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It's only Tuesday...

Jonathan Carlson

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And I'm already nervous about smoking up my ribs on Fathers Day... Not much going on at work so now I'm doing my due diligence before the big day. So naturally I have a few questions.. mainly needing opinions.

- I've seen people in the forums talking about the 3.2.1 or 3.1.2. or all smoke method when it comes to ribs. What is your method and why? Or do you switch it up from time to time? I'm thinking my first I'm not even going to mess with foil.. Or should I? This is first time, so I don't want to screw it up. Let me know what you all think.

- I have ZERO experience with ribs. I don't even know what kind of rub or seasoning to buy. What do you guys like to use? I will probably peruse the isles of walmart and see what looks good? Not sure. I just want to do something simple, yet delicious for my first try.

- I've seen others talk about doing their rub 24 hours prior, 12 hours, and even right before. What's your guy's technique on the matter? I'm curious to see what others do.

-175 is the temp when ribs are done, but online I've seen people take it up to 195. Why? Wont they be over cooked and mushy?

- What's you're favorite wood to use for flavor? I have hickory chunks I might mix that with a bit of apple..

- My biggest fear at the moment. What If I still can't get a grip on my temperature control, and my ribs are done in 3 hours instead of 6? Will they be tough/ not tender? Any tricks out there in case this happens? Wrap in tin foil until dinnertime? I don't know what I would do but I need a plan since this happened on my first two smokes..

Ok that's all the questions I have for now. Thank you all for taking the time to read this. I'm loving this forum and all the experience out there you guys have to offer. I just can't wait to post my pics on here of my finished product and tell you guys how I may/may have screwed up. lol!!
 

SmokinAl

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Thanks Buddy, I was about ready to send him the link!
You just type faster than me!
Al
 

dcecil

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Ribs can make you look like a pro. Take a look at the thread I posted above by smokinAL. If you have any other questions after you read just ask away. For me I like fall off the bone which I feel wrapping in foil helps with that.
 

Jonathan Carlson

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Sounds about right, I've only been here two day and now coming acros this thread. Smokin Als ribs sure look good!
 

73saint

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1st of all, don't be nervous. Good quality meat, and an honest effort will usually yield AT LEAST better-than-what-you-can-buy-out. Secondly, even if they finish too soon there are things you can do (wrap in foil, sear on charcoal for a few mins to bring back to temp, place in a low temp oven when wrapped or just eat as-is).

So, personally, for me, right out the gate, 3-2-1 is pretty straightforward. It's how I learned, and will give you consistent results you can count on. Just remember 3 hrs unwrapped, then 2 (or less) in foil w/ some parkay and brown sugar, then back on the pit unwrapped. You will likely find once they come out of the foil, they are close. But, if you prefer, just forget the foil and pull them when long tongs can grab them, but they should hang over the tongs almost to the point where you have to be gentle to keep them from breaking (does that make sense). If you still aren't sure, probe them between the bones and look for the temp to be somewhere between 195-203/

My absolute favorite wood to smoke ribs is pecan, but that's just me. Honestly, any well-seasoned wood you buy from Academy or the like will produce good results.

I wouldn't worry too much about the rub, or when you add it. I really REALLY like Malcom Reeds THE BBQ RUB for ribs, the color and flavor are so good (mahogany color and sweet/savory flavor), but there are so many to choose I still change it up. Or you can be brave and make your own.

I hope this covers some of your concerns. Just remember, have fun!!
 

73saint

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LOL, I should've just sent you Al's link. Now my carpal tunnel is acting up!!
 

Jonathan Carlson

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, but they should hang over the tongs almost to the point where you have to be gentle to keep them from breaking (does that make sense).
Ok yes, that makes perfect sense. And I'll probe it to make sure anyways. And thanks again for all the input. Just a nervous guy stressing about his fathers day meal. At least I know once I get my first smoked ribs down, I'll be able to learn from it and build a better platform of knowledge for the future. And I KNOW I'll have fun cause I'll have a fresh cold one in my hand :)
 

73saint

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Ok yes, that makes perfect sense. And I'll probe it to make sure anyways. And thanks again for all the input. Just a nervous guy stressing about his fathers day meal. At least I know once I get my first smoked ribs down, I'll be able to learn from it and build a better platform of knowledge for the future. And I KNOW I'll have fun cause I'll have a fresh cold one in my hand :)
Giving advice can be a lot easier than taking it. Don't feel bad, I still get nervous even though (I think) I know what I am doing. Nothing wrong with wanting to please those you love and care for!
 

