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2-1-1 or whatever it is

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well first off. My names Justin and I'm from Dauphin Island, Al and new to the forum. Got a 50 dollar smoker from Academy for christmas and I have used it a few times with pretty good results but I have just done ribs and tenderloines. The ribs have had good taste but not the most tender ones I have eaten. Wild and store bout pork tenderloines. I am thinking about doing a butt when I get home on thursday and I see this 2-1-1 method or whatever yall are talking about. Can ya'll guide me on what yall mean by this. Also when you wrap it with a towel what are you accomlishing by doing this. Just wondering. Want to have a explanation when I get asked what the hell im doing. I like the captin morgan spray that I seen on here somewhere. Sounds good. And what about a rub. I have the store bought kind from grill mates or whatever it is. I want to step up my game in the smoking meats department and I know yall can teach me how to get to the next level.
post #2 of 17
Welcome to SMF Justin
Here the link for the 3-2-1 method:

The towel wrapping is for resting (redistributing juices).
When you are done smoking, say a butt, wrap in foil, then a towel, and put in a cooler for an hour or so.

Hope this helps...glad ta have ya here!
post #3 of 17
the numbers refer to time, its usually 3-2-1
3 hours naked on the smoker
2 hours in foil on the smoker (with a little juice and brown suger usually)
1 hour out of the foil on the smoker

There is a huge debate over foiling vs not foiling, some people that don't foil just cook them for five to six and call it good, some people knock this down to 2-2-1, or various other combinations depending on taste and cooking temp, alot of people like a little pull to the ribs so they take them off a little sooner as they don't want the fall off the bone texture you get from the extra time. Hope that helps.
post #4 of 17
If I read your post right, you're talkin' about a butt and the 2-2-2 and 3-2-1 methods are for ribs (the shorter time for baby backs).

You can do something similar with butts, or course, but your cook time is going to be a lot longer than 5 or 6 hours, probably more like 10 (figure 1.5 hours a pound as a starting point, but don't cook by time). If you're going to slice it, you want to cook to a temp of about 180, and to pull somewhere up around 200. A good test is, if you stick a big two-tined fork in the end of the big muscle and can turn it 180 degrees with little resistance, it's ready to pull. If it doesn't turn easily, cook it some more. Or if you're so hungry you just can't stand to wait, go ahead and slice it. I usually pull, but have to say that the best 'cue I ever tasted was sliced.

If you want to try foiling the butt, wrap it at around 160-165 and either finish in the foil, or cook it awhile, then unwrap and put it back in the smoker.

Try different methods and see what you like.
post #5 of 17
I might be reading your post wrong but are you planning on 3-2-1 for a pork butt? 3-2-1 is for ribs. I think most people smoke butts until the internal temp of the meat reaches 160* or so, then wrap in foil and return to the smoker until the meat reaches around 200*, then wrap in a towel and put it in a cooler (no ice, you actually are using the cooler to keep the butt warmer). After the resting period take it out and pull it.
post #6 of 17
Hi Trapper,

I think he means 3-2-1 for ribs. It seems like a benchmark figure, from what I've read, I'm planning my first set of ribs (St. Louis spares) as 3-1.5-1, or thereabouts.

For pork, 160 gets it safely cooked, but for pulling, you want it about 200, to ensure all of the collagen (which holds the meat fibers together) are fully melted away. Rule of thumb here seems to be 1.5 hours per pound, but we cook to temperature.

Always best to start off early, if you're making it for a deadline. If you're done early, it'll stay hot in a cooler (put towels/newspaper in the empty space) for hours after you're done.

Hope this helps!

Edited to say sorry, Trapper - I've just totally repeated what you said!
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

Boston Butt

I was just wondering what that 3-2-1 was. So I smoke my ribs for three hours with no foil. Smoke 2 hours with foil and then another 1 for the Sauce or whatever at the end. And on butts I get them to a internal temp of 200 if I want to pull which is how I'm gonna do it. I had just seen the 3-2-1 thing and I had no idea what yall were talking about. I think im gonna try my first butt this week when I get home. Gonna rub with mustard and some kinda rub. Is there anything else you can rub on the butt to get the rub to stick other than mustard. Not sure what yet but I think I will try something ( any tips would be appreciated). And then spritz or wash with the Captain and apple juice.2/3 apple and 1/3 Morgan. Is that right. Thanks for all the help
post #8 of 17
Don't worry about the mustard...ya can't taste it after the smoke.
Sounds like ya got a plan PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #9 of 17
Justin welcome to SMF glad you joined us. Check out this link for your pulled pork smoke

