3-1-2 method

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
OTBS Member
Sep 21, 2006
Western Kansas
Tried all kinds of ways, couldn't duplicate the results........but this time it worked. If your have'n trouble w/ the 321 method try the 312 method. Best ribs I've made yet(and it has been VERY tough for me). Had 6 kids and 1 "mama" say that they were "awsome"!

Tender w/a bit of "bite", very light on rub and sauce. I was look'n for texture more than anything. I can always work on the rub after I get the texture right.

Not "damn'n" the 321, but it isn't a "catch all". Practice, practice, practice!

I hope this help'd someone, if not........aaaaaaahhhh what the hell do I care.
( this army dude needs some teeth

Anyway, fwiw, 312 worked for me.

I can do just about anything else but ribs, pork ribs. I hated it. had a tough time, tried friends ideas........they really sucked, tried this sites ideas and they were good........but not "good". I still think they can be better.

Love the challenge. If it were easy........everyone would be doiin it. Guess I have the same problem w/sex.
I've had good luck with my ribs, my daughter's friends said they were the best they ever had, pretty high praise if you ask me, lol.
Seriously though, The 3-2-1 or any variations are just guidelines, we all need to adapt them to what works best for us.
Although I like the way my ribs come out, I am always striving to make them, and everything else, better. That's half the fun.
I have always had a hell of a time with pork. Especially my leather-tough-bitter ribs. I plan on using the 321 or some variation soon. Thanks for the tips!
I use a 3-2-1 without a timer.

3 is however long it takes the meat to pull back from the bones.
2 is however long is left when I finally remember I forgot the foil.
1 is long enough to crisp things up or sticky up a BBQ sauce if I've used one.

Sometimes I just get so busy playing with everthing else in the smoker (I do love a full smoker!) I don't even remember to wrap the ribs and they come out good too. It's apple juice and flippin' the beasties I tell ya!
I have to copy that deejay, I have never foiled my pork ribs and they have been perfect everytime. But Sat. we will try the 3-2-1 just so I can break in the new platter. The comments about tough pork ribs, I think has a lot to do with the quality of the meat. I only buy meat from my local butcher so I know what I'm getting, but I realize we all don't have that luxury. SMOKE ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Coated with mustard, layer of rub, smoked to 170°. Sprayed heavy 3 times with 3 parts apple juice, 1 part Canadian Mist. Came out great!
Have never foiled ribs.

Yeah, saw the 3-1-2.
Whole point is - WHATEVER WORKS FOR YOU. Each to their own. Long as it suits your taste, go for it! You're eating it, I'm not.
The neat thing is sharing it with everyone here. Diversity is a good thing.
Hey Peculiarmike can you give me an idea on how long it took you to cook the ribs to 170*? Also I assume you did not sauce your ribs? They look good and I want to try a non 3-2-1 smoke. Also, when did you first spray your ribs? Thanks.
Yep, that's the ticket. Depends on what you like. The 3 is pretty set, but the 2 and 1 can change depending on your taste. Depending on the quality of ribs also. I have been known to do 3-2.5-.5 for tougher cuts of ribs.
As long as you pull the membrane off the back they shouldn't be tough if they're done.

I always try to do the 3-2-1 but it never quite works out that way. The time is up to the ribs and how busy I am. I think the point is it's just a guide and needs to be adjust for your style of smoking and taste.

I never really time them until the bones start to stick out then I look at the clock. Sometimes I don't foil at all.
What I've always found is that when it goes into foil it really pulls back off the bone. Next time I think I'm gonna go back to no foil.......can't do anything the same twice in a row

I can't make the 321 method work, just too long and ribs too mushy. I still have my teeth and want to use them while I can.

But to each their own. As always, if you/family like it......you did it right.

Just wish I could get some real meat ones some time. Make them a meal instead of a snack.

Thanks for all the feedback, got some ideas to help the next rack out.
It would just depend on your taste and the flavor your after. Type of wood being used would also come into play here IMO if you are seeking a lighter smoke flavor. That being said I have done the 3-2-1 thing only 2 or 3 times to see what all the fuss was about.
I now always cook ribs without foil. I never stop smoke on anything as some talk about doing. A nice, even, and light smoke throughout a cook is the way to go in my book.
Gettin a real good chuckle on this one DJ.....
Especially #2!

"LAURA.............Its doin it again, you know, the face over the words"....
The first set of spares I did. I smoked for 5 hrs at 180* no foil just spritz w/ apple juice. They had a good texture but I was belching smoke for about 3 hrs later.

Something to remember we all have different tastes, different smokers, and different circumstances. What may work for one wont work for all. I have found the 3-2-1 method a starting point to make amazing ribs that leave you craving more and more. If you dont continue to try to improve on your smoke reciepes, what you have is a dish that you can probibly purchase at a cheap chain establishment. (applebees, chilies)

By always trying to improve recipes and methods, we can really experiance the full taste of the meat. Which is why we are all here!! otherwise van de camps, and manwhich would be the choice of many...

Thats my 2 cents worth...
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