SmokinAl

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I remember my very first smoke & it was spare ribs.
I was so nervous & they turned out pretty good with the help of the fine folks on here.
I have since made it my mission to come up with a rib recipe that takes into consideration all the variables that you can encounter with your smoker, and still produce the perfect rib. It doesn't matter how you get to the final IT, foil or no foil, mop or not. Temp spikes or temp drops. What matters is the final IT of the ribs. Tender & juicy with a little pull when you bite into them is about 195, that's how we like them. For FOTB ribs your gonna wanna take them to 200-205. I like to finish mine on a hot gas grill to burn off the membrane & set the sauce. But just like any recipe this one can be changed to suit your tastes!
Good luck & don't be afraid to pop open a cold one at 10:00 AM when you put the ribs on, that's what I do. And very much look forward to having those kind of days!
Al
 

dcecil

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Ok yes, that makes perfect sense. And I'll probe it to make sure anyways. And thanks again for all the input. Just a nervous guy stressing about his fathers day meal. At least I know once I get my first smoked ribs down, I'll be able to learn from it and build a better platform of knowledge for the future. And I KNOW I'll have fun cause I'll have a fresh cold one in my hand :)[/QUOT

You got this. No worries
 

Geebs

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Cant go wrong with Als recipe.

Its also hard to screw up the 3-2-1 or 2-2-1 Method. 3-2-1 is for spare/st. louis style ribs and the 2-2-1 is for baby backs. I enjoy doing these methods. I also strongly suggest using Jeffs rub, I put that rub on EVERYTHING that I smoke. The last 45 min I begin to mop them with Blues Hogs Sauce. Ribs have become one of my favorite things to smoke. Good luck!
 

Jonathan Carlson

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I remember my very first smoke & it was spare ribs.
I was so nervous & they turned out pretty good with the help of the fine folks on here.
I have since made it my mission to come up with a rib recipe that takes into consideration all the variables that you can encounter with your smoker, and still produce the perfect rib. It doesn't matter how you get to the final IT, foil or no foil, mop or not. Temp spikes or temp drops. What matters is the final IT of the ribs. Tender & juicy with a little pull when you bite into them is about 195, that's how we like them. For FOTB ribs your gonna wanna take them to 200-205. I like to finish mine on a hot gas grill to burn off the membrane & set the sauce. But just like any recipe this one can be changed to suit your tastes!
Good luck & don't be afraid to pop open a cold one at 10:00 AM when you put the ribs on, that's what I do. And very much look forward to having those kind of days!
Al
Well said sir! I'm quite glad I found this place.. There's so many techinques and tricks out there in the world of smoking. Its hard starting out and figuring what I should be focusing more on and what I can deal with later after I've gotten my feet in the water.
 

TomKnollRFV

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Alright since no one broke it down yet I'll do it as a fellow newbie to the Smokers Life Style!

3-2-1 etc are variations on a fall off the bone tender rib recipe. 3 Hours on the grate naked. 2 Hours foiled and on the grate. 1 hour naked on the grate. That is you start with the bone side down on the grate for 3 hours. Then you take them off, foil them <with apple juice, etc. What have you>. Then after 2 hours, you take them out of the foil, and back on the grate, bone side down. The last hour is when you put on sauce etc.

As for rubs my go to is generally Kosmo's Q honey bee rub as it's MSG free and I'll put my own red pepper on etc. I also use Sweet Baby's Ray BBQ sauce. Which tends to overpower any rub that isn't spicy. The reason for varying time on rubs is A: Not doing every thing the day of.. and B: The longer a rub is on, the more the meat absorbs the flavour. I've had rubs on over night and personally can't tell much of a difference. Rub to me just makes good bark. I sprinkle rub on after or I can't taste it.

