Author Archives: ScottWood

Review – Artestia 15″ Extra Wide Rib Rack

I recently hinted that there might be more BBQ related content shared here on my personal blog, and this post is going to get that kicked off.  I plan on sharing techniques, recipes and reviews.  Before I get into this review of the Artestia 15″ Extra Wide Rib Rack, let me say that I was not provided with these racks in exchange for a review, I bought them out of my own pocket, with my own hard earned cash.

Artestia Rib Rack

Artestia 15″ Extra Wide Rib Rack

Before I get to far into this post, perhaps a little background on what rib racks are, and why I chose this particular product.  In the simplest terms possible, rib racks allow you to cook racks of ribs vertically instead of laying flat in your smoker.  This allows you to cook a lot more at one them as you can pack more meat into the same amount of grill space.  I have tried numerous rib racks over the years, and all of them had one flaw, they were simply to narrow to allow for a whole rack or ribs.  When I came across the Artestia extra wide rib rack on Amazon it seemed like this might bit my needs.

Why are narrower rib racks a problem?  Simply put, a narrow rib rack doesn’t support the entire rack of ribs and unless you cut them in half, the ribs will lay on top of each other.

Artestia Rib Rack with Ribs

Extra wide Artestia Rib Rack loaded with 3 racks of St. Louis style ribs

As you can see from this image, the Artestia rack does a very good job of supporting the entire width of a full rack of ribs, exactly what I was looking for.

This rack has slots for 4 racks or ribs, and the slots are spaced enough to allow the ribs to be in the rack without touching the other rack.  You do have to watch how you load the rack though, I found that I needed to alternate the thick / narrow ends of the racks of ribs to get even spacing.  For those that don’t know, racks of ribs are thicker on one end than the other.

Artestia Rib Rack with Ribs showing spacing

Extra wide Artestia Rib Rack showing the spacing between the rack of ribs.

While the space between each rack isn’t huge, it is more than enough to allow for an even flow of heat and smoke around the ribs.

Artestia Rib Rack finsihed product

The finsished product, 3 racks of St. Louse sytle spareribs cooked on the extra wide Artestia rib racks

I cook my ribs in a 3-2-1 style, this means that the the first 3 hours of the cook are open and the ribs are taking on heat and smoke.  The next 2 hours the ribs are wrapped in foil with something to enhance the flavor, brown sugar and agave nectar in my case, as well as to enhance the tenderness.  The final hour is open again and during this phase of the cook I add a little more rub and then a light coating of sauce at the end to glaze the ribs.

One of the disadvantages to rib racks when cooking 3-2-1 ribs though is that while there is no issue with stacking racks of ribs that are wrapped in foil, you don’t want to do that during the last hour, and at this point the ribs are generally very tender.  The tenderness of the ribs at this point might make it a little more difficult to get them into the racks, but the wide slots in the Artestia racks helps a lot with that.

One final note on cleanup.  I found this rack to be very easy to clean, it has a no-stick coating, but I can’t comment on how long this will last, I haven’t had the greatest luck with no-stick coatings lasting over time, but as long as you are in the habit of liberally oiling the rack before putting the ribs in them you won’t have a problem with the ribs sticking or with cleaning up the racks after the cook.

All in all I am very impressed with these rib racks, so impressed in fact that after my test cook with the rack I bought, I ordered 2 more to allow me to do 12 racks or ribs at the same time.

If you are looking for a good quality, extra wide, rib rack, I would highly recommend this one from Artestia.

Posted in Barbque

A sneak peek at some new blog content

Sliced Beef Brisket

A sliced beef brisket cooked low and slow on my home made pellet cooker

It’s no secret that I haven’t been very good at updating my personal blog space, but this image of a sliced beef brisket, cooked low and slow, will hopefully serve as a bit a sneak peek of some ideas I have for upcoming blog content.

Stay tuned, and hopefully you will find what I have planned exciting and worthwhile.

Posted in Barbque

We have a deck

Deck Boards Installed

Deck boards have been installed and we finally have a usable deck

If I am going to be completely honest, this deck project took a lot longer than I really wanted it to.  Even though it took a lot longer than I wanted, we finally have a deck.

One of the primary reasons was the lack of skills when it comes to carpentry in general and building something significant such as a deck.  Tasks that would have been second nature to an experienced carpenter took me a long time, I wanted to make sure that I was doing things right.  There is an old saying about measuring twice and cutting once.  I actually measured 4 or 5 times, cut once, and often messed that up so I would start over again.

While weather was also a contributing factor in the delay in getting this project completed, the main reason was that I was paying for this as I went and a few times I needed to save up for a few months to have the money to buy the supplies that I needed.

The project is not done, I still need to build a small covered storage area where you see the wall framed in the above picture, and I am going to build an L shaped counter / food prep area where you see the grill sitting, but those will happen later this spring.  For now we have a usable deck, and plan on enjoying it as much as possible.

Posted in DeckBuildProject

Alaskan yellow cedar

Alaskan Yellow Cedar decking

I realize that I haven’t posted a deck build project update since late last summer.  The main reason is that I simply haven’t had a lot to report.  Between winter weather, holiday travel, and about 100 other things, I simply haven’t had much of a desire or opportunity to work on it.  That all changed this week when I started putting down the Alaskan yellow cedar deck boards.

When it came to the decking material I had a number of options to choose from and to be honest, it did take me a while to make my final decision.  The options I looked at included pressure treated lumber, composite, standard red cedar and Alaskan yellow cedar.  I ended up going with the yellow cedar for a couple reasons, first was that the quality of the lumber for the price was impossible to beat, but more importantly I really love the way it looks.  Simply put, it is very attractive cedar.

In the picture above the decking is not screwed down yet, just laid out to give an idea of what the 20’x14′ deck will look like.  Weather permitting the decking will be down before this weekend.  After that I still have a few things that I need to get done, the small storage area on the back corner, an L shaped feed prep area as well as getting electricity ran from the garage out to the deck.  

Stay tuned, more coming soon.

Posted in DeckBuildProject

Veterans Day 2016

Kevlar.jpg

To all my fellow veterans, regardless of when or where you served, I wish you a Happy Veterans Day.  

Posted in LifeInGeneral