3-2-1 recap

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Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
Dec 19, 2005
Beautiful Grand Rapids Michigan
I have a problem (besides a smoking problem -meat that is) I have become some what of a BBQ expert with the guys and for the most part I have been able to give some good info.

The problem is I have never smoked ribs.

Next Saturday is dooms day and I need to prepare some with my brother in law.

I understand the first thing is to have plenty of beer.

I have a idea of how the 3-2-1 method works can someone give a refresher course/tutorial for me?
Hey Cheech,

I think everyone should give an answer to this thread :D .

My submission is to look very carefully at what type of rib you want to cook. Back rib, spare rib? Then be very selective of the rib you buy. You want some fat, but not too much fat. Be sure and get the membrane off and trim any weird looking meat that is still hooked on the ribs and get ready to rub. 8)

Now someone else needs to say get the mustard out of the icebox :D
Now get the mustard out of the icebox, and slather it all over those ribs, rubbing into all those nooks and crannies, then generously apply your particular rub, cover and put back in the icebox overnight, (which I never seem to do). The next day pull them out , reseason and let warm up a bit…or not. (thereâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]s a school of thought about how cold meat creates a better smoke ring). Now someone needs to enter (stage right) and carry this onward. :roll:
Before pulling them ribs out of the fridge, fire up the smoker and get the cook chamber up to temp-230-250*. About 30 minutes before putting you're ribs in the smoker get your smoke rolling. Smoke the ribs for three hours- spray with your favorite juice concoction at least twice. Wrap with a double layer of heavy duty aluminum-before closing up the foil add about 1/4-1/2 cup of your spray. Back into the smoker for a couple of hours. Remove the ribs from the foil and return to the smoker to let them firm up. If you're going to sauce the ribs- sauce them the last thirty minutes-or serve them naked and serve the sauce on the side.
Cheech, I am a FIRM believer in doing the ribs using the 3-2-1 method. Fall off the bone, goodness! Cajun, the web page you pointed out is THE authority on schooling folks about the different types of ribs, cuts, etc. I just wanted to point out (I didn't see if anyone's mentioned it) but remove the membrane from the back of the ribs! To me, that is very important. Good luck this coming weekend, Cheech - and of course to everyone else. I am planning on doing some ribs, andouille sausage and chicken at my friend's lake house.
Remember that 3-2-1 is only a guide.... i generally let the ribs cook for about 3 hours, waiting for the meat to pull from the end of the bones. I spray every hour on the hour, I toss 4-5 chunks of wood on the charcoal pan on the WSM.

Take the ribs off and wrap in a foil cocoon. I used to spray heavy in teh foil, now I just pour some juice in the foil packet, and wrap the ribs TIGHT. These go for 2 hours

Careful when opening the packets, the juice will be HOT, VERY HOT. Take the ribs out of the foil packs, and place them back on the grates. Careful, the ribs may/will be fall apart tender.

My family likes their ribs sauced, so this is when I apply the sauce. close the lid, and walk away. come back in 30 min. Check the ribs. Looking for the right amount of tenderness, and make sure the sauce does not burn. By now my fire is getting weaker, so the burned sauce is not a problem. I resauce the ribs, and come back in 30 mins.

My ribs are usually juicy, tender to the bite, a BEAUTIFUL smoke ring, and look like they were baked in a sauce bath.

PS never cook ribs with out making fatties so you have some nibbles while cooking.
Cajun thanks for the link that is an awesome link.

Mr. Icemn thanks for the beautiful recap.

I now have the opportunity to do a test batch this weekend and then for the performance will be next weekend.

One hurdle will be that he wants me to perform this whole thing on his BBQ gas grill, but I am up for the challenge.
I used to try to keep my smoking temps for ribs 220-230, but they took forever to cook. I upped my temps to 235-245 and I've had much better success.
Thanks a ton for your help on this.

I ran the test batch today and I fell in love with the ribs.

I was not able to get a good smoke ring on them, not unusual seeing that I smoke them in an electric smoker and it is really tough to get a ring when using electric.

There was a small ring but not a big one.

Taste was awesome.

I was going to take pictures, but ended up sampling the ribs and by the time we were done sampling there were no more left.
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