"3-2-1" -- I'm a Believer!

Discussion in 'Pork' started by pigeyex, May 31, 2011.

  1. pigeyex

    pigeyex Fire Starter

    Been wanting to try the "3-2-1" method for about a year now, but somehow kept fighting it, thinking that "ribs baked in foil in my oven" just was sacrilege or something, LOL.  I normally smoke (baby-backs) for about 4-6 hours, depending on how much time I have that day, and then finish 'em for about 30 minutes on my gas Jenn-Air grill while I bbq sauce 'em up.

    For Memorial Day, I decided to do the "3-2-1" thing.

    Three racks of baby backs, each cut in half (six slabs total).  Here they are, all rubbed down and ready to go in the smoker after about 3 hours marinating in the fridge:


    Smoker's ready.  Lots of smoke, and dead-perfect 225 degrees:


    Also thrown into the smoker will be my "auxilary pork," a cheap pork steak that I mopped with my rub drippings and that I'll use to cut up and put into my baked beans:


    After 3 hours in the smoker, they're ready for Phase Two.  Into a large lasagne pan they go, with a roasting rack on the bottom of the pan to keep the ribs up off of about 1/8" of apple juice that I've poured into the bottom of the pan:



    After 2 hours in the oven, with the pan wrapped tightly in foil and baked @ 225 degrees, they are ready for finishing on my gas Jenn-Air grill:


    I can already tell that these baby backs are much moister than my usual "4-6 hours in the smoker" method.  :eek:)  Likin' what I'm seeing so far at this point.

    But first, a good cook never expects his guests to try what he himself hasn't sampled, so . . .


    Yeah.  PRESIDENTE!!!

    OK, back to the pork . . .

    Onto the grill (med. direct heat) they go:


    I like the nice sheen I've got going here, yet still with a nice crust and still moist:


    They turned out amazing, and definitely more moist than mine usually are.  I charred the bottom of a couple of the racks a little, when my smoker's water pan was evaporated of its contents and my smoker got up to about 275-300 for about 10 minutes before I caught it, but otherwise they were PERFECT.  Even the beans came out amazing.  The "auxillary pork" steak yielded about a cup and a half of perfectly-smoked, tasty, chopped pork, which I threw into the 2 large cans of Bush's Original baked beans along with some shaved onions, about 3/4 cup of Sweet Baby Ray's Original bbq sauce, about 1/2 cup of brown sugar and about 1/4 cup of maple syrup.


    I would definitely use this method again, but am almost wondering if I might even skip the final (grilling) stage. 

    The more I think about it, I'm starting to question even grilling them at ALL at the end.  I mean, 2-3 hours in the smoker puts a nice crust on them, and of course that great smoky taste.  And then they're sooo juicy after they came out of their apple juice steam bath in the oven, wrapped in foil.  What's the point of the grilling at the end?  They're already fully cooked when they come out of the oven?

    Originally, I thought it was to carmelize the bbq sauce, but with this rub (a brown sugar/chili power/paprika/etc. basic one) you don't even NEED any bbq sauce, or you could just lightly baste them with sauce after they come out of the oven.  And I DAMNED sure don't think you need a full hour on there (I only did 25-30 minutes).  I think I just further charred the bottoms of them with that final time on the grill, even on low heat.

    With the right rub, and a nice smoke ring, you don't need the sauce.

  2. pigeyex

    pigeyex Fire Starter

    Wow, that was an awful lot of work for NO REPLIES.

    You guys sure know how to make a newbie feel welcome.  Oh well, I know they tasted great!!   [​IMG]

  3. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I didn't see this til just now!!!

    That kinda thing happens doncha know!!!

     The pics and step by step are great!!


  4. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sorry, Pigeyex. Not typical of this forum at all. That is why I often check the unanswered posts to make sure this doesn't happen.

    That is one great looking smoke ya got there! Those ribs and beans look like they turned out great! I love the 3-2-1 method as well, and I don't grill to caramelize at the end either -- just not necessary IMHO. Great job with the Qview as well! Keep it coming!

  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Very nice looking Ribs, Pigeye!!!

    Sometimes these thing get missed, and drop down under the radar.

    Somebody finds it, and puts it back on top. Then we get to see it.

    You brought it back up, and now 4 of us , so far, have had the pleasure of commenting on it.

