Sparerib Cooking Techniques??

Discussion in 'Pork' started by bugman, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. bugman

    bugman Newbie

    I've tried cooking spareribs a lot of ways.  I just can't seem to get them right.  Should I use foil or not?  It seems that there not moist when I don't use foil, but then again when I use foil, they don't have the smoke flavor.  Any input on how to get me to cook some moist and tender ribs would be great.  I've gotten to the point that I cook for 2 hours in smoker and then put in oven to keep them moist and to get the meat to pull away from the bones.  I've never had success in a smoker to get the bone to show like most people have pics of them.
  2. bugman

    bugman Newbie

    I use a New Braunsfel Bandera smoker. It's offset vertical if that has any help on any input.Thanks
  3. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Do a search for the 3-2-1 method  and you will have perfect ribs. 
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    There are many ways, but I'll give you a short of the way I do Pork Spares.---3-2-1

    I usually trim mine to a St Louis cut, but you don't have to.

    Day before, I rub yellow mustard all over the ribs.

    Then some type of rub on top of that.

    Then wrap well in saran wrap, and put in fridge over night.

    6 hours before eating time, I put them in my pre-heated smoker at 225˚/230˚ unwrapped for 3 hours of smoke.

    I also put at least one qt of boiling water in my water pan, so I don't have to open the door to spritz the ribs.

    At the end of those 3 hours, I take them out, foil them, and add a little apple juice mixed with a little BBQ sauce (only a few ounces), and put them back in.

    Then at the end of 2 hours in foil, I take them out again, remove from foil, and coat them with BBQ sauce, and put them back in for one more hour. Be careful they don't fall apart & hit the ground/floor!!!

    At the end of the 6 hour total, take them out carefully, take pictures, and chow down!!!!

    That's about it.

    hoity toit likes this.
  5. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    What Bear like a charm as long as you maintain the proper temps.
  6. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I agree too
  7. smokinal

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

    Same 3-2-1 rocks!
  8. smokingeagle

    smokingeagle Smoke Blower

    Did some st.louis style this weekend for the first time using the 3-2-1 method and the family loved them. Been doing baby backs for years think i am gonna stay with st.louis style.
  9. I also did 2 racks of spare ribs cut down St. Louis style. I cooked them 3-2-1 and they turned out very good.
  10. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    3-2-1 like Bear said is the super easy no-fail method that gives great results. Once you have good fire controll and feel adventurous then try no foil but with temps between 200 & 230, you will still get a great tender, moist rib, but it will have a bit of bark on the outside - the secret is the lower temps. Then you and the family can decide what method you like best! [​IMG]
  11. helljack6

    helljack6 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Personally, i think you should decide what YOUR type of rib is first, then go from there. Everyone likes ribs cooked differently and what everyone thus far has suggested on how to cook ribs is how THEY like to eat them and not necessarily how YOU like to eat them. Answer a few questions for yourself:

    1. With or without a lot of bark?

    2. Fall off the bone or clean off with a little tug?

    3. As is or St.Louis trimmed?

    How you answer just those questions for yourself will determine if you're even going the ribs the way people have told you they cook their ribs. Here's what I would do personally so you know for yourself. Scroll down in the Pork section for my rib primer that I wrote after talking to Mike Mills about cooking baby back ribs. Apply to your spareribs question for yourself and you'll come with how you like eating ribs.

    Here's the quick link to the primer:
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011
  12. I say try both ways...with and without foil. I personally like them both ways since both ways produce a different type of rib. Its whatever im in the mood for that day. when I 1st started it was always 321, then i tried no foil and liked that as well for a little while. Now Im back doing the 321 do what you want. But i agree with everyone else that the 321 way is the easiest.
  13. I cooked for the first time today on my MES and used the 3-2-1 for spare ribs...They were fall off the bone delicious but hubby decided he prefers his with some pull on them. He didn't care for them falling off the bone. I cooked at *225....can someone please tell me how to modify for his preference? Thanks, Karen
  14. smokinal

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

    Next time try 4-1-1. This will give them some pull. If you don't like fall off the bone ribs either, then just smoke them for 6 hours straight, no foil.
  15. fife

    fife Master of the Pit

    Seems like everyone covered it well. Good Luck
  16. What is 4-1-1 please? same instructions as 3-2-1 except different times? Are these "numbers" formulas only used on Ribs? Thank you, Karen
  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    4 hours on rack uncovered-----1 hour in foil on rack (with or without a little bit of some kind of liquid)-----1 hour on rack uncovered again (with or without sauce).

    Others numbers would fit in those same places.

    That's the only time I use numbers like these---Spare Ribs--Beef Backs, Baby Backs, Country Style, etc.

    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  18. Thank  you very much!
  19. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yeah... 3-2-1 is just a guidline. Everybody adjusts the numbers to their taste and texture preferance, or just cook them at a lower temp. and leave the foil off completely.
  20. Bear, For us aussies, please describe St Louis style it still the normal rib, but modified by you, or the butcher ?

    Thanks mate

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