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Help BBQ Experts! Rib time :-)

Discussion in 'Pork' started by eversch, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. Hey Everyone!

    Alrighty, it's time to try another meat.  My first smoke with the Pork Butt was a big success and I'd like to attempt to continue my success.  I'm planning on attempting some Ribs this Sunday for a Pre Labor Day / Fantasy Football Draft day.  

    I'm kinda starting from scratch on this one.  I wasn't able to find any specific tutorial providing much advice or suggestions as a far as a start to finish method of doing these.

    First item - I see that there are several types of ribs to choose between.  I typically buy my meat from a local butcher so I'd like to call soon to ask him to have the ribs ready for me this weekend.  What types of ribs are best for smoking?  What are the differences?  From what I've seen, having the butcher cut them specifically for you can help eliminate waste.

    Second item - I've seen multiple cooking methods such as 2-2-1, 3-2-1, amongst others.  What are these different methods and I'm sure everyone has their preference, so could anyone provide me with advantages or disadvantages of each.  

    Third item - Cooking time, when to apply spritz, when to apply sauce, etc.. the cooking details would be very helpful.  I'm assuming that I should apply a rub the night before.  Any other items I should prepare before hand.

    Any advice and suggestions from the experts to my my first rib excursion a success would be very much appreciated!

  2. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Rub nite b4, 3-2-1 is for spare ribs 3 hours on smoker then 2 hours wrapped in heavy foil w. some apple juice back on smoker then unwraped 1hour back on the smoker to firm up. 2-2-1 is used  for baby backs same principle just different times, If you have to sauce do it in the last half of the 1 hr.

    you can get the butcher to st louis cut your spares if you don't feel comfortable doing it .

             Good smokes and show us some q view
  3. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The 2-2-1 is for baby back ribs, the 3-2-1 is for then other rib, ie St Louis cut.  I would recommend you use one of these ways depending on which ones you get.  I spritz every hour till I foil then spray heavy as I do foil.  If using a sauce I would put it on the last 30 mins.
  4. If you are new to making bbq like myself I would suggest spare ribs. Ive made some killer St Louis cut ribs using the 3 2 1. My experiences with baby backs and 2 2 1 have been less than stellar. From my limited experience spares are the way to go my friend.
  5. Alright, so it sounds like St Louis Style spare ribs are the way to go for the first smoke.  I'll be calling the butcher this evening to order to ensure they are ready to be picked up and using the 3-2-1 method.  

    From what I understand, this is 3 hours in the smoker, 2 hours in the smoker foiled, then the last hour unfoiled again saucing the ribs within the last 30 minutes.  

    How about the recommended temperature - is this another 225-240 range or should they be higher temps?

    Any recommendations on the types of wood to use.  It will all be chips, but I have alder, apple, cherry, hickory, mesquite.
  6. rp ribking

    rp ribking Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Just remember slow and low. 200* to 225* on the smoker.
  7. Alrighty...change of plans...call the local place I go for meat and they are unable to get spare ribs due to the large quantity they have to order to will be looking to do baby back ribs instead.  From what many of the readers have said, they are a little more difficult to do so any changes to the methods.  I'm going to go around to local grocery stores as well just to check to see if I can find them, but just in case I want to be prepared for the baby back instead
  8. rp ribking

    rp ribking Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Eversch, All you have to do is the 2-2-1 or so for baby backs and everything else the same as St Louis Style ribs. I can't believe I am saying use "foil", but I am.
  9. retread

    retread Meat Mopper

    I've done baby backs at 3-2-1 and enjoyed them!  I think the time can be variable (especially the time the ribs are actually IN the smoke (ie not in foil)
  10. Do you have a Sam's Club near you??  That is where I buy my spares, they are usually priced pretty decent there as well.  The come cryopacked, 3 racks to the pack.  If you decide to go with BB, they have them there too, packed the same way.  Looks as tho everyone has given u good advice as far as times and temps....you asked about what type of smoke to make, for ribs i like apple....i've even done a mix of apple and hickory and they turned out nice.  Good luck!!
  11. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sam's Club or Costco has some good spares, and there are a couple of different posts with pictures and movies that show how to cut them to St. Louis style.
  12. herkysprings

    herkysprings Smoking Fanatic

    What kind of smoker?

    225F ish

    Put rub on ribs / heat up smoker

    Lay the ribs down, keel bone side facing the heat source (if offset), or facing the outter wall (if bullet style vertical).

    Spray with liquid, and rotate ribs from heat source (if offset) or middle rack (if vertical) every hour or so.

    Ribs are done when you grab a rack with tongs, about 4-5 ribs in lift them up, and they sag and start to crack / tear. Approximately 5-6 hours for 3 racks of BB, or 2 racks of spares. Individual racks will vary, and some racks may take more time than others, so check at the 5 hour mark, and then 30 min after and then 10 min from then on for the right doneness.

    If you want sauce put that on when the ribs sag about 90 degrees, but dont crack (tear) yet.

    This will give you non mushy ribs, that still pull away from the bone, and also the competition quality "bite" marks in the meat.
  13. I have a vertical Master Forge Double Door smoker. I was able to keep the temperature pretty consisten in my previous smokes between 225 and 240 and have the ET73 to make sure that it is accurate.  I'll have to check sams and costco for the others.  thanks guys!  more questions to follow i'm sure and q-view when finished!
  14. diesel

    diesel Smoking Fanatic

    HerkySprings has it correct.  At least in my opinion.  I get Baby backs from Costco.  They carry Swift brand.  Usually don't find any shiners in their packs.  I wouldn't sweat the cooking process too much.  With the cooker you have it should be relatively simple to do a good job.

    good luck and post qview..
  15. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    225-240 for temps works well IMHO. Previous post mentioned the bend test- look at my avatar for an example. Make sure to remove the membrane from the bone side of the rib, although I believe I remember a post somewhere that said the ribs at Costco were sold with the membrane already removed. Good Luck[​IMG]
  16. I think you've been given some excellent advice here.

    For baby backs I rub with mustard  first and then with whatever rub you've concocted. Let sit for an hour or so while I get the smoker ready. I cook at ~225 for 2.5 hours and then every 30 minutes after that I spritz with a mixture of rum and apple cider. I do not foil. Cook until the bend test reveals they're all done.

    Best of luck and most importantly, have fun!
  17. Should the ribs go correctly on the grates in the smoker or should I go look to purchase a rib rack?
  18. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Ribs are fine right on the grill in your smoker. Rib racks are mainly to squeeze a whole mess of racks of ribs in at one time.

    A lot of real good info above.

    Don't forget the Qview,

  19. Just another suggestion for you to ponder...

    The last BB's I did, I just threw on the grate and smoked @ 220 degrees for 5 hours, spritzing every hour.  No foil or anything. Best BB's I've done so far.
  20. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    210 - 225, if you go any higher, shave 10 minutes off of the 3 the 2 and the 1, total cooking time 5.5 hours.

    I have a fairly informative post in my blog under.

    Ribs smoked 3 - 2 - 1 with cherry and glazed with "Sweet Baby Rays Barbecue Sauce"

    on my

     GOSM Blog