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-   -   Basic Pork Ribs. 3-2-1 or 2-2-1 Method Tutorial (http://www.smoked-meat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3913)

wutang 08-23-2009 10:32 PM

Basic Pork Ribs. 3-2-1 or 2-2-1 Method Tutorial
 
The simplest way to get tender ribs when smoking pork ribs is by using the 3-2-1 method. The 3-2-1 method specifically applies to spare ribs (the same effect can be achieved with babyback ribs using a 2-2-1 method). This means that the ribs are smoked for 3 hours-then wrapped in foil with liquid for 2 hours-then put back in the smoker for 1 more hour. Baby backs follow the same procedure but using 2 hours in the smoker, 2 hours in the foil, then 1 hour back in the smoker. I like to run temps around 230-250 degrees. Some like temps a little lower or a little higher, you will just have to find what works best with the smoker you are using.

Here is the basic procedure from start to finish. Starting with a few slabs of babyback ribs
http://i562.photobucket.com/albums/s...l/DSC01932.jpg

To prep the ribs for the smoker, I like to rinse them under cold water after removing them from the cryopac. Then remove the membrane from the back side of the ribs. I start by sticking a butterknife between the rack and the membrane.
http://i562.photobucket.com/albums/s...l/DSC01934.jpg

Then grab a hold of the membrane and lift up.
http://i562.photobucket.com/albums/s...l/DSC01935.jpg

Then pull the membrane off all the way.
http://i562.photobucket.com/albums/s...l/DSC01936.jpg

Here is a pic to see the difference. The rack on top has the membrane removed. The rack on bottom does not yet.
http://i562.photobucket.com/albums/s...l/DSC01933.jpg

Then cover the ribs in your favorite dry rub.
http://i562.photobucket.com/albums/s...l/DSC01937.jpg

And put them in the smoker.
http://i562.photobucket.com/albums/s...l/DSC01938.jpg

Now leave them alone for the first 3 hours for spare ribs or the first 2 hours for babyback ribs. After that time, you will see some color change on the outside surface and some meat pulling back from the bone. They are now ready for the next phase. Here is a pic of the pullback you are looking for.
http://i562.photobucket.com/albums/s...l/DSC01939.jpg

Now wrap them in foil adding a few ounces of liquid. Apple juice is the standard. Some will mix apple juice with other ingredients like whiskey. In this case I am using Woodchuck's Draught Cider. One beer bottle is enough for all 3 racks of ribs. I wrap them with the meat side down because I have had bones poke the foil while taking on/off the smoker causing me to lose the liquid.
http://i562.photobucket.com/albums/s...l/DSC01940.jpg

Now back onto the smoker all wrapped up
http://i562.photobucket.com/albums/s...l/DSC01942.jpg

This is the part of the cook where you can determine how "fall off the bone" you want them to be. The longer they spend in the foil, the more tender they will be. After the time in the foil they are ready for the 3rd phase of the cook. You will pull them out of the foil and put them back on the smoker to firm up.
http://i562.photobucket.com/albums/s...l/DSC01943.jpg

Another pic of them out of the foil
http://i562.photobucket.com/albums/s...l/DSC01944.jpg

You will now leave them in the smoker for the last hour to firm up because when coming out of the foil they will be VERY tender. But after a little more time in the smoker they will be just right.
http://i562.photobucket.com/albums/s...l/DSC01945.jpg

Please keep in mind that the "3-2-1" or "2-2-1" times are just a guideline. These times can be adjusted to suit your personal preference. Personally I lilke to do babyback ribs at 2-1.5-.75. Meaning that they are in the smoker for 2 hours, then foiled for 1 1/2 hours then back in the smoker for about another 45 minutes. But it is all up to you and what kind of tenderness/texture you prefer.

Thanks for checking out the pork rib tutorial

ShooterRick 08-24-2009 03:57 PM

Nice looking ribs. I personally prefere St. Louis cut spares and would only add that
3.5-2-.50 works well for them at 225-250 F. Good job!

curious aardvark 09-02-2009 08:11 AM

yeah might be worth adding max & min temps to the tutorial wutang. I know for a fact that my bradley was never hot enough to do ribs.
I'd say never cook ribs at 200 or below, min temp might be higher but that's as high as the bradley ever got.
I now have a totally different rib method (no hot water or oven involved lol) that works for me. But if I ever get a smoker that'll maintain a hot enough temp I'll try 3-2-1 again.

wutang 09-02-2009 12:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by curious aardvark (Post 54342)
yeah might be worth adding max & min temps to the tutorial wutang. I know for a fact that my bradley was never hot enough to do ribs.
I'd say never cook ribs at 200 or below, min temp might be higher but that's as high as the bradley ever got.
I now have a totally different rib method (no hot water or oven involved lol) that works for me. But if I ever get a smoker that'll maintain a hot enough temp I'll try 3-2-1 again.

