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smoking ribs

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

i cant seem to get them fall off the bone like when i did them in the oven.....new to smoking.. andy tips for a newbe?


post #2 of 13

Most, not all, smokers on this sight are smoking ribs w/ the goal of having a "slight tug" as opposed to the fall off thee bone texture....


I prefer the tug!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! cause it is better!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol


that being said....

if you really want to fall off the bone from the smoker you need to adjust your cooking times....


you did not state in your post, but i am assuming you are doing 3-2-1 on spares & 2-2-1 on BBs

when you go to the wrap stage make sure you are adding liquid (ex apple juice)... and also increase your wrap time to something like

Spares 2-3-1 and maybe BBs .5-3-.5... smoker temp 225/230 and you should get the desired texture you are looking for....


OR... you can learn to appreciate the golden flavor and awesomnessnessnessness of the slight tug!!!!! :-)


post #3 of 13

Welcom to the forum Woburn... don't forget to head over to roll call and tell us a little bit about yourself, and what equiptment you have.


Now for ribs the easiest method for when you are first learning how to do them is something we call 3-2-1 or 2-2-1. 3-2-1 is used for spare ribs and 2-2-1 for baby back ribs. Now each of those numbers represents a set number of hours.

  • First numer (3 or 2) is the number of hours your ribs cook in the smoker just sitting on the racks.
  • Second number (2) is the number of hours your ribs cook in the smoker, but now wrapped in foil with 1/4 C or less of additional liquid (apple juice, beer, ect.)
  • Third number (1) is the last hour and you take the ribs out of the foil and put them back on the racks in the smoker and cook them a bit longer to firm them back up.
  • Keep your smoke chamber temps between 200° and 250°, BBQ is done low-and-slow, don't rush it and you will get good results, try to hurry and you make tasty shoe leather.


Now I will warn you this will prouduce a rib that is so tender it is basically falling off the bone, the cure to that is to modify the second number. Most folks usually change the "2" to something like "1.5" or even "1". Use this method till you get a little confidence under your belt, then I would suggest trying some where you don't foil them at all... just cook them on the racks the entire time.


A little bit about temps. If your smoker has some sort of temp guage on it... IGNORE IT! Most of the stock thermometers that come on smokers are off by 50-100 °F. If you can get yourself a couple of digital thermometers with the wireless reciever, use one to monitor your chanber temps and the other(s) can be used to monitor internal meat temps. Ribs are the only thing we cook to time/eyeball, everything else is cooked according to internal meat temps.


Good luck! and holler with questions, read the forums, and don't forget to take a post pictures - a lot of times it's realy helpfull in answearing questions if we can see what you are seeing.

post #4 of 13

We can be more helpful to you if we knew what you were cooking on, what technique you used, what kind of ribs you want to cook(spares, either full or trimmed, or loin backs).

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

thanks for the good and detailed response..i opted for the Tejas smoker( i think thats it...am in London right now and cant double check) have had a little trouble intially controlling the temperature but am learning to be patient.  Before i realized their was forums i was watching you tube videos of rib smoking.  so im quite the begginer but am enjoying it.


When im home im going to try the 3 2 1 method and give them a good wrap using apple juice, as you guys suggested. am hoping that will give them the more moist tender texture with a little "tug" as well.


am using apple wood mostly because i found mesquite a quite overpowering and a little strong for newbies like myself.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Also looking to use baby back ribs......first am putting mustard on them to make sure the rub sticks (membrane removed). light the smoker and wait about 30 mins till about 230. put the ribs on spray with apple juice every hour. basically do that for about 5 hours.

post #7 of 13

Don't bother spraying every hour, if you are going to foil for the first couple of times the spraying just lets all your heat out and makes it harder to controll your temps. If you want to spray only do it if you have to open the smoker for something else. Every time you open your smoker you add approx. 7-10 min. to your smoke... so 3 times is half an hour!

post #8 of 13

What Johnny said!

post #9 of 13

your on the right site....these guys know what they are talking about....I learn something everyday!  icon14.gif

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 



Excellent advice, I used the 3-2-1 method yesterday and got the texture i was looking for. excellent flavour and a ton of smoking goodness!


Am also using a little less wood over the charcol as it was a little overpowering the flavour in the past.


post #11 of 13

Glad to hear it went well!

You may also try cherry...I find it works pretty well on ribs

I see you're working on wood amounts...you might also do a search for TBS--that will also make a big difference in the smoky flavor of your ribs!

Keep us up to date!


post #12 of 13
Originally Posted by SupercenterChef View Post

Glad to hear it went well!

You may also try cherry...I find it works pretty well on ribs

I see you're working on wood amounts...you might also do a search for TBS--that will also make a big difference in the smoky flavor of your ribs!

Keep us up to date!


Yup... if you smell the wood smoke you are getting the wood smoke, regardless of if you can actually see it or not.


post #13 of 13

Woburn,welcome1.gif, and luck on your smokes..... if you would like to use all wood(no charcoal at all),look at the Wiki at the top and look for FIREBUILDING101. a good read and will explain a lot.


have fun smoking ,Stan and Trish; remember ........

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