post #10 of 17
Hey ishee, glad to meet you and welcome to the forums. You found a good place to share info on smokin' meat. I'm not sure from your post, but it kinda sounded like you are askin' about the 2-2-1 method for smokin' a butt? This method is strictly for smokin' ribs (3-2-1 for spares and 2-2-1 for baby backs). A butt smoke takes much longer. Each piece of meat is different, but a good rule of thumb for a butt is about 1.5 hours per pound. This means that a 7 lb. butt could take 12 hours or more. It's best to use internal meat temps as a guide. I like to leave the butt in a 225*-250* smoker until it reaches an internal temp of 170*-175*, then foil it and put it back until it reaches 200*. Then pull it out, wrap it in a towel and let it rest in an ice chest for at least a half hour before pullin' it. There are many great rubs out there, I prefer TulsaJeff's. It's good on all kinds of meats, plus the proceeds from his sales help keep this site goin'.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
So where you get this Tulsa Jeff's. I am planning on doing the butt on Sat or Sun so I will need something from the local stores. Anybody got a tip on something from the stores that is good. I have one of those cheap brinkman smokers and I dont think I have ever got it up but to 170 or so. Just seems like they wont heat up that well. But I guess I can put it in the oven after a while huh. Will see what happens.
post #12 of 17
I use a cheapy brinkmann, too. Mine is the square vertical with 2 doors on the front. I have no problem getting it to temp, or right up past 300.

Sounds to me like you're short on fuel. Try adding more charcoal. With e standard charcoal pan, I would have a fairly heaped bowl to get me to 250+. That's the basic measure. I try to get enough charcoal in there to hit 275 or so with vents fully open, then just close the vents a bit to bring it back down to 225. Lump burns a little hotter than briquettes, too.

Make sure your Brinkmann is out of the wind. If there is a wind, put up some form of screen or put it leeward of a wall. The metal on these things is very thin, so doesn't take mutch wind passing over it to bring the temp down.

It's worth doing what I've just done, too. Home depot sells square 'vegetable searing pans' to put on grills. It looks like a square bowl with loads of small holes in it. It works brilliantly as a charcoal pan - it allows the ash to fall away, and allows far better ventilation. The charcoal pan on cheap Brinkmanns is shoddy, you'll have next to no control of the temps by using your intakes, unless you get a charcoal pan with holes in the side and bottom of it.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
My smoker is the round one with the one door at the bottom but the problem does seem to be with the bowl you put the charcoal in. It has no holes in it so the coals want to go out fairly easy. I even put a peice of grate in the bottom but it didnt help. I think I am going to buy one of them things you was talking about with the holes so the dust can fall out and I think that will help alot. Another question. Is it better to put the chips in a ten foil type bag or to put the chips directly on the charcoals. Sure burns up alot of chips when you put them directly on the coals. Thanks for everyones help
post #14 of 17
You can purchase Jeff's rub and sauce recipe thru this link both are very good

post #15 of 17
Use chunk instead of chips they will last ALOT longer. Dosnt hurt to soak the chunks in water for an hour before throwing them on the coals.

As far as the charcoal basket they are great. But you could probably drill a bunch of holes in your bowl and use the grate as well...that should help with air flow.
Also don't open the smoker to look at all Just use a digital thermometer ran under the lid.
This was my biggest mistake as a rookie smoker...peeking at your Q every hour drops the temp badly and adds a half an hour each time you open the lid.
post #16 of 17
The "bowl to put charcoal in" is at the very bottom correct? Just making sure you arent putting them in the drip pan which is held up higher, just under the meat.
post #17 of 17
A one time purchase of Jeff's rub recipe will save you tons of money as you continue with your smoking. I highly recommend it.

Also , instead of mustard, you can dampen down the meat with Worchestershire sauce first then apply the rub. It gives a pork butt amazing flavour.

You can even mix the mustard and Worchestershire for a unique taste.

For those who say you cannot taste the mustard at the end of the smoke, sorry but I can, its subtle but its there and adds nicely to the flavour.

When using the 3-2-1 or the 2-2-1 method the times vary. For the first time period with the meat in the smoke you just need to smoke it like that till the meat pulls noticably back from the bone, thats when its time to foil.
Ribs do not follow a timetable, experience will tell you when to foil and when they are finally done. Experimentation will have you fine tuning your smokes to your individual taste.

To foil or not to foil that is the question. Some do some don't. I do and I don't as the whim takes me. Both ways work equally well in my opinion.

Following this method will produce ribs so good that they do not even need BBQ sauce and believe me I am a sauce freak. If you told me a year ago that I would be smoking ribs so good they didn't need sauce I'd have said you were nuts!
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