Smoked baby back ribs question

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Original poster
Jan 14, 2011
So this was my first attempt at baby back ribs on my electric smoker:



I used the 3-2-1 method (poured Simply Apple in the foil for extra flavor during the second step).

While they turned out really good, I thought they were a little overdone.  After doing some more research, I found out that the 3-2-1 method is for spare ribs and baby back ribs should be 2-2-1 or even 2-1-1, so I tried it again a couple weeks later at 2 - 1.5 - 1.  This yielded better results (sorry no pictures), but I still felt they were slightly tougher and drier than what I was aiming for.

I really want some juicy ribs that just fall off the bone.

Next time I was thinking about doing 0.75 - 2.5 - 0.75, or something along those lines.  Is this a good idea?

Does anyone have any suggestion or ways that I can get some really juicy baby back ribs?
Your ribs look good. This is a method that's worked well that I've had success with.

1) 225-235 deg. area first 2 hrs. (first rack)

2) Foil w/juice in third hour moving from 2nd rack to 4th lowest rack (about 215 deg.) for 1 to 1.25 hours

3) Remove from foil and return to first rack at (225-235) or 10 deg. lower if necessary for 1 hour 15 min.

4) First application sauce (all sides)

5) Second application sauce (top) 20-25 min. afterward

6) Remove, foil and rest 20-25 min. before slicing

In my cooker there's about 40 degrees difference from the very top rack to the fourth lowest rack. If I'm doing a lot of them I use both the first and second rack and put all of them together on the lowest rack for step #2. Then, just alternate where the first two sets of racks were.

Essentially heat is usually in the 225-235 degree area, sometimes a little higher up to 240. Depending how the bones are looking in relation with the meat, I may shorten or extend step #3 time frame. And I might even bump the temp down a touch from the 230 area to the 220 beginning at steps #3 or #4. area particularly if the sets I are smaller. For the second foiling I place them on the racks of my oven with the door open. I don't put ribs in a cooler and I've found putting them on oven racks works a little better than just on the counter top. They finish tender and chewy where you have to tug the meat off the bone a bit yet coming off nearly all clean.  In my opinion if they're falling off the bone they're overdone. The ribs I usually work with are around 3 lb. each five hours cooking time and lately I've been brining the ribs I make.

All of them cook different of coarse. This is what I've found to work best for me. It could just be that if you were to maybe decrease your foiled temperature a touch that might bring you where you want to be. If they have too much "sway" when you pick them up they're probably getting too far done at the point so doing that alone might do the trick. That's a way I check if I need to leave them foiled with the juice a little longer if they don't have enough. 
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You can play with the numbers in the 2-2-1 method till you find what times work best for your tastes. Are you adding a decent amount of liquid when you foil them? As the others have said getting an idea of what temps your running at great level would help too is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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