3-2-1 method tweaks?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by hectop, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. Over the last couple of weeks, I've tried the 3-2-1 method on ribs.  Two weeks ago it was side ribs (1st pic) last weekend it was back ribs (2nd two pics).

    Now they all came out tasting great but I found that they were falling off the bone (and you can see the bone out on the 3rd pic) after the 2 hours in the foil  I was hoping for something not quite as tender.  I'm working with a Master Forge 2 door running between 220 and 230.  Foiled with a bit of liquid and some apple jam.

    Should I cut back a bit on the 3 hour stage as well as the 2 hour stage, or cut back only on the 2 hour?  I'll experiment but was looking for any recommendations from the experts.


  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Maybe try 3-1.5-1

    Keep notes so you remember what you've tried already till you get them just the way you like them
  3. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The foiling phase is where the majority of the breakdown occurs, so yes that would be a good place to start. You get your color in the first phase, your tenderness in the second phase and your firmness and bark in the third. Play around with the timing until you find something you like. Many don't foil at all.
  4. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Ditto, play with the cook times in the foil stage

    also you can try  a pan foil wrap and prop the foil open a bit.This has been the cure all for me, since My family prefer foiled and I don't.

    • prop open each corner, I don't have a pic but this gives you an idea
    • Drippings reserved and are added to sauce for Final Glaze
    • Pull back is more than I like but lower heat and less (aggressive) foiling may reduce the pullback a bit.
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    All of the above is Great advice!!!

    Also, I have found that you can't say 3-2-1 for spares & 2-2-1 for Babies.

    The big difference is in the size & thickness of the ribs, and if I keep St Louis cut in as long as I need for untrimmed Spares they are gonna be in too long.

    And definitely keep notes of everything you do, like Piney said. I think I'm on my 5th or 6th Spiral 9" X 12" notebook!!!

    magnus likes this.
  6. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  7. reed29

    reed29 Meat Mopper

    Can any one tell me how long to smoke 4 racks of ribs in a master 40in? I'm very new to this and what is 2-2-1?
  8. 2 =two hours of smoke , 2= two hours wrapped in foil with apple juice , 1= one hour of basting with sauce  2-2-1 hope this helps
  9. reed29

    reed29 Meat Mopper

    Thank you helps a lot!
  10. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    2-2-1 is for baby back ribs and maybe St Louis cut depending on size. If doing full spare ribs it's 3-2-1
  11. reed29

    reed29 Meat Mopper

    Does the time go up the more racks of baby back ribs?
  12. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    No it's still the same amount of time 2-2-1
  13. when you have more racks you might have to rotate them a few times if you have hot spots.    my temp only varies 10deg  and I still rotate..keep smoking and you will figure our what your smokers likes the best.
  14. reed29

    reed29 Meat Mopper

    Thanks for all the help yall lots of great advice I'm just going to dive right in tomorrow!
  15. try the bend test when you take the foil off and you should be fine . good luck keep smokin
  16. reed29

    reed29 Meat Mopper

    Will 3-1.5-1 work better for a little bit more tug on the babyback ribs?
  17. reed29

    reed29 Meat Mopper

    I mentioned 2.5-1.5-1
  18. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Kind of late to answer but no maybe so 2-1.5-1 the foiled stage where the meat is braising is when it gets real tender sometimes too tender
  19. reed29

    reed29 Meat Mopper

    Came out great thanks everyone for the help! No one even looked at the hamburgers they were the back up plan.
  20. I've tried a couple of variations now.

    3 - 1.5 - 1 with foil and with a pan partially covered.  It was better, but perhaps the temp wasn't quite right because they didn't come out as tender as I would have liked.

    The foil wrapped were a bit more tender than those in the pan.  I was trying the technique on both side and back ribs.

    I then did 3 - 1.5 - 1 again with just foil.  These came out quite nice.  

    The side ribs were almost falling off the bone, but not quite.  Just enough chew.

    The back ribs had a bit more chew in them.  I think I'll have to keep tweaking the back ribs.just a bit more.

    One question though.  Although I use the same ingredients on both the side and back ribs, the side ribs come out a bit sweeter.  Almost a meat candy. 

    I think its because of the difference in the amount of meat/fat between the two types of ribs.

    Is that the case?  Has anyone else experienced that?


Share This Page