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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Oct 8, 2013
Terrace BC Canada
i have done the 3-2-1 method a few times and just love them. i actually like them falling off the bone.

when i have foiled in the past i end up with a big mess when i take them off. the liquid runs out of the foil, i get burnt, stuff everywhere cause the bones have poked holes or the juice just steams its way out.

MY QUESTION .... can i toss them in a foil pan, cover them with foil and do them this way ... less mess ??

doing 4 sides tomorrow!!!

Ive do my briskets and butts that way and always turn out great. I would like to try it with ribs and the advice i give myself is to find the smallest shallowest pan to do it with. Only thing im concerned with doing it with the ribs is that it takes up more room using the pans instead of just foil wrapping them. So for me itll come down to how much room im needing for the size cook im doing.
Oh and when i do wrap em with no pan, i tear the foil and drain them i to the pit prior to pulling them out. No mess that way and afterwards i just my drain pit.
Yes this way works just as well. What you are doing with the foil is keeping the moisture and the flavours in as the ribs cook. Make sure that the foil is sealed well to the foil pan and try to remove as much air as possible underneath the foil. Air is a good heat insulator and any large pockets will inhibit the heat reaching the top of the ribs while the bottom of the ribs in direct contact with the foil will cook faster. I usually cook my rib trimmings this way.

now next question....
Can i stack the ribs in the foil pan, or can i only do single layer. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT ALOT OF RIBS HERE.
as fpr draining in the pit, im using a fridge build smoker so thats out of the question for now ,

soon to have my Louisiana pellet grill though and then ill be in the game  :0)
Oh ok thats cool. Ive never stacked ribs and probably wont. To me the ribs under the top one wouldnt get any smoke and possibly wouldnt cook at same rate as the too and bottom rack.
the ribs smoke good on the racks, only 6" separation. i ment after the smoke part of the 3-2-1 cook could i stack the ribs in the foil pan for the 2 hour foiling time of the cook.a little misunderstanding there i think CrazyQ ..i actually have my maverick on one rack and the Auberins PID thermo on the other. i keep an eye on it addicted to this stuff now, if im not making and smoking sausage, bacon, BB ... im smoking something else for dinner !!!!
I gotcha, idk, i think youd still have a problem getting a good color and glaze tenderness on ones in between top and bottom ribs. Never know tho, may be worth trying it.
i follow ya, probably come out looking more like steamed meat than what we are looking for ....
Once the ribs have actually been smoked, you can stack them in pans and cover for the second step in 3-2-1.  There might be some slight inconsistencies when you remove from the foil, but it's doable.
Hi Goliath-

I like mine like you do, tender & falling off, with just a litle bit of "tug". I usually use either the 2-2-1-  or 3-2-1-, depending on which ribs I'm doing, but I do cut down on the time in the foil by about 45 mins, smoking them longer initially out of the foil.

I use a foil pan with a flat rack in the bottom for up to 2 racks, that keeps it out of direct contact with the liquid.

If I'm doing more than a couple, I use a large roaster-type pan, preheated in the oven to the same (or higher) temp than I'm smoking at. I use one of those rib racks that hold them up on their side, and can get 4 racks in a fairly compact area. Seal the top with foil tightly for both methods.

Then an hour or so back in the smoke, and SHAZAM!! 

This is what works for me, good luck & happy smokin!!

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