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Question about ribs....

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Last weekend I did some back ribs using the 2-2-1 method and they turned out really good!  I was quite happy with them, however when I removed them from the tin foil to put them back on the rack for the final hour they basically fell apart.  I was amazed and that's the first time I had seen that lol  At that point, would they have been done as far as cooking?  I think I just left them on the rack for another 30 minutes or so and they dried /firmed up pretty good.  Still fell off the bone but was drier.


This weekend I'm cooking for a bunch of friends, the test runs are over, this is game time haha

I'm doing side ribs this time (spares).  I guess my main question is if they are falling apart after the foil round do I still need to cook them more?  ...and side ribs are 2-2-2  .... or can I do like 2-3-1 or something like that...



post #2 of 11

Not sure what you're asking. Are you saying you don't want them to fall apart?

If so, and you're cooking spares, I 'd do a 3-1, then wait and see. The foiling is optional. It really depends on the consistency you prefer. If you really like fall of the bone tenderness, then go with 3-2-1, or a variation thereof. If you like a little more "tooth" to your ribs, cut the foiling time to an hour and then see where you are and whether or not you need any more time or not. If you want a meaty consistency but want them to still be moist, then avoid the foiling all together and go with 4-5 hours at 200˚-215˚. You might also want to brine them first.

I'm no expert, but this is what I've come up with that seems to work for me.

post #3 of 11

Maybe try 3-1.5-.45 this should be just a little less fall of the bone. You can adjust the last number up to 1 if needed

post #4 of 11

yep, good advice above. Having friends over sounds like more than one rack will be in play. Do some with adjusted times in foil & some no foil for a test comparision. The quality of the ribs is also important...I bought a rack from an el cheapo market & was highly disappointed. The next ribs were from Costco...awesome turnout.

post #5 of 11

IMHO, the 3-2-1 for spares and the 2-2-1 for back ribs are just a starting point which is meant to modified for everyone's personal preference.


The reason for the last hour or half hour on the grate is to firm them back up cause the time in the foil is a modified braise and can make things really mushy if not done very carefully.


You have a long road of experimenting to travel, and that is half the fun?


Good luck and good smoking.

post #6 of 11

All the advice above is great.


I noticed you didn't say what temp you were smoking at.

It sounds like you were running a little hotter than 250º, which is the temp I use for ribs.


goodluck.gif this weekend.

Remember the Qview biggrin.gif

post #7 of 11
Originally Posted by Pineywoods View Post

Maybe try 3-1.5-.45 this should be just a little less fall of the bone. You can adjust the last number up to 1 if needed

 Piney has good info here. For me 3-2-1 was overkill on spares. I keep an eye on them until i get 1/4 inch pullback then foil with AJ, a touch of Beam & a lil rub. bout an hour later I check em then if ready finish on the grate with sauce if they wand sauced ribs or just firm em up if they want dry ribs.usually 15 minutes or so for dry closer to 30 for sauced, because i like the sauce to get some smoke flavor.


post #8 of 11

   Lth80,I know a llt of guys here swear on the foil and unfoil thingy,but I don't use it at all and get beautiful ribs.

   I am a wood burner and do not know what you are using to Smoke your ribs. I am going to explain how I do them(spares)and point you to another on  member of SMF so you can ask him if my proceedure worksbiggrin.gif

   I do not trim my Spares,I only 'skin' the Rib side , rub with whatever and put them in a preheated to 220* to 250*f cooker(the lower the better). I then shut my cooker lid and LEAVE it alone for (at least) 5.5hrs. and usually 6hrs. with no "PEEKING"icon14.gif

   The reason you want to leave the door closed is that you have created a mini environment in your Smoker.You have the heat doing it's thing , and as a result of the heat,pressure on the Meat/Ribs. Plus you have a moist atmosphere in there that is from the juices(fat)vaporizing on the bottom of the cooker.Opening the lid takes your little food factory to almost a shutdown.Heat spikes,moisture loss, etc.

   It will take the whole 6 hrs. to get the pull back and the sweat to flowing.

   Now I don't profess to be a know-it-all or professional; I just took the time to play with my Ribs as I learned along the way to Adulthood.You might try to take 1 Slab of Ribs and go 1-2-3 and the other as I have explained(at different times of course).My friend Herscht tried my way and nailed it first time,he even saw the sweat or weeping when his were done.

   Look for Herscht post on the 23rd of June. I think he'll agree that keeping your lid shut helpsdrool.gif

   Have fun and ...

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies. 

To answer some of the questions....

my heat is usually 200 - 220 (I haven't been able to get my smoker above 220 yet)

I use lump charcoal with wood chunks (gonna try pecan maybe this time - good idea?)


basically my question was -is the 2-2-1 for backs and 3-2-1 for spares too much cooking time?  as I said when I took them out of the foil they fell apart.  I put them on for another 1/2 hr and, while they were very good, I thought maybe they were a little over done.


Anyways, I'll try the 3-1.5-.45 timing and see how that works out.


Next time i'm going them for myself I'll experiment and try them just straight up for 6 hrs with no peeking! lol



post #10 of 11

Ribs are so much of a personal preference kind of thing. It's hard to get 5 people together who all like ribs the same way. Keep experimenting until you find the perfect rib recipe for you & your family.

post #11 of 11

I just wet rub my ribs and smoke to temp, but thats just me. 

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