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Baby Back Ribs question

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hi all.  First post here, I've been reading/lurking for a little while now.


Anyway, I made some ribs yesterday using the 3-2-1 method, but doing a short sear at high temp instead of the "1". 


Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App


They turned out pretty good, but I think they taste better today than yesterday.


Next time, can I do the "3-2" part one day, then wrap and refrigerate?  Then sear or smoke for another hour the next day?

post #2 of 25

Welcome aboard, Lee!


For baby backs many prefer the 2-2-1 method sometimes with modifications based on experience and personal preference.


For spare ribs, many use the 3-2-1 again sometimes with modifications.


Often ribs need a little tinkering to satisfy preferences of yourself, your family and guests.


Also, you might want to head over to the roll call section so we can give you a proper welcome to the forum.


Good luck and good smoking.

post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks. I'm definitely experimenting here. 


I'm doing some more this weekend, maybe I'll try the 2-2-1. 


How much liquid do you put in the foil for that part?

post #4 of 25

What Mervsaid...


Are you adding some apple juice or liquid when ta foil them??









This site has tons of info.

I suggest you spend some time reading all the different forums and the WIKIs.

Ask questions and use the handy dandy search tool for specific interests!!

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Have a great day!!!



      Make bacon the easy way!!



post #5 of 25

i know what you mean about tasting better the next day. I am making some modifications to my process to see if that helps. I believe in letting them rest a half hour before serving. that seam to help. my next batch I am going to change the time i let the rub set in to more like  8hrs. I am also going to add a little rub to foil process.


I am going back to foil also. it cuts down on the time it takes to make the ribs.


I did a few experiments with the foil time to get me the right combination of bite and fall off the bone. I always strive for the same cooking temp. i use the same butcher so the cuts are very close. i have the foil phase down to 90 min for my preference.


I did 2 hrs, 90 min, 75 min and decide 90 was good.


as for liquid, just a few table spoons or so. there is some debate on what goes on during the foil. i read an scientific article on the lull in temperature food gets at a certain time. it's relative to lots of things. without temperature probing 2 hrs in smoke seam like the cut off for ribs and then foiling. basically the meat is braising itself what you add is just like mopping during the smoke. it is possible that too much sauce could mean longer foil time.



good luck and happy smoking!


post #6 of 25

Welcome to SMF! Glad to have your aboard!


Would you do us a favor & update your profile info to include your location, then head on over to roll call & introduce yourself so we can all give you a proper SMF welcome. Thank you.


Your ribs look fantastic!

post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for the info.



I do add liquid. I found a recipe (I think on this site) but it's at home. I used a mix of rub, honey, corn syrup, butter, apple juice.  I only used about 2tbs per 1/2 rack of ribs.


I also had a temp issue at the beginning of the smoke, had my temp probe in a bad spot.  Temp shot up to about 300, then I managed to lower it to 225 for the remainder of the smoke.



I did let my ribs rest before consuming. I did not let my rub set for hours prior to smoking, I just rubbed and put them on the fire.  Perhaps I should try rubbing the night before?



Thanks. I'll post over there as soon as possible.

post #8 of 25

A bit of apple juice with a touch of vinegar is a very basic combination to add to your ribs when foiling.  If your intention is to serve the next day then yes it may be a good idea to take them through the foiling and then the next day either heat in the oven in foil or remove from foil and do a quick seer on the grill.  All depends on what you like.  The numbers we give you are strictly guidelines (except for food safety).  When they come out of the foil they should be tender, moist and have good pullback.  I like to finish on a hot smoker to firm them up and caramelize the sweet BBQ sauce I add to them.

post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 

I may try the apple juice/vinegar mix next time.


Another question:  Do you put the ribs meat side up or down when in foil?

post #10 of 25
Originally Posted by aklee987 View Post

I may try the apple juice/vinegar mix next time.


Another question:  Do you put the ribs meat side up or down when in foil?



post #11 of 25

Meat side up but more important that the foil is folded so it doesn't leak. The liquid will permeate the meat helping tenderize and moisten it.

post #12 of 25

I use a foil pan it's a lot easier, and seals tight so like Al said you don't have to worry about leaks, steam or liquid.

post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 

OK thanks. That's what I did. 


After I did it, I thought that if I had put the meat side down, it would have braised the meat, making it more tender. Perhaps too tender...

post #14 of 25

Your ribs Looks-Great.gif, nice job. As others have said go over too role call and introduce yourself, so you can get a proper welcome.

I have never tried the 2 day smoke but don't see why it wouldn't work. If you decide to try it please post up the results we all may learn something. 

post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the compliment.  If I do the 2 day smoke, I'll definitely take some pictures. 


You guys think I should wrap in foil (with liquid), smoke for 2 hours in foil, then put in fridge?  Or cooler with ice?  Then what? Just stick it back on the smoker the next day still in foil?  Or unwrap first? 


Maybe keep it in foil for an hour to get back up to temp, then unwrap?  Or is that too much cooking in foil?


I'm worried about the ribs being cold the next day when I serve.

post #16 of 25

If you do Baby Backs (2-2-1)

You can do the 2-2  and refrigerate (in the foil) and when your ready to reheat, you can

unfoil and reheat on a grill or a 275º smoker for the last 1. If you like sauce, you can add it to the ribs the last ½ hour.


Hope this helps

post #17 of 25

I don't make much of a fuss about the liquid I add to ribs during the foiling part?


If I am drinking beer, I but brandy in the foil.


If I am drinking brandy, I put beer in the foil.


No use cutting myself short?


Good luck and good smoking.

post #18 of 25

The ribs look Great... As you can see, there are a million ways of doing these ribs. You can definately go through the first two steps, allow the rib to cool for a half hour or so in the foil and refrigerate until the next day... It sounds like you used my Foiling Juice recipe. It does a nice job of making the ribs tender, adds flavor and leaves a pretty shine. I foil and put my ribs Meat side Down because I want the meat IN the juice. Because the FJ is on the thick side the ribs Braise. If you choose Apple Juice, Vinegar, Beer or other Thin liquid, leave the Meat side UP to Steam...Have fun trying all the awesome techniques you will find here...JJ

post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much. I believe it is your FJ recipe I used.  I'm going to try meat side down next time, along cooking it the night before.


Ribs are being served Saturday for lunch.  Here is my plan:


Thursday night: put rub on ribs

Friday after work:

  1. Smoke ribs for 2 hours

  2. Put ribs in foil, meat side down with FJ. Go another 2 hours

  3. Keep in foil, let cool on counter for 30 minutes

  4. Place in refrigerator, flipping ribs over so the meat side is UP


Saturday morning:

  1. Keep meat side UP

  2. Keep in foil, heat in 160 degree oven for ???? how long????  Maybe 1 hour?

  3. Once warm, brush with reserved FJ

  4. Sear on hot grill



Any thoughts?  I'm a bit concerned with re-warming part. Should I just unwrap and put on the smoker?

post #20 of 25

If you heat it in foil for the last hour the ribs will be too tender. They need to go on the grill. Brush them with the juice in the foil & put them on a 350 degree grill for about 1/2 to 3/4 hour meat side down first then about halfway through flip to meat side up. They will get a nice crust on them. Then before serving put the remaining FJ on them.

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