Thanks CA. I edited my above post to include temps.

smokemania 03-20-2010 02:04 PM

I had done the 3-2 part but I didn't put them back on the smoker and I haven't realy been happy with my ribs hopefully with a different rub and putting them back on for an hour will fix my problem thanks

Richtee 03-20-2010 02:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smokemania (Post 103084)
I had done the 3-2 part but I didn't put them back on the smoker and I haven't realy been happy with my ribs hopefully with a different rub and putting them back on for an hour will fix my problem thanks

Well..what was your problem with them?

Fishawn 03-20-2010 02:18 PM

Mmm.... Mad Hunky is fabulous on ribs, and, and, and.....

smokemania 03-21-2010 08:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by smokemania
I had done the 3-2 part but I didn't put them back on the smoker and I haven't realy been happy with my ribs hopefully with a different rub and putting them back on for an hour will fix my problem thanks

Well..what was your problem with them?

They were not tender enough and the flavor was not their
The rub I used was
2 c sugar
.25 c paprika
2 tsp chili powder
.5 tsp cayenne
.5 c salt
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
I think I am going to pick up some mad hunky rub and do the 321. Do you ever mop the ribs if so when would you start that process.

Richtee 03-21-2010 09:05 AM

Well, sounds like you either din't foil long enough, or perhaps the pit was too cool?

That rub you posted is kinda outta kilter- waaay too much sugar, and about half the paprika you should use- roughly.

Be happy to supply ya with some MH- you can just send me a PM or order it thru the site in my sig :{)

smokemania 03-21-2010 09:14 AM

I am going to order some I was trying to keep the smoker at 175 to 225 which I have learned from this sight the 175 is just not warm enough, probably should stay around the 225 level.
What is a PM order?

Doug S. 03-21-2010 09:20 AM

OK here I go with another "newb" question (and this could be a dumb one since there are pics) but when foiling the ribs do they go directly back into or onto the smoker so in reality they are in the heat the total time ? Reason I ask is I did some last weekend that when in the foil I just left them on the counter for 2 hrs. then un-foiled poured the juices back over them then back in the smoker for the last hour. Turned out pretty good but I'm doing some more today and want to make sure I'm doing it right :noidea:

Doug S. 03-21-2010 09:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smokemania (Post 103203)
I am going to order some I was trying to keep the smoker at 175 to 225 which I have learned from this sight the 175 is just not warm enough, probably should stay around the 225 level.
What is a PM order?

Private message thru the site....works great

Richtee 03-21-2010 10:03 AM

Yes, they go back on the heat. Keep an eye on 'em after an hour or so. Don't want pulled pork ;{)

Richtee 03-21-2010 10:07 AM

225 to 250- Keep it in there. Some folks cook a bit higher even. And when it comes to poultry, keep it above 250, some cook that in the 300 range.

SmokinLee 03-22-2010 04:54 PM

Depending on what your using as fuel in your smoker and want to conserve it. After you foil you could just place them on a sheet pan in a preheated oven, (Just because heat is heat) and they are done smokin. After that you could set them indirectly on a gas grill or what ever grill you use, or then again back in the oven with a glaze or sauce.

Richtee 03-22-2010 04:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SmokinLee (Post 103616)
Depending on what your using as fuel in your smoker and want to conserve it. After you foil you could just place them on a sheet pan in a preheated oven, (Just because heat is heat)

Shhh, Lee... :whistle: :lol:

That's what I do at home....

Crewdawg52 06-30-2010 07:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SmokinLee (Post 103616)
Depending on what your using as fuel in your smoker and want to conserve it. After you foil you could just place them on a sheet pan in a preheated oven, (Just because heat is heat) you use, or then .

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richtee (Post 103618)
Shhh, Lee... :whistle: :lol:

That's what I do at home....

Geeezzzz, and I thought I was the only one who doesnt like to waste fuel when meats are foiled.....:eek:

BrewMasterJosh 08-03-2010 05:28 PM

Thanks for the info, cant wait to try.

Fife 04-15-2011 10:01 PM

Nice how to


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