Spare Ribs on the Menu

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
OTBS Member
Feb 13, 2006
Chillicothe MO
This weekend we're cooking some Spare Ribs and a deer roast. I'm planning on doing the spares 3-2-1 style. I'll rub them the night before and during the foil stage use a little apple juice and then glaze them during the last 30 min. or so with the Danny Guldens Glaze I've heard about. This is my first attempt at Pork ribs so wish me luck. OBTW, if anyone has any secret tips or tricks I'd love to hear them.
Lady J, Remember that the 3-2-1 method is just a guideline-adjust your times as needed. When I do ribs I'll wrap them in foil as soon as the meat retracts about a 1/4 inch from the end of the bone. I've wrapped them as soon as 1 1/2 hour and some have taken nearly the entire 3 hours. Sometimes I mop them during the first part of the smoke session; sometimes I don't (a lot depends on what ever else I'm doing at the time).

If you're feeding a crowd, you might want to make extra just so you and Ben can enjoy some left overs :P.
Well the ribs turned out pretty good considering all of the adjustments and improvising we had to do along the way. As I was prepping them I had a hard time getting all the membrane off the backs and I thought I got it all but I guess I missed some as we found out while eating. We also had to veer a little from the intended recipe. I was going to foil them with apple juice but it turned out all we had on hand was an apple/peach/grape juice cocktail, so we used that. I also intended to glaze them but decided they didn't need it at the last minute. Once we got them on the smoker it took forever. The meat didn't ever seem to pull back from the bone like it should so after 4-5 hours I put them in foil and finished them off in that. We ate right after taking them out of the foil and I was worried that they would be tough or taste off due to the juice I foiled them in but they were some of the best ribs I've had in a long time. The meat was just tender enough and very flavorful. They were a hit and we'll definatly be doing them again.
Lady J, What was the smoke chamber temp?
It stayed at a pretty constant 225-250 range. The ribs were farthest away from the fire box so I don't know if that made a difference or not. Even without pulling away from the bone they were still tender and tasty so I'm not complaining much.
Your temps are where they sould be so it sounds like a little expermentation is in order. On your next Rib smoke, move the rack closer to the firebox (about halfway) and see how they do. Remember that with your type of smoker, the box will be hottest at the fire box end and cooler at the farthest end. The trick is to find that sweet spot thats not too hot or to cool.
I don't always wait for the meat to pull back before I put them in the foil.
I did 20+ slabs the other day and about half of them had pulled back before I foiled them.
When they came out of the foil, they had all pulled back and tenderized nicely.
I use the first 3 hours to get the smoke flavor into them, then if I think they need a little extra cooking, I can crank up the heat a bit while they are protected by the foil and not worry about how "clean" the smoke is.
During that time period, I'm not concerned about the quality of the smoke as getting those little buggers to braise in the juice.
I do make sure the smoke has settled down to a fine wispy smoke before I finish them off without the foil.

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