Had to settle for Baby Backs, now I need help

Discussion in 'Pork' started by 13spicerub, May 23, 2008.

  1. 13spicerub

    13spicerub Meat Mopper

    ok so heres my dilemma. after planning to do a pork shoulder when camping this weekend then finding out i can't bbq after midnight, i decided to do ribs because they won't take as much time.

    after a few years of trial and error, i like to think i've perfected the art of smoking spare ribs. I think they taste way better than BBs, so i haven't bothered with BBs in about 3 or 4 years where I'd do them on my gas grill with a smoker box.

    So i head to the grocery store where they are advertising SPARERIBS for $1.99 per lb for memorial day. I'm excited to stock up, but when i get there i see it is half and quarter racks and they are very poorly trimmed. One package had what looked like a quarter rack that was 75% sternum. I do them st. louis style so this was unacceptable.

    I settled for a couple racks of BBs. So now i need some expertise. I feel like the 3-2-1 method is way too much time. maybe 2-2-1? Or maybe no foil at all?

    we are leaving in about 12 hours so i need a quick lesson, SMF has never failed me.
  2. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    2-2-1 is acceptable. However 2-1-1 might be closer. Foil at the first sign of pullback at the tips... then after an hour open them up and do a bone tug. You gotta be careful...they'll go to pieces on ya if ya go too long.
  3. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    WTF do yo mean you can't smpke after midnight?? [​IMG]
  4. desertlites

    desertlites Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    campground police I think bubba-we thinking of a nite under the stars this we-in the backyard next to the pit.I the law here.
  5. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I ask because i've been to quite a few parks camping around here and i have done several all niters.
    Offer the rangers some eats and you can get away with petty much anything! [​IMG]
  6. ron50

    ron50 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I usually only do BB ribs so for what it is worth:

    2-2-1 is way to long IMO. I try to keep the temp more towards 235-245, otherwise I don't usually see too much pullback,

    When I get the pullback I bring it back to 225 and test them once in awhile lifting them with the tongs. When I get the nice 90 degree bend in the middle they are done. Might sauce them for a few, usually only do Danny Gaulden's rib glaze the last few minutes.
  7. capt dan

    capt dan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Having to "settle for baby backs" is a good thing! I have to go along with Ron 50, a lil higher temp won't hurt a bit. Don't leave em in the foil too long, cuz they will break in half when ya go to lift em!
  8. funh2o

    funh2o Meat Mopper

    IMHO I have done BB's using the 2-2-1 Method at 225 degrees and they have turned out great. I don't think you should skip the foiling as thats what makes those baby's moist and tender. Which ever method you decide to try, I hope they turn out great for you.

    Yeah, I know all about the campgrounds shutting down the fires at a certain time. Ya think they would make exceptions for smokers. Especially after they smell whats cookin.

    Have a good weekend and let us know how the ribs turned out. Maybe post some Q-View. [​IMG]

    Happy Smokin

  9. 13spicerub

    13spicerub Meat Mopper

    i went for the 2-2-1 method. they came out dry and stuck to the bone. i was really disapointed. it's spare ribs or nothing from now on
  10. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    dont know what went wrong for you. i do pretty much bb cause that what wifey want. i have done them without foil and thought they were very good, had a little chew to them to get off bone but nothing wrong with that as meat was still juicy and tender, then since post forum days use 2-2-1 and cant say ever had dry ribs. maybe too much heat in first 2 hours and cooked juices outta the meat??? just a thought
  11. ron50

    ron50 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Either your temps were too high or you cooked them too long. Baby backs vary in size of the racks by as much as a pound and a smaller rack is going to take less time then the larger ones.
  12. jakesmith

    jakesmith Fire Starter

    Hmm, I'm going to do BB this weekend and was planning on trying 2-2-1 for the first time. From what I'm seeing 2-1-1 is more appropriate and at 235 degrees??
  13. ron50

    ron50 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I like to go 235 - 240 but anywhere between 225-250 is fine.

    I am not going to dispute the venerable 2-2-1 method as it's been around longer then I have been smoking , but for me I have found that it's too long. I also don't foil which may effect the times as well. You can't cook to a certain time.

    What I do is cook at 240 till pullback; that might be 2 hours might be longer, then I keep smoking till they look ummm done (how's that for a exact time, lol).

    When i lift the racks in the middle and it has the right, bend (about 90 degrees) it's done.
  14. crockadale

    crockadale Smoking Fanatic

    I like ron do not foil ribs or any other cut of meat. They allways come out tender and my neighbors are always asking when I'm doing them again. BB's usually take anywhere from 3 to 4 hours at 230 to 240 deg. depending on the size of the rack.
  15. jakesmith

    jakesmith Fire Starter

    Yeah I understand about time is not the best gauge for smoking the meat. I used 3-2-1 for some st louis cut for the first time a few weeks ago and really like how the ribs came out.

    (Previously for the last, I dont know 5 years, I just put'em on the smoker keep them spritz'd and wait until they looked done and internal temp was right.)

    I'm probably going to try 2-2-1 and I will foil after 2 hours and of course keep an eye on temps.

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