Liquid in a smoker don't do much low and slow but use up fuel boiling water. Water pans are best used at 325+, keeps food moist at high temps. Drink the juice...Mostly water evaporating anyway, the flavor stays in the pan. What flavor beyond smoke has to go on with the rub and if using " IN " the foil. Below is what I do...JJ
Smoked Ribs as easy as 3-2-1
A full rack of Spare Ribs will take about 6 hours at 225*F...The 3-2-1 smoked rib recipe is a good way to smoke ribs and tends to turn out perfect ribs every time whether you are using the meatier Full rack spare rib or the Saint Louis cut. Baby Back ribs use a 2-2-1 method. The ribs are smoked at 225 - 250 degrees for best results...
The 3 stands for the 3 hours that you initially smoke the ribs with nothing but your favorite rub on them and some smoke with your favorite hardwood such as hickory, apple, pecan, etc. After the 3 hours you remove the ribs and quickly double wrap them in heavy duty foil.. just before you seal them up add some Foiling Juice or Apple Juice and close the foil leaving some room around the ribs for the steam to be able to flow around the meat and the juice to braise the meat which Flavors/Tenderizes it.
The ribs cook in the smoker wrapped for 2 hours undisturbed. There is no need for Smoke at this point... After 2 hours remove the ribs from the smoker, unwrap, saving any juices in the foil, and place back into the smoker for the final 1 hour, with smoke if you wish.This firms them up, creates a nice Bark and finishes the cooking process. You can add a glaze or sauce at this point if you like. The meat will be pretty close to fall off the bone and be extremely juicy, tender and flavorful...JJ
Foiling Juice / Sweet Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce
For each Rack of Ribs Combine:
1T Pork Rub, yours
1/2 Stick Butter
1/2C Cane Syrup... Dark Corn Syrup...or Honey
1/4C Apple Cider...or Juice
Optional: 2T Apple Cider Vinegar. Add 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more of a KC Glaze.
Simmer until a syrupy consistency.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes, pour over foiled Ribs and
run your 2 hour phase of 3-2-1. For the last phase return
the ribs to the smoker BUT reserve any Juice remaining
in the Foil. Simmer the Juice over med/low heat to reduce to a saucy thickness. Glaze the Ribs for presentation or service.
For a Sweet Finishing Sauce for Pulled Pork: Make a Double batch, skip the Butter.
If you plan to Foil the meat, add 1/2 the batch to the Foil Pack or place it in a Pan with your Butt, when the IT hits 165*F.
Cover the pan with foil and continue to heat to 205*F for pulling.
At 205* rest or hold the Butt in a cooler wrapped in towels until ready to serve.
Pull the Pork and place it back in the pan with the pan Juices and any additional reserved Foiling Juice to moisten, the meat should be shiny and juicy but not swimming in sauce. Serve while hot...OR... Bag and refrigerate until needed.
If you choose to Not Foil or Pan the Butt. Add the Finishing Sauce to the pulled meat before serving. Add the hot Finishing Sauce a little at a time until the Pork is moistened, again the meat should be shiny but not swimming in sauce.
When re-heating place the Pulled Pork in a Pan or Crock pot and add reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider, as needed to make up the Juice that was absorbed while the pork was refrigerated. Cover and re-heat in a pre-heated 325-350*F oven or on High in the crock pot to 165*F and Serve.
I was AMAZED...No additional sauce needed. ENJOY...JJ