My first smoke was going to be an easy cooked/cured ham, well my Saturday free'd up and had the wife pick up some beef ribs. I've been researching the best ways to do these and will stick with the 3-2-1 method. My question is whether to soak or just rub or both. Also I read bad reviews on the mustard lather and just to use oil since Beef Ribs aren't as fatty. Lastly, will it hurt to smoke the entire time when its in foil too? I would think its a waste but unsure. Oh and the water pan, I read that people use sand or water. Sand is merely for temperature control. Like if I was smoking bb ribs and they're a little fatty, so water isn't really needed and I could use sand? Since these beef ribs aren't as fatty I should use water? Some don't use anything at all. Whats the preference here? I want these ribs to come out great so I need a little help here please. I think I should brine them, but with what? EVOO and a good rub, Smoke for 3 hrs, Foil for 2 hrs, Unwrap and smoke for 1 hr.