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Second Smoke, First Using 3-2-1

Discussion in 'Pork' started by camalama, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. camalama

    camalama Newbie

    This is my second smoke using my electric box style smoker. Rubbed the ribs with a variation of Memphis Dust and I'm now about 3.5 hours into the 3-2-1 method. Threw in a splash of apple juice/bourbon mix with the tinfoil wrap. Here is a photo of the ribs prior to cooking and after the first 3 hours. Hopefully they will turn out, I'll update as we progress.


  2. bacardi

    bacardi Fire Starter

    Great pix!  I read your first thread to ensure you're on the right track and I think you are.  Turn your MES up to 250f if you already haven't.  Don't touch that door again other then the end of the foiling stage to remove from foil and at the end.  My tip is to spritz the ribs with apple juice after the ribs are done and off the smoker then put on your sauce.
  3. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

  4. mythmaster

    mythmaster Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Looks good so far!

    I have some ribs going in my MES today, too (got a late start -- about another hour to go).  I have the 30" model, and I've found that setting the temp to 235* keeps it in the 220-240* range while the water pan is 1/3 to 1/2 full.  I've verified this with my ET-73.

    Also, I soak my chips for just over 30 minutes then pour off the water, and I leave the vent closed, too.  Most people will tell you otherwise, but this has been what works best for me.  I'll get around 5 hours of TBS without having to load more chips.  Another trick to keep the smoke going is to open the door fully when you go in to spritz then shut it quickly.  This will force some air onto the chips and help them stay lit.
  5. camalama

    camalama Newbie

    With all the people around by they time it was all done I didn't get a chance to snap any more photos. Needless to say they turned out great. A few things I picked up from this smoke with the MES. First, I think I'll do 3-1.5-1.5.Second, meat selection is everything. I had some Costco ribs and then some butcher St. Louis cut ribs (I am in St. Louis, so I know that's the best cut :} ) and the cheap ribs were just that, but they weren't awful, just not as good. Third, I'll clean my wood tray when I wrap them in foil. Otherwise the method was perfect. You could pull the rib bone out and the meat just sat there on the plate. I need to adjust my rub recipe as it had no kick. I was really bland. That will come with time. I really liked the 3-2-1 because of how tender the meat was. They also had a bark on them this time which I didn't have the first time. As for temp, my MES was set at 230* but my second thermometer was reading around 250*, so I just let it alone. As for the guests, they went back for seconds and thirds.

    Thank you to all that post on this site. I've been reading and all the little ins-and-outs are really cutting down on the whole learning curve. So now that I'm getting the method down, how about a nice rub with some kick? Any suggestions?

    Thanks Again!

    Cameron Denison

    St. Charles, MO

  6. camalama

    camalama Newbie

    @Mythmaster - That's some good info. I haven't spritzed yet, but I'm going to try it on my next smoke. Today I didn't even soak the chips, just added more every hour. A 30 min soak and then drain the water would probably nail it. Thanks for that info. I hate opening the door. My first smoke I never opened it. This one I opened it twice to wrap and then unwrap the ribs. How often do you spritz?

  7. mythmaster

    mythmaster Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I hate opening the door, too, but I wanted to spritz since I'm not foiling them (I like a heavy bark).  I started after 2 hours and spritzed once every hour.  You can do the door trick even if you aren't spritzing -- just do it fast and you won't really lose any temp.

    For a rub, this Memphis-style one is my favorite: http://southernfood.about.com/od/bbqsaucemarinade/r/bl30418a.htm

    I cut the cayenne in half, but you might like it as-is.

    I'll start up a thread with some pics of the ribs, but it might not be until tomorrow because it's so late.

  8. oh man, those ribs look goooood!

    very nicely done!
  9. bacardi

    bacardi Fire Starter

    Absolutely no reason to spritz when cooking, little to no benefits of doing so but you deal with severe heat loss on the MES.  Spritz after the ribs are done and off the smoker, less flavors burn off.