First timer - St. Louis style ribs

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Original poster
Nov 29, 2013
Hi All!

Today's the day - my first smoke. I picked up 3 packages of St. Louis style ribs, and put my rub on them last night. They've been in the fridge for 12 hours.

So I'm planning on using the 3-2-1 method, and will be getting my smoker up to temp shortly (its a Masterbuilt 2 door propane unit - long story I'll have to write up later).

Anyway - I think I'm good with the method, but have a few questions:

1. Stuff has come up today, and I don't have 5 hours uninterrupted to do the ribs. I'm wondering whether its OK to take them off and wrap after 3 hours, and let them sit with the heat off for a couple hours while I leave the house, and then continue where I left off once I get back. Do I need to refrigerate them while I'm gone? I've heard folks talk about the danger zone - I don't want them to spoil. Its about 34F here right now - lots of snow on the ground, but the forecast is for rain and freezing rain today, so maybe they'll be ok in the smoker while I'm gone?

2. What internal temp to do I want to cook to? I have a reasonable digital internal thermometer - nothing fancy or fast, but its accurate.

Any other advice for a first timer is appreciated!

Thanks in advance,
Following up with some pix.

Smoker set up in back yard showing our good Canadian December weather.

Water pan and cast iron fry pan for wood chunks. Got things to temp before starting.

Ribs with rub ready to go on.

Yes sir, yes sir, three racks full!

Ribs have been on for 3 hours, and I've turned off the gas while I'm out. Hoping to wrap in foil when I get home and carry on from there. Fingers crossed. More pix later.
It is cold enough that they will cool off quickly. I would skip the foil stage and fire the smoker up to 275°F and let them smoke until done. Done is when they are tender. Picking a rack up from one end , close to the middle of the rack they should bend at a 90° angle and the meat should splinter. If you want fall off the bone, keep cooking until one of the middle bones will spin inside the meat when you give it a twist. This should take no more than 2 hours of additional time. If you wish to foil then proceed as planned at the temp you started with but plan on 2 hours in foil and 1-2 hours out until done...JJ
I wrapped them in foil, soaked them in apple juice and gave them 2 hours at about 225F, then another hour unwrapped, with a bit more hickory. Pulled them off at 10:30, tonight. Couldn't stand to wait any more!

A flew final pics.

Meat pulled back from the bone a bit.

Not sure if this is the ring folks talk about...

One last picture before I do my magic trick and make them disappear!

They're definitely tasty, and smokey. Could probably use more time next time. Also need to made sure the heat doesn't get away on me.

I think I'm hooked!
Thanks everyone for the words of encouragement. :yahoo:

I'm thinking go trying a turkey next week, and I've got 50 lbs of frozen rainbow trout begging to be smoked. Time to do my homework on brining!

Cheers! Brawny is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.