Spare Ribs in the Smoker (first time) w/Pics!

Discussion in 'Pork' started by mrsmik, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. My son, Aaron told me earlier in the week that he was going to be coming home from college this weekend, so I wanted to make sure to make a really good, home-cooked meal for him on Saturday. He loves ribs, so, seeing as pork spare ribs were on sale, I decided to try them in the smoker using the "3-2-1" method. The weather was perfect for using the smoker in the winter (25-30 degrees), so all that was left was to find a recipe!

    I found a GREAT Kansas City style rub:

    After having Greg remove the membrane, I slathered the ribs with yellow mustard and then rubbed them all over with the rub I made. I wrapped the ribs in plastic wrap and put them back in the fridge to let the rub work its magic! Ideally, you would do this the night before, but I didn't realize that, so they only got to "marinate" (for lack of a better word) for about three hours.

    When we were ready to cook them, I let them warm up to room temperature, placed them on racks in the smoker and cooked them at 225 for three hours. Every hour, I spritzed them with apple juice to keep them tender and juicy. For these first three hours, I also used apple wood chips to provide the smoke.

    After the first three hours, I took the ribs out of the smoker and wrapped them in foil, but before closing up the foil, I liberally spritzed them with more apple juice. The ribs then cooked for an additional two hours at 225 degrees (without any smoke chips).

    Finally, for the last 45 minutes to an hour, I took the ribs out of the foil and slathered them with BBQ sauce. (Hungry yet?) :

    These were the best, most tender, delicious spare ribs I've ever eaten!! Yep, they were THAT good!

    The potatoes I made to go with were a type of "Potato Gratin" that I've made in the past and are really good!

    Here's the ribs:


    What a delicious dinner!


    This is definitely a "do over!" :)

  2. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks for sharing Julie, those looked good and couldn't be served to a more deserving person, your son serving our Country. Thankyou for both, sharing and for your son's service....
  3. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Looks like a great meal I'm sure your son enoyed it [​IMG]
  4. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great looking ribs, I am sure your son loved them !!!
  5. WOW! You guys are QUICK! Thanks! Yes, Aaron LOVED the ribs and finished off the leftovers today before going back to school!

    As of right now, my son is in the Army Reserves, having completed the requisite hell at Fort Leonard Wood for Basic Training and AIT this past summer. He's signing up for ROTC to start next year. For now, he's in college while in the Reserves and won't be deployed for the next four years. After that, we don't know where he'll have to go. The world will be a different place by then, that's for sure.

    Thanks for all your kind words. It means a lot to our entire family.
  6. olewarthog

    olewarthog Meat Mopper

    I also congratulate you on a successful smoke & extend my sincere gratitude to your son (and you & your husband too for raising such a fine young man) for his service to our country
  7. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    nice job.......
  8. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Very nice looking ribs, kuddos to your son.[​IMG]
  9. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great Looking Ribs...[​IMG]
  10. brohnson

    brohnson Smoking Fanatic

    Sounds Awesome, I'll have to try this recipe, thanks.
  11. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great looking Ribs, and tell you Son thank you
  12. jak757

    jak757 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Great looking ribs! I really like your description of your method -- very well written! And they look delicious!!

    And another thanks to you, and to your son for serving. My brother was a drill Sgt. at Fort Leonard Wood I think in the early 90's (they called it "Fort Lost-in-the Woods). Visited him one time there. Always proud of his service too....

    Best wishes!

  13. acemakr

    acemakr Smoking Fanatic

    Julie, great job.

    Be sure to tell your son thanks from all of us for his service.
  14. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    By golly I think you nailed it lady!! Great job on the ribs, Nice way to treat someone coming off campus. Congrats my friend.
  15. brohnson

    brohnson Smoking Fanatic

    What temp do they have to hit to be finished? Thanks
  16. dave from mesa

    dave from mesa Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Mighty nice lookin ribs you made.
    Thank your son for his service.
  17. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Now those were some really good looking ribs. Also thank your son for us for serving his and our country and by the way our son's on his third deployment in Iraq and he like them smoked foods we have sent him in country.[​IMG]

  18. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice looking grub there Julie!
  19. I used the method below to smoke the ribs.
    3-2-1 Rib Method

    The 3-2-1 method of smoking ribs is not my original idea but is a process that tends to yield very consistent results and I do use it occasionally when I want my ribs to be falling off the bone.
    If you have no idea how to prepare and smoke ribs then I recommend you read the tutorial that covers the basics of smoking ribs first. Once you have learned the basics and decide you want your ribs to be literally falling off of the bone then you should read and learn this page.
    The 3-2-1 method of smoking ribs is not rocket science.. just a series of basic instructions that will do some magic on your ribs and make them more tender that you could ever imagine.
    The 3-2-1 method starts out by preparing the ribs as normal.. removing the membrane, dusting with a rub or with just some salt and pepper if you prefer and then onto the smoker grate for about 3 hours.
    I say “about” very loosely since it a visual cue that must tell you when to move to the next stage.
    This first stage is the “3” in the equation and is over when you see the meat starting to pull back from the bone about a quarter inch. This normally requires about 3 hours or so if you are able to maintain 225 degrees in your smoker.
    The second stage of the process is removing the ribs from the smoker and wrapping them in heavy duty foil. Just before closing up the foil, splash on some apple juice.
    Place the ribs back in the smoker wrapped in foil and let them cook for 2 hours.
    This is the “2” in the formula for the most tender ribs you ever tasted.
    When the second stage is over, remove the foil and place the ribs back on the smoker grate unwrapped to firm them up a little before serving.

    You are now to the last and final stage in the process.. the “1“.

    Keep a close eye on the ribs at this point and remove them when they reach 172 degrees which should take about 45 minutes to an hour. Let the ribs sit on the counter for about 15 minutes before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.

    Note: the 3-2-1 method is designed for spare ribs.. if you are looking to smoke baby back ribs then the process will be closer to 2-2-1.

    The method is found here:

    Thanks everyone!

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