3-2-1 method

Discussion in 'Pork' started by papageomel, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. Hi Im fairly new to somking meats and I was just wondering if the 3-2-1 method only applies to Spare ribs or does it apply to BB Ribs. I will be doing my first smoking next week and I just want to make sure I do it correctly. I'm Using a UDS that I made. Thanks in advance for the help.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
  2. It works for both.
  3. Thank you Tropez
  4. markyque

    markyque Smoke Blower

    For baby backs I do 2-2-1.
  5. timsnewatsmokin

    timsnewatsmokin Fire Starter

    It does depend on the temp of your smoker also, but what ive read on here is spare ribs you use the 3-2-1 or there abouts and 2-2-1 for BB but I keep a eye on them  It also matters how much you ribs weigh but those are just guide lines.. hope this helps
  6. Thank you! What is the guideline time per pound of meat?
  7. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    No real guideline for poundage on ribs.  3-2-1 for spares, 2-2-1 for BBs are good ways to get tender succulent ribs.  The best ways to test ribs for doneness is to give them the bend test or toothpick test.

    The bend test - pick them up with tongs and if they bend about 90 degrees and start to break they are ready.

    The toothpick test - a toothpick should slide in and out with little resistance.

    Good luck and don't forget the q-view cause...


    smilcur555 likes this.
  8. Thank you PGSmoker64, I will definitely take a photo of my product. But I have to learn how to upload photos here. 
  9. badbode

    badbode Fire Starter

    Not to hijack but I'm going to try to smoke some ribs today for the first time. I'm understanding the 3-2-1 and 2-2-1 methods. What I haven't seen is the temp.

    I've seen both, 225* and 275* thrown around a lot. I would think hotter would take less time so does that skew the methods listed above?

    Appreciate any and all help.

  10. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    The 3-2-1 and 2-2-1 methods are estimates that are roughly based on a cooking temp of about 225*.  The hotter you cook, the more that time could be reduced.

  11. smokingribs

    smokingribs Newbie

    For Spares I do 3-3-0 I do leave the spares in foil for one more hr. and dont put them back on the rack. It works for me. 
  12. No your not hijacking, Its good you asked that, at-least I also know the temp when I do my ribs.
  13. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Going hot and fast on ribs changes the whole equation. Forget 3-2-1 if you're going to cook at a high temp. I remember seeing a TV show that featured a real well known rib restaurant that cooked their ribs at something like 350 degrees , but the ribs were done in an hour.
    The bend test should still apply as well as l the toothpick test. Low and slow , or hot and fast , the object is tender juicy meat. You just gotta try it and see what happens.
  14. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    This may help with the Q-view : http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/a/how-to-upload-a-photo-q-view-to-your-post

    Time [​IMG]  Takes practice and the "foil" thingy as you are learning to cook Ribs. I am a bit different in my approach to doing them. I "Do Not Foil" .

    I place them in a 225*F Smoker and let them go for (5 hrs.on Spares and 4hrs. on BBs) and check for the bend/crack test . Just how I learned. If you cook @225*F your best shot is 3hrs. in the smoke , 2hrs. in foil and adjust the last hr. for your likeness(fall off - or a tug) for Spares.

    BBs will be 2hrs. in the Smoke ,2hrs. wrapped and 1 hr. unwrapped (where you adjust for your tenderness).

    Here's the crack test on some of my Spares:

    Have fun and . . .
  15. Thanks oldschoolbbq!
  16. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I usually use the 3-2-1 for St Louis Cut Spare Ribs and 2-2-1 for BB Ribs at 225*F and have played around with the time in foil as well with 4-2-0 and 3-2-0 respectively with Fall Off the Bone results. Just to add to the fun, and my constant need to experiment, lately I have been smoking my SLC Ribs at 275*F for a straight up 4 hours  and BB Ribs for 3 hours both without foiling. The result is Bite Through Tender but the meat doesn't fall off the bone. It saves some time and gives a change of texture. I/we highly recommend starting with the 3-2-1 and 2-2-1 to get a feel for your smoker as the result is very consistent, Great Ribs. You can play with times and other temps until you dial in the exact result you and yours desire. I would also suggest my Foiling Juice as it gives great flavor with out being cloyingly sweet. There are many Rub and Sauce Recipes around here and the following are popular starting points that are easily adjusted to you liking. Review them and feel free to PM me for help adjusting them to your taste and making them your own Secret Weapon to dazzle your friends and family...JJ

    BTW...Please add your Location to your Profile. It will help us help you more easily...

