3-2-1 and 2-2-1 question

Discussion in 'Propane Smokers' started by kevin scott, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. Hey all,

    Getting ready for my first time using my Masterbuilt XL, and my plan is to break it in with 3 slabs of baby back ribs for my family.  I was thinking of trying the 3-2-1/2-2-1 method, but have one question: the second phase, I am reading to put the ribs in foil.  Do I still do this in a vertical smoker with a water pan?  Or is the water pan putting enough moisture in the box to do the job? 

    Also, I was planning of saucing them with my wife's fave bbq sauce in the last hour; anyone else do this, and with what kind of results? 

    Thanks all! 
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Try this during the foil phase and you may not even need sauce...

    Foil Juice

    For each Rack combine:

    1T your Fav Rub

    1/2 stk Butter

    1/2C Cane or King Syrup

    1/4C Apple Cider

    1T Molasses

    Bring to a simmer, rest off heat 5 mins, add to foil with ribs.

    Baste the ribs with the foiled sauce for last hour.

    Hope you like it...JJ
  3. krivera1

    krivera1 Newbie

    Everything can be done in the verticle smoker with your water pan present.  In reality, in the second step the ribs will be foiled so the water pan is redundant, but no harm otherwise...

    In my smoker if I fill the water pan at the beginning when cooking ribs I usually have enough liquid to get thru the whole cooking process - I don't need to add or touch the water pan for the whole time.  

    Not sure how big your pan is, but if it gets low enough go ahead and add a little more water - won't make a huge difference in the last two stages of the 3-2-1 and will keep drippings and stuff from crusting to the pan.
  4. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    For baby backs it's 2-2-1 some people do 2-1.5-1 the 3-2-1 is for spare ribs.
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Everybody has their own variation of the 2-2-1 for BB's.

    Like Piney says 2-2-1 is where to start and see if they are done to your taste.

    If not next time make adjustments.

    I have found that for me ribs are the hardest thing to get right consistently that I smoke.

    I'm always trying to make that perfect rib!

    Experimented with a rack yesterday, they were good, but not the perfect one yet.

  6. JJ,

    This sounds mighty dangerous.  One question: Cane/King syrup?  Never heard of it.  Is it the same as Light Karo syrup, or something else? 

    Thanks for all the replies, this is one cool site, for sure! 
  7. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Kevin how are you.

    If your smoker came with a water pan use it.

    The smoker is designed that way. The only time I don't use water in my Vertical is when making Jerky.

    The water pan has more than one function

    The water helps maintain a desirable smoking temp.

    It also acts as a heat sink, and drip pan, some say it adds moisture.

    I do not agree that it actually adds moisture, however it may reduce moisture loss.

    Gonna catch hell for that last part.
  8. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Piney and Al got you covered on the ribs
  9. Thanks SQWIB. 

    Got the racks out of a brine they sat in for 24hrs, now they are covered in rub, double wrapped in plastic, and back in the fridge for bed.  They will go on tomorrow around noon, 2 hours in hickory smoke, 2 hrs in foil, and 1 hour out of foil, with sauce.  Hopefully my wife likes them.  She isn't quite the smoked food lover as I am. 
  10. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

  11. waysideranch

    waysideranch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


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