just how much per pound? “$5.70,” the said. Best away i knew this was going to be an high-quality proposition.

I choose up the ribs a couple of days afterwards a Friday afternoon. Package they carried out come the respond to weighed 35.4 pounds. I found it difficult to believe that a box so small could weigh so much. A fast calculation in my head said me that i was getting an ext slabs than I had actually bargained for. The cashier levied the $200+ charge against my credit transaction card and a pretty man lugged the box the end to mine car. Great service because that such high-quality bones!

When I acquired home, I cut the plastic straps, opened up the box, and found a large plastic bag comprise layer after ~ layer of ribs, every layer be separate by a plastic sheet. Some of the ribs on height were starting to thaw, but most to be still frozen. Due to the fact that the box would not to the right in my refrigerator, I moved the ribs into two large plastic bags and put lock in the fridge. I counted, “15 slabs…16, 17, 18, 19, 20…21 slabs!” Wow, we far better invite some friends end to help us eat all these!

Preppin’ & Smokin’ The Bones


My friends landed on my residence on Saturday morning and set up their Weber Bullets top top the patio together my cooker. I placed down some cardboard to protect the patio from any type of cooker drips that can occur, and also I recorded down several plastic garbage bags to give folks a ar to collection down cooker parts. This operated great—at the end of the day, I eliminated the cardboard and also plastic and still had a clean patio.

We each fired a Weber chimney starter complete of Kingsford Charcoal Briquets and also followed that up with another 1/2 come 3/4 chimney complete of extr unlit briquettes.

With the cookers started, we come inside and also I unveiled the 21 slabs we had actually to prep and also rub. I wrapped the kitchen island v plastic wrap and we offered it as a work-related surface to remove the membranes and excess fat indigenous the slabs, every the methods presented in the Pork Loin earlier Rib ready article. When we were finished, we rubbed and rolled the ribs and secured them making use of bamboo skewers. The second photo above shows my friends difficult at job-related (left to right: Duncan “Cam” Engel, Geoff “Moto” Hamamoto, and Brian “The Hammer” DeHamer).

Twenty-one slabs worked out to 5 slabs per cooker v one leftover, i m sorry I put in mine cooker. We each applied three various rubs come our ribs—some commercial products and also some rubs that we combined ourselves—giving united state 12 various varieties to taste. We each supplied a different smoke wood—pecan, alder, apple/cherry, and also oak/hickory—and us sauced some ribs throughout cooking and also some after, utilizing three different sauces. Finally, we chose to cook some ribs longer than others to see just how the tenderness would be affected.

We easily realized the if we weren’t careful, we’d finish up v all the ribs done at the same time, which would make taste experimentation difficult. For this reason we decided to stagger our beginning times. This would offer us a possibility to sample a batch that ribs if they to be hot, then move on come the next batch, and also so on.

I put my ribs on an initial and plan to chef them the longest, somewhere approximately 5 hours. The other ribs would chef for 4 to 4-1/2 hours and also would get in the cookers in 30 minute increments. This would allow us come taste ribs every 30 minutes, with my long-cooked ribs being tasted last.

What us Learned

We did the normal program of transforming and basting the ribs in ~ the halfway allude of cooking and also then again a pair of time after that. Ns ran my cooker in the 240-250°F selection the entire time and ended up having to stir the coals and also open every the vents completely to save my temperature high enough.

Toward the end of four hours, my friends started applying sauce to some of their slabs, and at 3:45pm our first batch was prepared for tasting. By now some of our friends and also family had arrived to aid us enjoy the fruit of our labor. We cut the slabs into individual bones and did our taste test, pointing out the tenderness that the meat, the warmth of the rub, flavor, moisture, and smoke penetration.

We repeated the process again at approximately 4:15pm and also 4:45pm, comparing these ribs to the ones that come before. Lastly at 5:00pm, my ribs came off the cooker, smoked gently because that 5-1/2 hours.

In terms of tenderness, we uncovered that the 5-1/2 hour ribs were the most tender. The meat tore quickly when us pulled ~ above two nearby bones, and also it come cleanly off the bones. This ribs had actually that “almost falling turn off the bone” tenderness the many civilization strive because that in barbecued pork ribs. The other ribs had an excellent tenderness in her mouth, but the meat would not tear when the “pull test” was applied.

As far as taste goes, us really liked some that the spicier combinations of rub and sauce. We especially liked a rub called Barbecue the the ameri from Penzeys Spices. It’s a tasty combination of kosher salt, Hungarian sweet paprika, Jamaican allspice, cayenne, nutmeg, black color pepper, thyme, ginger, white pepper, and also Korintje cinnamon.

Personally, ns noticed that I wanted some the the ribs the my friends had actually seasoned much more heavily through rub 보다 I would have actually done myself. Together a result, I’ll try using more rub on mine ribs in the future.

The Leaning Tower of WSM

So we had actually a funny day, ate some great ribs, and impressed our friends and also family and also even ourself a small bit. What surprised us most was just how much we learned about cooking ribs in the process. This occurred only because we were able to cook so plenty of ribs in so many different ways and taste them every side by side. It was a valuable experience and also I highly recommend it to you and your barbecue friends.

I’ll near this topic v two photos. The an initial is the the 4 WSM pitmasters posing proudly at the end of a successful day. Left to right: kris Allingham, Brian DeHamer, Geoff Hamamoto, and Duncan Engel.


As anyone was packing up to go home, someone gained the glowing idea to build the world’s tallest Weber Smokey mountain Cooker. Talk about increased food preparation capacity! This sucker needed male wires for support! happily it didn’t collapse and also no Weber Bullets or pitmasters were harmed in the procedure of taking this photo.

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It to be a really memorable day, and also I expect that at some point you will gain a comparable experience v your friends, too.