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Rib help for a rookie

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Alright I'm looking for some help with ribs. My buddy has called me out on a rib cook off. He wants to do baby backs, I had some spares in the freezer so I'm going to practice on them. He claims his are perfection and can't be beat (he is a big talker so I'm doubting they can't be beat especially since he has never made them for any of our group). I have spares that I rubbed some of big bob gibsons rub on them and threw them in the fridge. Looking for some sweet & spicy sauces but I need your A games haha. He keeps talking about 2 1/2 down or 3 1/2 down what is that referring too? I have a yoder 640 and plan on using bbq delight maple/ Hic/apple blended pellets using either 3-2-1 or 2-2.5-1. Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 9
Good luck!

3:2:1 is generally used for spares
2:2:1 is generally used for baby back

Ok so what do the numbers mean?
The first one is for time in smoke
The second is time wrapped with some liquid
The third one is the time to set the glaze or sauce

The number will vary slightly with cook temp and the product itself. Use the bend test to see how the first step is going. When you use tongs side them under one end about 1/3 the way and lift. When the ribs bend to about a 45 degree angle they are ready to wrap. I use the Johnny Trig method and seasoning for the wrap phase. I use a tooth pick to test for tenderness. When you stick the pick in it should have little resistance. You will also see the tips of the bones as the meat starts to pull away. At this point you remove from foil and glaze and allow to set. For compition BBQ you do not want fall off the bone. For backyard family gatherings they tend to want it more cooked to where it falls off the bone more like.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ok so what does the 3 1/2 & 2 1/2 down mean that he refers to (is he talking about 3-2-1 & 2-2-1)
post #4 of 9
Honestly I am not sure. People have different ways to describe the same things. People also have different ways to do the same thing. If it was me I would try to get him to spill the beans. You might have to fill some gaps, but it might answer the method he discribed with his times......
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have asked he says he is tight lipped until after the cook off. I'm not to concerned as I will just focus on making mine as good as I can. I just didn't know if I was missing something.
post #6 of 9

Sounds to me like he is all talk.  Use what you have learned here and you will do great!


Here is my special sauce recipe.  For competitions add about 1/4 cup of honey for sweetness and shine.  


PGSmoker's BDSE


Good luck,



post #7 of 9
I would search the 3:2:1 method on the site and add a bit of your flare to it. Make them your own flavor profile and have fun with it.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks pg I will give your sauce a go and see what I think. I actually have been searching tonight and come across it and put it on my list to try before u even responded.
post #9 of 9

SAUCE:   If you like sauce on the sweeter side I've done a Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce recipe that was pretty good.  Just google it, I think I used the one from Simply Recipes. 


METHOD:  2:2:1 is what I do with baby back so I don't overcook them.


FOIL:  Here is what I put in my foil. The only essentials are Tiger Sauce, Squeeze Butter, honey, and apple juice.  Everything else is just for fun.


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