Spare ribs

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
OTBS Member
Sep 21, 2006
Western Kansas
Well, Sunday I did 2 racks of spare ribs. One w/foil and one w/out. No pics, but I will tell what I did learn, good and bad.

BAD: Heinz 57 wasn't a hit, as far as a slather to hold the rub.
BAD: Don't over due the rub! Too much of a good thing can be bad.

GOOD: Put your rub on the ribs, then put in a pan of apple juice for a few hrs. Then before going to smoker add some rub again. CREDIT TO MSMITH, thanks Marvin!
GOOD: 3-2-1 method, but must be watched to know when to go from step to step.
GOOD: This is stick'n my neck out, but what the heck! Throw the ribs on, baste w/apple juice & h2o & captain morgan(or not, I don't know about the capt. anymore).......(and yes, take off membrane on all ribs!). Then when the ribs start to pull from the bone about 1/4", stick a temp prob in the meatiest/thickest part (between the bone) and keep basting. At about 165-170*, pull the ribs off the smoker, wrap in foil, cover in towel, and let rest for 1/2hr.
These ribs came out tender and juicy, and we actually liked them better than any 321 ribs I've done(not many done "great").

OK, now let me have it! It seams "taboo" to not use 321, but I may never use foil for ribs again. Maybe it was the ribs, maybe it was the moon & stars, but if your in a testing mood, give it a try. Many different ways to go from here.
Some of my ideas: Add the rub AFTER, they are done, just before going to foil for rest. Add the bbq sauce after done before going to foil and rest. Have your Mama slap YOU after you have good ribs.

Just what I learned, thought I'd share.
Well Al thanks for the credit there but I soak my ribs in apple juice first then put on the rub. I do like them better without foiling just keep them open and let the smoke roll. Everytime I have used the foil they came out to tender for me I like a little chew myself. Glad yours were great and the family enjoyed them, job well done.
I've found that when I smoke babybacks 3-2-1 is just too long a cook for babybacks. I saw a show one time where they cooked 2 hours out of foil and 2 hours in foil, and 1/2 hour out again. I tried this method and they came out great. The meat pulled from the bone nicely. I also rub right before they go into the smoker. I rubbed them overnight one time and the ribs had a "hammy" taste to them.
I think it's good to remember that 3-2-1 is a guide.
Just reminds you to wrap when the meat pulls back and mop or sauce at the end.

I think the only time it really takes me 3 hours is in the dead of winter when it's below freezing ouside and it's hard to stay up to temperature, but I'm always thinking 3-2-1 EAT!
Nothing taboo at all about not using foil or 321 BigAl. I'm with Marvin, my ribs don't go in foil either. 321 is more or less a guide for those who can't, or don't want to learn how to tell when ribs are done IMO.
Al, I have done the ribs both ways, and I agree that the 3-2-1 is just a guide, especially for baby backs. To me all that in and out (in the smoker, out of the smoker, in the foil out of the foil ) seems like alot of extra work. But I have to also admit that it sure does make for some good ribs. Bottom line, it depends on what kind of mood I'm in at the time .... either way works for me
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