    Thanks for showing,

  6. Fantastic looking smoked ribs Pigeye...i love the pork steak idea also. I like smoked pork steaks all by them self...i smoke them 2 hours then in foil for one hour after that i dry them on the grill for 5- 6 minutes...done. They are great ...try them sometime.[​IMG]
  7. lucky13

    lucky13 Smoke Blower

    Looks like a great smoke Pigeye!  I agree with you that you don't need to grill at the end.  Comes off the smoker as a perfect line of swine!
  8. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    What a great looking post man sorry we missed it. I might have been busy with some of those margaritas
  9. Those Ribs look great!!!

    I'm also going to try your Baked Bean Recipe. They look great.

    This weekend might be my first 3-2-1 method as well. The question I have is with this method do I need to monitor the temps of the Ribs? I never see anyone post temps.

    Also I know some of my family like the ribs to not fall off the bone, would I just cut time off the 3-2-1?
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011
  10. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks fantastic!! Great job from you!!
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That's right, if you do 3-2-1 at 225˚, you'll be well over the safe temp---No need to monitor.

    When I do 3-2-1, I have never had fall off the bone ribs. I have to go to 2.5-2.5-1 for fall off the bone, so I would do 3-2-1 if I didn't want fall off the bone Spares.

  12.   .   HEY] pigeyex /  NICE looking ribs,I got hungry just looking at those pics.  I'M new to the forum also,and new to smoking.I built a u.d.s. from imformation learned from theese frindly folks. I have used the 3.2.1.method a couple of times but I didn't do the ovenpart,three hours in smoke/ two hours in foil with apple juice/ one hour no foil .IF i did it wrong im glad ,my whole family loved them.I  AM LOOKING FORWARD TO TRYING YOUR SMOKED BEANS .NICE MEETING YOU    ...GRAYGHOST60                                                                                                                                         p.s. IT dont heat up the kitchen /do it all on the smoker
  13. tyotrain

    tyotrain Master of the Pit

    Great looking bones.. bet they were tasty nice job
  14. pigeyex

    pigeyex Fire Starter

    Thanks for all the replies, guys, and sorry for the whining.  I was just excited about finding this great site, and about how the ribs came out, and I turned into a whiny diva, lol.

    I too don't go for the "fall-off-the-bone" consistency:  I like a little CHEW to my ribs.  If I'm going to do MEAT (say, instead of pasta) for dinner, I want to feel like I just ate MEAT.

    We had the leftovers tonite for dinner -- ribs, beans and the rest of the corn on the cob.  Mmmmmmmmm.  I've never seen my family use so LITTLE bbq sauce -- most of us didn't even use any, they were already so tasty and juicy.

    btw, I don't measure, but my rub was approximately:
    • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup white sugar (will probably use turbinado sugar next time for this)
    • 1/2 cup paprika
    • 1/2 cup chili power
    • 1 Tbsp ancho chile power
    • 1 T sage
    • 3 T garlic powder
    • 3-4 T minced onion
    • 1 T coarse ground black pepper
    • 1 T red cayenne pepper
    • 3 T kosher salt
    • 2 tsp ground ginger
    • 2 tsp crushed red pepper
    I really just eyeball it, and it depends on how many racks of ribs I'm doing, but I do put the rub on pretty liberally.  The main thing I do is just make sure I have a "2-1-1" ratio of sugar-chili powder-paprika as my base.  I started a few years ago with a recipe that called for equal parts of brown sugar and chili powder, but like my ribs a little sweeter. 

  15. hmcm

    hmcm Smoke Blower

    Awesome ribs man!!  3-2-1 is the only way to fly!  Grilling at the end is not necessary unless you want a bit of that char action!

  16. I usually do 3-2-.5 and they are falling off the bone.. The method really works good.
  17.  Great looking chow.

    It seems most people here use a 2-2-1 method for baby-backs and a 3-2-1 for spares.

     I always cook spares because they are a much better buy around here than baby-backs. I usually modify the times to about 3.5-3-.5 .  I have thought about a short turn on the grill for a finish but so far have not done it. Sometimes I do skip the final rack time. Always  great If you use anywhere near these times. Modify them to your liking. I was glad to learn this method here. More information than you can shake a stick at on this forum.

  18. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    My first time to see it also but I miss alot of them. The ribs look great and so do the beans. I want to give your beans a try. Thanks for the Q-view...You did good ![​IMG]
  19. smokinal

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

    Great looking ribs Pigeye!   [​IMG]

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