Spare ribs? trim or no trim??

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Deer Meat

Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Aug 8, 2006
Southwest Pennsylvania

I have 2 racks of spareribs (just under 5# each) that i am going to be smoking on sunday using the 3-2-1 method. I plan on removing the membrane and rubbing them with jeff's rub on saturday night. This leads to my question? I have read in different posts here saying if you trim the skirt meat and smoke it along with the ribs you can "snack on it while you are waiting on the ribs to be done smoking".

1) How can the skirt meat be ready to eat before the ribs?

2) If smoked with the ribs cut st. louis style do you still foil the skirt meat at the proper time along with the ribs?

3) If I donot trim the ribs (this is what I would like to do) does this effect the 3-2-1 method?

4) Should I trim as much fat off of them as possible, or leave them alone?


When I do mine, I just pull the membrane off, and trim any loose meat. If you want to cook the trimmings, go ahead. They will be smaller pieces and will cook a lot quicker.

And don't over cook....
I did that at my last comp.
and ruined them....

I usually do spares, and for some odd reason, I bought baby backs, and didn't really put it all together that the bb's would could a whole lot faster..... I learned a valuable lesson the hard way. I came in 40th out of 40 teams....

That is a very helpful website tonto1117 thanks.

So can I still follow the 3-2-1 method for the most part, or is that more designed for baby backs?

Last Saturday I cooked 5 lbs spare ribs for friends using the 3-2-1 method @ 230º and they came out perfect. I trimmed the loose meat and ate that as a snack when it got cooked. I also pulled off the membrane. Everyone raved about them. When I wrapped them in foil I poured alittle jd and apple juice in the foil (3 parts aj to 1 part jd).
Tomorrow I am cooking 3 slabs (12 lbs), rubbed with Jeff's rub, for some family friends and I will use the 3-2-1 method.
You will find that for spares, the 3-2-1 will be just about perfect timing.

I add some apple juice and some bbq sauce when I foil.

After I unwrap them, let them cook for about 30 minutes. Then check them to see how they are doing. If ok, spray with some apple juice. Then about 15 minutes before you pull them, brush on a good coating of your favorite bbq sauce and then let them cook until the sauce sets good.

If you have a family member that likes it sweeter, use my above mentioned tip with the honey.

So can I still follow the 3-2-1 method for the most part, or is that more designed for baby backs?


All good info already given. Baby backs would be closer to a 2-2-1 method. Good luck and keep us posted! is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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