3-2-1 Spare Ribs

Discussion in 'Pork' started by sarnott, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. Did the 3-2-1 method for two racks (each about 6 pounds). 

    Trimmed excess fat and pulled the membranes. Coated with yellow mustard and rubbed with mixed with about 80% Grill Masters Pork Rub with 20% Old Bay Rub. Rested in a frig for 1.5 hours.

    Put them in the smoker with cherry wood at 12:30 and found out 6 lb spare ribs don't fit in my smoker without twisting!

    They were smoked at about 230 with a spayed of 75% apple juice and 25% Red Stag Cherry flavored bourbon. I pull them and wrapped them with a little of the apple/bourbon mix in each packet.

    Back in the smoker for 2 hours, then pulled unwrapped and put back in the smoker. One of the racks was a little too tender (think I put too much liquid in that packet) but, I unwrapped and back in the smoker for the last hour. After unwrapping, I sauced in rack and left the other on naked. After the last hour, I brought them back into the house and, while I was back out closing down the smoker, my wife sliced the ribs so, no full "after" picture.

    They were juicy, tasted great but, for you guys that like a little pull, one rack was definitely falling apart! Served them with rice and corn.

     I'm not sure if I did use a bit too much liquid, if there was too much alcohol in the spray/packet or if I should have shortened the "wrapped" time to 1.5 hours. Any suggestions on how to gauge that time better? I've never used a temp probe during 3-2-1 but I'd appreciate any pointers.


  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    When I use the 3-2-1 or the 2-2-1 methods I do not add any liquid at the foil stage. I also do not spritz, ever. I really check out the ribs at each stage for doneness. I have shortened the foil stage before. I do not use a probe when smoking ribs.
  3. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    They were in the foil for too long for your tastes.  Also, when you say "at about 230", does the inlclude up to 237 degrees ?    Nothing wrong with doing ribs at somewhat higher temps like that, it's just that you have to take that into consideration when looking at cook times.    

    I'd wager that you have some temp variation between the two cook racks, especially with big slabs acting as a heat baffle.  With most vertical smokers, cooking on different levels results in meats being done at different times and you have to adjust accordingly.     You can easily test this by smoking a single rack of ribs.  Put it on the lower rack and put a temp probe right next to it to check the grate temp.   Then, reposition the probe to the higher rack, directly over the ribs and see if the temp isn't noticeably different.

    This difference becomes less pronounced the further you move away from the heat source.
  4. Thanks for the good ideas. The temp was going up and down from about 225 to as high as about 235. I liked the flavor of the ribs and they were really tender and moist but some of them, when you picked up the rib, it came up and the meat stayed on the plate! 

    Thanks again,

  5. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Those look pretty tasty from here...you'll get them dialed in to perfection in no time.


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