Sunday 3-2-1 Baby Back Ribs

Discussion in 'Pork' started by smoke-monster, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. I smoked these using hickory chunks and chips using the 3-2-1 method and thought they came out great. I maintained a temperature of 225 degrees for the entire 6 hours and sauced during the last hour. The only thing that would have made them better was homemade sauce. I was out of homemade and used Sweet Baby Rays which isn't bad for a bottled sauce.

    Rubbed down (overnight) and ready for the smoker.

    After six hours in the smoker, ready to eat.
    texastitan likes this.
  2. That's how it's done right.          [​IMG]
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    They look good. Baby Back Ribs are usually done on a 2-2-1 schedule but if you were happy, stick to what worked for you...JJ
  4. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    They look good...
  5. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Beautiful ribs...makin' me hungry!

  6. Only problem I see there is you didn't make enough for me.  Good smokin' Sir.
  7. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Love me some ribs!  [​IMG]
  8. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great Looking Ribs!!! I could that whole pile!!!
  9. mamahop

    mamahop Newbie

    I had someone tell me that 3.2.1 was three hours on smoke, 2 hours wrapped in foil with juice and off the grill and then 1 hour back on the smoke.  Then, I saw that for the 2 hours wrapped in foil, you leave on the smoke and heat. Will someone please verify the correct way to use the 3.2.1 method.  Please and thank you so very much.  
  10. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    3-2-1 is usually used only as a starting for spare ribs.  Many people make modifications to suit their own taste.  3 hours in smoke.  2 hours foiled, usually with a little liquid added. (smoke not really required when foiled)  Then 1 hour on the grate with foil removed.  The final hour is when you want to add sauce for those who like them that way.  Many, like me, prefer them without sauce.  The final hour also helps firm them back up, as they can get a little "soggy" in the foil.  (technical term right there!)

    For baby backs?  The drill is the same sequence.  Except most use 2-2-1 instead of the 3-2-1 for their starting point before making modifications based on personal preference.

    Good luck and good smoking.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  11. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I just made baby backs for the second time last week end and they turned out great at 3-2-1. I used Chef Jimmy's foiling juice. They were for the most part falling off the bone but not completely. I was very happy with them but may not know any

    Used the juice from the foil 1/2 hour before taking out of the smoker.

  12. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yep, those methods work for "falling off the bone" ribs.

    For those who like their ribs with the bone still in, or with a little tug?  Some variations might be in order.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  13. These were pretty large for baby backs and we do like them "fall off the bone" so the 3-2-1 worked out perfectly for our taste. I did a 2-2-1 one time before and they weren't as tender as we like so I'm sticking with what works for me. Thanks for all the nice comments.
  14. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    [​IMG] got me hungry for ribs!  looking good!

  15. adp32

    adp32 Newbie

    I'm trying slow and long today.  All of it in the smoker.....

    Master Built vertical smoker can be used with propane or coal....trying coal for the first time. 

    The coal heated up really quick, so impressed with that already. 

    Now I'm just 1 hr into the smoking, and watching out for temp, seems a little low right now, but you never know.
  16. gilmartinmick

    gilmartinmick Newbie


    A quick question - would the times vary with the number of racks that you are cooking at any one time?


  17. I have tried both 2-2-1 and 3-2-1 with baby backs and my family likes them more tender and falling off the bone so I have stuck with 3-2-1 . 

    More racks is more meat which may lower your smoker temp and take a little longer to recover, but cook time shouldnt change since its only an aproximate time anyway. Ive done 6 racks in my kamado and didnt notice a diffrence from doing 2 or 3.
  18. gunsnguts13

    gunsnguts13 Newbie

    OK after reading all the post...I've never done the 3-2-1 or 2-2-1 ...always on the rack n they have always come out great moist & tender lil tug n off the bone but I spray them every does wrapping them in foil make them fall off the bone ?
  19. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I feel I need to jump in here, I just want to add my two cents as far as the tenderness of ribs.

    What one calls tender may be overcooked for another.

    Many folks think that mush is tender, I have had ribs tender like a "steak texture" and I have had ribs fall of the bone mushy.

    Seems that many folks prefer a rib that falls off the bone when you pick it up and it dissolves in your mouth,  eating ribs this way gives no control of the bite everything plops off the bone onto your face... too me that is mush.

    I had a steak once that was so "Tenderized" it was like eating mush, not enjoyable from a texture standpoint.

    Then there are folks that prefer a clean tug from the bone, to me that is about as tender as you get before it falls under the Mush category.

    Then there are folks that prefer a little tug and "chew off the bone", this is also tender but has a more of a steak texture, this is my preferred way as I control what comes off the bone into my mouth.

    There's nothing worse than eating overcooked ribs that were not trimmed properly and getting a mouthful of crud you have to spit out.

    On a closing note... would I eat ribs overcooked?... hell yes, I'm not stupid but that's  because my family prefers them that way, but I try to lean towards the "clean tug from the bone" type of ribs.
    gunsnguts13 likes this.
  20. I make a sauce but serve it on the side (I really like the Memphis BBQ Sauce #1 in Jeff's book). I do the 3-2-1 for spares and the 2-2-1 for baby backs. I haven't had a complaint yet. :D

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