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Ribs question

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Before I ask my rib question...let me tell you what I've been working on...
Remove skirt, remove membrane, cut St. Louis style but keep brisket portion nearby.
Rub with Jeff's rub, smoke with Cherry at 225, eat.

I started with cutting St Louis after smoking but the brisket seemed to take longer to cook than the I've been working on cutting first, cooking together, then leaving the brisket in the smoker longer.

So, my question is...are ya'll doing this?  If so...what kind of times are you looking at...both ribs and brisket (or tips, or end...depending, it seems, on who you talk to).  I seem to be doing ok with about 4.5 hours for ribs and 5.5 for brisket but am always trying to get it better.  I thought I might try the 3-2-1 method today and see how that compared...does this change the times, if so, how?

Thanks in advance,
ribs are in the I'll be checking back often!

post #2 of 19

Each piece of meat is different. Since I have never done both Ribs and brisket at the same time, I have no idea on your time frame being right or wrong. I use a modified 3-2-1 for my ribs. Some on here have had brisket times in the double digits. I was surprised to see my first brisket down in less than 6 hours. I was expecting twice that amount of time.

3-2-1 is just that ....6 hours, nothing changes unless you modify it.

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

I guess I should clarify...the 'brisket' I'm referring to is just the top of the rib section after you've made the St. Louis cut...

post #4 of 19
Originally Posted by SupercenterChef View Post

I guess I should clarify...the 'brisket' I'm referring to is just the top of the rib section after you've made the St. Louis cut...

 I do not separate them for St. Louis style. But I do find that flap can get done sooner that other sections of the meat. If I was to separate them, I might do the ribs 3-1.5-1 and the flap at 2-1.- 1 with adjustments if needed.

 Most of the time we cut up this flap and add it to baked beans.


post #5 of 19

Yea, as Flash mentioned about the flap meat, and, I generally use the entire amount of brisket meat from SLC's (after removing the cartilage and dicing) for adding to smoked beans...makes for a meal in one dish.


The actual weight of each slab before seperation/smoke will give better insight to smoke times, with a 5.75lb slab of spares (being about as big as I've seen) taking up to an hour longer than the average weight of 4.75-5.0lb. Heavier slabs of spares translate to thicker (as well as longer/wider). Thickness (or sectional density) is the main factor in how long a particular piece will take to cook through. I have seen a few slabs of spares that seemed to have a bit thicker brisket area, and when I smoked them whole, they took over 8 hours total...seems like I used a 4.5-2.5-1 for those (@225*), and they came out smiling in the end.


The brisket bones do take a bit longer if you're going to eat them as an entree instead of cutting up and adding to something else to finish cooking it. But, for adding to beans, 3 to 4 hours smoke, then finish cooking the diced meat in the beans until the mixture is heated to at least 170*, or until the beans are tender, if you're making them from scratch instead of canned.


Hope that gives you some more food for thought...good smokes to ya!



post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

Good to know...thanks!

My ribs usually average about 4.5-5 lbs total...maybe what I thought was the ribs getting tougher from over-cooking was just me not cooking long enough!

I'll try to stick to the 3-2-1 for both SLC and brisket today and see how that works out...


btw...I used to cut up the brisket and give it to my eight dogs for a snack (yes, that trick will turn you into a dog whisperer...they love me!)...but I was talking to a bbq joint owner the other day and it seems that he sells more rib brisket than actual ribs! I figured I'd better start treating them as serious entrees, at least in this neck of the woods :)

post #7 of 19

I usually cook my ribs (unfoiled) at 200-225° for approx. 5 hrs., till they can pass the bend test. That is where you pick up a rack approx. 1/3-1/4 of the way from the end and lift it up off the grates. If the remainder of the rack bends down 90° they are done.


I call the portion of the spare that I cut off for St. Louis style ribs, the skirt. I usually put the skirts on when I start the ribs and let them cook for about 3 hrs. Then I bring them in and pull all the meat off and use some of it for the beans, and some for the cooks lunch! LOL

post #8 of 19


I'll try to stick to the 3-2-1 for both SLC and brisket today and see how that works out...

That would be a good place to start, Then you can modify your times on your next smoke.

I think once you try the 3-2-1 , you will be pleasedbiggrin.gif

post #9 of 19

Yep use the trimmings for beans & to snack on while the ribs cook.

post #10 of 19

Hey he turned me into a newbie as I only know its a rib. I don't waste time with SL style ribs. 

Didn't realize there are 3 sections and some people actually cut them up that way. help.gif

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 

thanks for all the help guys...I'll be pulling them out in about fifteen minutes...

...they're gifts and so they wanted sauce, but I'll turn them into dry-believers next time...

Qview to come...

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

Ok, here's the finished product...very good!

A word about the qview...they look burnt--they weren't; they look small--they weren't...well ok, maybe it wasn't a true SLC...we'll call it a Supercenter Chef Cut--I like for the bones to stick out on both sides :)




sorry for the grease...I did the '1' of '3-2-1' in the oven to make it easier to slather sauce--hey, that's how they wanted it!




post #13 of 19

The "brisket" section of the ribs will not be at the top.  It will be at the bottom.


If you are referring to the upper part of spares, you are dealing with the skirt.


Good luck and good smoking.

post #14 of 19

Nice work they look great, The part you call Brisket, we call Rib Tips in this neighborhood and because they are sooo meaty are my favorite part. I chew off the the bulk of the meat and the Dog sits at my side waiting for me to toss her the Cartilage. My girls and wife prefer the no-work to eat and leaner Ribs. So far I have cooked them the same amount of time as the ribs with great results...JJ

1st ribs1.jpg

post #15 of 19


post #16 of 19

They look perfect to me! Nice job!

post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 

lol, JJ...I have no idea!  Some in the neighborhood here call it the 'rib end' and call the 'tips' the small chunk of meat with the vertebral spine...I PM'd Venture for clarification as he seemed to know what's up! :)


thanks for the props guys...always searching for a better rib ;)


post #18 of 19

Yes, the area at the bottom is often referred to as a rib end, rib tip or whatever.  We are talking about where the ribs join the sternum.  Hopefully Pops will be by to give the Pro take on this.  He knows this stuff inside out.


Good luck and good smoking.

post #19 of 19

I found an old post from Pops with a couple of interesting videos here:


Also, another video on ribs:

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