Now with the 3-2-1 method the Internal Temp isn't a concern. You are running at 225 the entire time. I suppose you could measure the IT, but the entire idea is you have a handy time line to follow and don't need to pay attention to the Internal Temp! <I'm fairly certain after 3 hours the ribs are likely safe to eat. I'll have to stick a probe in next time I do ribs to see if it's true>.

As for wood? Apple and Cherry together is my go to for pork and chicken. I'll generally rotate From Apple to Cherry, then two more apple, one cherry, and occasionally hit the hickory. If I'm using the Pellet Tray all I have is apple and mesquite (For that Kalua Pork Experiment of mine) so I'll dump more hickory into the side loader if I want that flavour.

As for the temperature thing, as I run an Electric Smoker so I got nothing. Well! Hopefully I didn't lead you astray and if I did, I hope Al or Bear or some one corrects me before my advice ruins any ribs!
 

SmokinVOLfan

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You doing BB's or spares?

I like my ribs like Al...not quite fall off the bone but tender juicy and has a little bite to it. 195 is perfect for my liking.

If you don't have Jeff's rub recipe then there are several good basic recipes on this site or several commercial ones you can buy. Just do a search and I don't think you will be disappointed.
 

Jonathan Carlson

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Joined Jun 11, 2018
You doing BB's or spares?

I like my ribs like Al...not quite fall off the bone but tender juicy and has a little bite to it. 195 is perfect for my liking.

If you don't have Jeff's rub recipe then there are several good basic recipes on this site or several commercial ones you can buy. Just do a search and I don't think you will be disappointed.
Baby Back for me and Beef ribs for the wife since she doesn't do the pork thing at all. Kids will get a few of each.
 

Jonathan Carlson

Fire Starter
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Joined Jun 11, 2018
Alright since no one broke it down yet I'll do it as a fellow newbie to the Smokers Life Style!

3-2-1 etc are variations on a fall off the bone tender rib recipe. 3 Hours on the grate naked. 2 Hours foiled and on the grate. 1 hour naked on the grate. That is you start with the bone side down on the grate for 3 hours. Then you take them off, foil them <with apple juice, etc. What have you>. Then after 2 hours, you take them out of the foil, and back on the grate, bone side down. The last hour is when you put on sauce etc.

As for rubs my go to is generally Kosmo's Q honey bee rub as it's MSG free and I'll put my own red pepper on etc. I also use Sweet Baby's Ray BBQ sauce. Which tends to overpower any rub that isn't spicy. The reason for varying time on rubs is A: Not doing every thing the day of.. and B: The longer a rub is on, the more the meat absorbs the flavour. I've had rubs on over night and personally can't tell much of a difference. Rub to me just makes good bark. I sprinkle rub on after or I can't taste it.

Now with the 3-2-1 method the Internal Temp isn't a concern. You are running at 225 the entire time. I suppose you could measure the IT, but the entire idea is you have a handy time line to follow and don't need to pay attention to the Internal Temp! <I'm fairly certain after 3 hours the ribs are likely safe to eat. I'll have to stick a probe in next time I do ribs to see if it's true>.

As for wood? Apple and Cherry together is my go to for pork and chicken. I'll generally rotate From Apple to Cherry, then two more apple, one cherry, and occasionally hit the hickory. If I'm using the Pellet Tray all I have is apple and mesquite (For that Kalua Pork Experiment of mine) so I'll dump more hickory into the side loader if I want that flavour.

As for the temperature thing, as I run an Electric Smoker so I got nothing. Well! Hopefully I didn't lead you astray and if I did, I hope Al or Bear or some one corrects me before my advice ruins any ribs!
Thanks Tomknoll about how you do things. I like hearing what other experienced smokers do. I will definitely be taking IT since I don't know yet how to tame the beast and keep her down at 225..
 

TomKnollRFV

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Hopefully you got some remote probes! Stick one in to have an accurate reading!
 

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