    Try this... It is Mild and compliments different style sauces well...If you want spicier increase Blk Pepper to 1T and add 1T Wht Pepper and 1T Mustard powder. The Foiling Juice, makes a Rib Glaze that can be mopped on the ribs during the last hour.

    Mild Bubba Q Rub

    1/2C Sugar in the Raw (Turbinado)

    2T Sweet Paprika (Hungarian)

    1T Kosher Salt

    1T Chili Powder (contains some Cumin and Oregano) Ancho Chile is same without cumin, oregano etc.

    1T Granulated Garlic

    1T Granulated Onion

    1tsp Black Pepper, more if you like

    1tsp Thyme

    1tsp Oregano

    1/2tsp Grnd Allspice

    Cayenne or Chipotle Pwd to taste, start with 1/2tsp and go from there.

    Foiling Juice

    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

    1T Molasses


    2T Vinegar, 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more KC Style.

    Simmer 5-10 minutes until 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, Butter optional or do as I do...Use the Smoked Pork Fat from the drip pan...

    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 and Serve...OR... Bag and refrigerate until needed.

    When re-heating place the Pulled Pork in a Pan or Crockpot 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 crockpot to 165*F and Serve.

    Note: the addition of the reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider should make the PP moist but not Swimming.

    I was AMAZED...No additional sauce needed. 

    If you like KC Masterpiece or Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce, give this a try. It is IMO better and no Preservatives, HFCS or excessive Salt...

    KC Bubba Q Juice

    2C Ketchup

    1/2C Brown Mustard (Gulden's)

    1/4C Apple Cider Vinegar

    1/2C Molasses

    2C Dark Brn Sugar

    1T Tomato Paste

    1T Mild Rub

    1-2tsp Liquid Smoke

    1tsp Worcestershire Sauce

    Combine all and warm over low heat just until it starts to bubble. Simmer about 5 minutes, stirring very frequently, to combine flavors and to thicken slightly.

    Use or pour into a sterile jar and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks.

    Makes 3 1/2 Cups.

    If you prefer Tangy Vinegar based Sauces with some Heat...These are some of my best...

    For a Mustard Based Carolina BBQ Sauce this is one of mine...Enjoy...JJ

    Yellow Bubba Q Juice

    2C Yellow Mustard

    1C Cider Vinegar

    1/2-1C Brown Sugar

    1-2T Sriracha

    1tsp Blk Pepper

    1tsp Gran. Garlic

    1tsp Gran. Onion

    1/2tsp Salt

    1T Worcstershire

    Cayenne Pepper to taste

    Combine all and simmer to combine flavors. Reduce to desired thickness.

    Makes 3 Cups.

    For a Vinegar/Ketchup Based Carolina Sauce this is my Favorite!

    Red Bubba Q Juice

    2C Cider Vinegar

    1C Ketchup

    1/4C Texas Pete or other Hot Sauce

    1/2C Brown Sugar

    1tsp Gran. Garlic

    1tsp Gran, Onion

    1tsp Blk Pepper

    1tsp Salt

    1T Worcestershire Sauce

    Cayenne to Taste

    Combine all and simmer 5 minutes to combine flavors.

    Makes 3 Cups
  17. Thanl you for this chef JimmyJ
  18. Just got the chance to do my 1st smoking today. I hope it turns out good. Problem is that my heat is erratic. 225-250*F. Ill post other photos after the Q's done.

  19. bogeybilly

    bogeybilly Newbie

    What's 3-2-1 or 2-1-1 or ???

  20. bogeybilly

    bogeybilly Newbie

    What do the numbers represent in 3-2-1 or 2-2-0 or ???

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