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3-2-1 ribs, what temp do you foil them?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
So I am trying to make some ribs using the 3-2-1 method. Actually, the 2-2-1 method since mine are baby backs. I am having a hard time keeping a constant temperature (pretty windy today).

I'm afraid the timed method isn't going to work for me. What internal temp should the ribs be at when I foil them, and then what temp should they be at when I take the foil off?
post #2 of 18
I never take temp with my ribs, I usually look for 1/8-1/4 inch of pullback on the ribs, (where the meat cooks and shrinks back exposing the ribs) and that's when I foil them, I usually foil for 1 hour for bb ribs and 1.5 hrs for spares, but the test is to unwrap them and do a bend test, you want them to bend down when lifted by one end, but not break..i never do this test cause it seems like a lot of fiddling, i just go by the type of ribs.
post #3 of 18
I never go by temp either on my ribs I usually go by time and look/feel.
post #4 of 18
just do the 221 and it will come out perfect did it last night with three racks, pour some apple juice in when you foil
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well 2-2-1 assumes you can maintain a consistent temp though, right? I had a hard time even keeping the temp over 200 for the first 2 hours. It was too windy.
post #6 of 18
YOu don't need to keep it totally constant it can go up and down but if you were under 200 then maybe you want to go more like 3-2-1.
post #7 of 18
What he said. PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif

I know that's frustrating when you're first starting out. I asked the EXACT same question as you right around 2 years ago. icon_mrgreen.gif Look for a little pull back then you'll know it's time to foil.

post #8 of 18
if you do the 3-2-1 you've already got 6 hours invested... and a butt-load of tin foil. if you can just hold out another hour - 7 or so... - you don't need the foil. look for the pull-back then try to tear one of the ribs off a little. if it looks like you can fairly easily pull/tear off a rib you're done.
post #9 of 18
i think they should be around 171*...
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Is that 171 when you put it in the foil, or 171 when you take it off the grill?

If they're 171 when you put them in the foil, and then they cook for another 3 hours after that, what temp do they get taken off the grill?
post #11 of 18
i don't know anymore dude... just cook-em 'til tender. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
haha, easier said than done.

When the wind kicked up it totally threw me off. My temps were fluctuating between about 160 and 190, occassionaly hitting 200, for about 2 hours. The wind died down after that and the temps were fine. But having them so low for the first 2 hours totally killed any hope of me following a 2-2-1 method. And I'm not experienced enough with ribs to eyeball it.
post #13 of 18
i was just joshin ya. some folks make a wind break with cardboard or whatever and that really helps. i screwed up some ribs once (or twice icon_wink.gif) and i will then wrap them in foil with a little apple juice and stick them in a 300* oven for two hours or so and they come out great. they can almost always be saved.
post #14 of 18
Guvna pretty much has it right when he said cook till tender. ribs to most of us were and still are a project in the making... it takes a few times to start to get it down pat. and even when we got it down pretty good we are still looking to improve. follow the guidlines like the 3-2-1 or 2-2-1, and adjust times so the finished product is to your liking. everyone likes em a bit different. some wantem falling off the bone, others like me like to have a little tug to them but the bone should still come out clean. happy smokes and share your smokes with us as you go.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I was trying to follow the 2-2-1 but I had a stretch of about 2 hours where I was lucky to hit 200 degrees. So I was forced to find a plan b.
post #16 of 18
I've always used 3-1-1 for baby backs. My temps are between 200 and 225, ocassionally going up to 250.

Just remember what the steps are for.
3 hours gives that nice smoky flavor.
1 or 2 hours in foil with apple juice braises them and makes them tender.
1 hour crisps up the outside.

After the smoking step, you can do the rest of the process in your oven to help out with that temp problem. Remember, the meat won't absorb smoke once it's over 140.
post #17 of 18
post #18 of 18
Please forgive my ignorance on the 140 temperature and smoke absorption.

However, the ribs will not absorb any smoke flavor while in foil.

And the last hour in the oven isn't going to make a significant difference in taste over the smoker. Considering temperature control is what you're striving for, doing the last two steps in the oven should help you hone your technique.
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