Superbowl and a plate setter

by zydecopaws on February 7, 2010

I finally broke down and purchased a large BGE plate setter for Bubba Ho-Keg and it showed up on the day before the Superbowl. Since babyback ribs were already on the menu, I figured I might as well go ahead and put it to use since nothing else productive was going to be accomplished today.

Knowing that once it was used it would never look as clean as the day it arrived, I figured I should take some pictures and talk about first impressions. The first thing I noticed was that it fit pretty well, but the legs stand up higher than the top grate setting and that there isn’t a lot of overlap where it sits on the lip of the fire bowl.

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The next thing that occurred to me was that drippings from ribs and MOINK would mess this thing up pretty quickly. I thought about wrapping it with foil, but instead went with a metal pizza pan that was slightly bigger than the round part of the plate setter.

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The grate went on next; as you can see from the picture, the grate is sitting just below the top of the base unit. Although there were no plans for using it, this would have cut down on the height of anything put on the upper grate.

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Ribs and MOINK went on next. Both were liberally dusted with the standard rib rub. I wanted to compare results with babybacks from the WSM, so I stayed with basic recipes as much as possible today.

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Everything went on the grill around 11:00, and grill left to cook at 250°F, slightly higher than I normally run the WSM for ribs. By 1:30 the MOINK was ready for glazing, and everything was pulled off the grill by about 1:45.

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The MOINK was treated to a mango-peach pepper jelly; we’ve used this before and one of my worst fears is that when we run out we won’t be able to find this particular brand anymore. My wife had stocked up last Christmas when she saw them at Costco, and we haven’t seen them at any of the stores we frequent since. I’ve used a lot of other glazes for MOINK, but this one is my favorite by far.

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The ribs were good, but a bit disappointing. They were done much faster than I thought they would be, and were a bit drier than usual. I like my babybacks dry, but these were better once they had a bit of sauce to dip them in. Clearly not one of my best efforts…

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Looking back on it, although the results were good, I think I will go back to cooking the ribs at lower temperatures, and likely stick with the WSM. The cleanup is easier, and I can put a lot more food on the WSM. Having said that, if all I had was Bubba Ho-Keg I would feel confident in my ability to turn out a better product now that I’ve seen what happens at the higher temp.

As for cleanup, I’m really glad I put the pizza pan over the plate setter.

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Another lesson learned here; next time I think I will foil the platesetter, or possibly use the pan and foil it. As it is, the plate setter has lost that “just out of the box” look…

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I’m not sure how much of that will come off; I may have to get out the pressure washer or rent a steam cleaner. Good news? I am very happy with the ability to cook indirect on Bubba Ho-Keg; I would imagine that plate setter will be getting a lot of use in the future.

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