I love pulled pork, sliced brisket, fatties, and chuck roasts. I've done all of these successfully in my smoker several times. I, however, have never been a huge fan of ribs. So many people rave about how much they love pork ribs, and I feel like it is almost my duty to enjoy them.
I have been asked to smoke ribs, a brisket, and Boston butts for my family's July 4th BBQ. I am completely comfortable smoking briskets and Boston butts as I have very successfully done these several times. However, this will be only my second attempt at ribs.
My first attempt at ribs was over a year ago, and I can remember the ribs being tough and too spicy. I used Jeff's rib rub, but I think I used too much rub. I applied it as liberally as I did on my butts and briskets, and I think perhaps that was a mistake. I have made up a batch of this rub for my ribs this weekend with less heat. When I did ribs before, I used the 3-2-1 method, but they were still not as tender as I would have liked.
In Jeff's newsletter today, he mentioned that spares could go 6.5-7 hours (and the 3-2-1 method gives a total of 6 hours). So, I'm asking for some advice now. I know that different folks prefer a different tenderness level than others (i.e., some prefer to require the meat pull a little instead of falling off the bones).
I have already purchased two slabs of St. Louis cut spare ribs (both about 3.75 lbs. per slab), and my plan is to dust the ribs with the rub (cover but not "caked on") and ,smoke them using the 3-2-1 technique. I plan to spritz them heavily with apple juice during the foiled stage, and then apply a sweet BBQ sauce a couple of times during the final "firm up" stage.
I would appreciate any advice that the rib experts here can provide.
Thanks in advance.