A square chimney
Dry rubs are favoured for ribs. They can be mostly salt and pepper with some spices but brown sugar is also commonly added. Make sure you remove the membrane — see weber. com/US/en/grill-skills/masteringpork/ribs/removing-the-membranefrom-baby-back-ribs/weber-34589.html.
A wet rub can be the same as just mentioned but with the addition of oil, or it can start out as a sauce. They can be mustard based, with added vinegar, or tomato and molasses based. The tomato can be slathered on to create a glaze, or thinned with more vinegar, which penetrates the meat.
Or you can make a nice marinade, such as finely chopped rosemary, garlic, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Baste the meat with it and steep it overnight. Sticking with Roman’s plan, his chimney is 1400mm of 150mm pipe. He welded that to a triangular box (with the point cut off and welded shut) that he made out of tread plate. It is about 10mm from each side of the tank where it is welded to the smoker and 100mm deep.
The chimney is cut off at an angle inside it. Some smokers’ chimneys are welded straight onto the side of the smoker. Roman went to the effort of building this square funnel to make sure the chimney drew the smoke evenly across the width of the smoker, and it adds a bit of balance to the design.
He welded a length of 15mm bore pipe, just short of the same width he wanted for the lid, along the top of the cylinder to provide a mount for the hinge. Then he took two lengths of 12mm rod, bent 50mm of them at right angles, and inserted the short sections into the pipe. Next he heated the rods with a gas torch, bent them down to follow the curve of the cylinder, and welded them in place. Roman says that no matter what kind of hinge you intend to fit, it’s best to fasten them in place before you cut out the lid.
“You know it’s going to work and it’s just much easier than trying to hold loose parts in place while you fasten them up,” he says.
Then he cut out the lid with a plasma cutter. That left a gap all around the lid. The solution is to weld 20x2mm flat bar around the edge of the lid, which provides an overlap and closes the gap.
To create a handle he slipped a length of the same 15mm bore pipe over some more 12mm rod and welded this in between the two 60mm lengths of 40x5mm flat bar. Then he welded the flat bar onto the front of the lid. This gave enough room to get his hand on the handle with a decent clearance to the lid. Roman says that the loose fit of the tube over the handle keeps it cool enough, and it rotates nicely, maintaining a comfortable grip when you lift the lid.
This is simply a 480mm length of thickwalled (12mm) pipe — the thickest he could find to avoid losing heat. It’s also
1tsp fennel seeds2½tsp flaky salt6tsp brown sugar2tsp sweet paprika2tsp smoked paprika2tsp ground chilli2tsp garlic powder1tsp ground cumin½tsp ground nutmegToast the fennel seeds in a dry frying pan until fragrant, then grind to a powder using a mortar and pestle. Add the flaky salt to the mortar and give a light bash to break down some of the larger crystals.Transfer the fennel and salt to a mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well, ensuring that there are no lumps of sugar.Store your rub in an airtight jar away from direct sunlight.This rub works well with pork ribs, beef short ribs, and chicken.Rub a generous amount onto your chosen meat 12–24 hours prior to cooking, if time allows, but it will also work well as a last-minute seasoning. 2tbsp Spanish smoked sweet paprika 2tbsp ordinary paprika2tbsp salt2tsp freshly ground black pepper 2tsp cayenne pepperA little sweet, a little spicy and a little heat.Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and store in an airtight container. Great for brisket.Our thanks to by Al Brown, published by Random House New Zealand, RRP$70 Photograph: Kieran Scott