how to: ribs without the 3-2-1?

Discussion in 'Grilling Pork' started by dewetha, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. dewetha

    dewetha Smoking Fanatic

    I did a search and plenty of 3-2-1 variations come up. I am still working through own 3-2-1 times and techniques but figure I might see what smoking the ribs without foil is like.

    so give tips please.


    Joe P
  2. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Joe. sometimes i do beef ribs straight on i give them a good rub in to the smoker at 210-215 for 4 to 6 hours it is yummy

    like a brisket on a stick .(diners drivings and dives).
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I do them both ways, but if you like tender fall off the bone ribs, then foiling is the way to go.
  4. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use a modified 3-2-1

    Rather than the last hour unfoiled at 225°, I grill them for about 10 minutes on low heat.

    You just have to try a few different variations, to see what you like best.

    Practice is good!!!

  5. I tried the foiling methods & just didn't like the way they turned out. Since then I've always done them for 6hrs straight smoke & have never been happier. I've gotten soooo many compliments on my ribs & truthfully haven't found better at any of the local joints. These are going to be one of my staples when I open up shop next year. Good luck!
  6. billyj571

    billyj571 Smoking Fanatic

    I'm going to try it both ways this weekend
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
  7. i used to do my ribs in the oven and loved the tenderness and fall off the bone flavour they had.  Through the advice of the veterans of this forum ive learned that my favourite method is 3hours on the smoker with 1 hour in foil followed by another two unfoiled on the smoker.  It has produced the best results and the best ribs ever.  a little Jack Daniels soaked wood also helps. its not that bad either mixed with coca cola and ice. Best ribs ive ever tasted thanks to the pro's on thhis forum.
  8. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Joe, I used to use the 3-2-1, then I taught myself that the 2 - 1 1/2 - 1/2 method worked even better. Then as I gained experience, I did away with foiling and have never looked back. No need for foil anymore. Just practice, learn what you all like and you will turn out great food. One other thing: family prefers the ribs either sauced or rubbed, not both, and I have to agree. Kansas City style or otherwise....."choose your pick" as they say!
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Everybody likes them a little different.

    I like a little tug on my spares, but everybody else here likes fall off the bone.

    I could never get fall off the bone with 3-2-1, so I ended up with 2.5-2.5-1.

    Everybody should try numerous ways & pick their favorites.

  10. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    No foil= rub the ribs, put them in the cooker at 235°F and cook until done. 6-8 hrs depending on rib cut. I only foil to save fuel and have a more predictable total cooking time.
  11. dewetha

    dewetha Smoking Fanatic

    so far with foiling I find with baby backs 2 hours is too much. they are "too" fall of the bone. they literally fall off the bone. so I ma working on times and temp with foil. 

    I plan on doing a few experiments and see how it goes between foil, no foil, and sauce and no sauce.

    thanks for the info so far.
  12. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you want to have good non-foiled ribs keep your temps down at 210-225° and let them run till they pass the bend test. The bend test is where you pick them up approx. 1/3 away from the end with a pair of tongs and the rest of the rack will bend straight down 90°, and the strands of muscle will show signs of seperation at the bend point. This will result in a rack of ribs that are very tender on the inside, but still have a nice tug to the outside.
  13. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    well put JRod................
  14. I started with the foiling method and fall off the bone ribs, but changed to a coat of mustard, a rub of choice, 225 degrees, six hours, mist apple juice every thirty minutes. This method turns out what I call a perfect rib- great bark, a slight tug, and tender. Always gets praises. But everyone's got a different taste for ribs, so take all the advice you get, experiment with it, and come up with your own method to suit your desire.
  15. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Once again -

    The Bend Test


    Foiling time depends on the size of the racks and cooking temp. I foil 2.5lb racks and under for 1.5hrs, 2.75lb and up for 2hrs( all times are relative not exact)
  16. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    The thing about ribs is everybody likes them different.

    You have to experiment & find what you & your family like, then stick to that.
  17. Al, you are certainly correct. The problem with everyone's taste for ribs is a little different is when you are cooking for 125 people which I have to do next weekend.

    But that is all part of enjoying the process. But I can say, I have cooked for the same group using both the foiled and not foiled technique at different times and always went over well. I think when it comes to Que, most people enjoy it any way they can get it.

    Easy to Please!!!
  18. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I agree with you on that. Most people have never had really good ribs. The ribs you get in a restaurant or BBQ joint are not very good & even the ribs I have tasted at the BBQ comps we have been to were not as good as I would have expected. There used to be a little BBQ shack here in town that had the best ribs that I have ever tasted in a restaurant. They were smoky & had a nice flavor. Wouldn't you know he went out of business.
  19. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I have always been amazed by how different peoples tastes are...I was a Judge at a PA rib cookoff, annual event here, 100 competitors from all over the country...I tasted some amazing ribs in many regional styles...The Peoples Choice winner was from a TGIFriday's Clone that a student of mine, that worked there, said is Steamed then coated in Bullseye BBQ Sauce and finished on a Grill...Go Figure!?!...JJ
  20. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Chef JJ,

     they did a blind BBQ sauce survey down here and had 6 different sauces. 3 store bought and 3 resturaunt entries.

     Plain kraft .99 a bottle won it by a wide margin.

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