Smoking Ribs with the 3-2-1 Method

There are a number of ways you can smoke ribs, but the way I prefer smoking ribs is with the 3-2-1 method.  It has consistently produced fall-of-the-bone tender ribs no matter if I am smoking baby back or regular pork spareribs.  The method is pretty simple

  • 3 hours bone down uncovered
  • 2 hours wrapped in foil bone side up
  • 1 hour bone down uncovered.
Baby Back Ribs
Baby Back Ribs

You can start off with baby back or regular spare ribs.  Remove the membrane on the bone side.  you can usually do this by prying a knife under the membrane between 2 bones and working your finger under it.  you can then usually pull the whole membrane off the rack.

I usually cut the rack of ribs in half and cover the ribs in an applewood rub and rub it into the meat.  If you can let it sit with the rub on it for an hour or so even better, but I usually just rub the ribs and start smoking.

Place the ribs in the smoker and smoke them for 3 hours at 225 with the bone side down.  Make sure you have plenty of liquid in your pan.  I usually use a 50/50 mix of apple juice and water, and try not to open the smoker.

After 3 Hours
After 3 Hours

After they have smoked for 3 hours, remove them and lightly mop (baste) them with a 50/50 mix of apple juice and your favorite BBQ sauce.  Wrap them in aluminum foil and place back in the smoker for 2 hours.  This time place the bone side up. This is also a good time to check your liquid pan and you wood chips.

After the 2 hours, remove, unwrap, and mop them again with the juice and BBQ mixture and place them back in the smoker for 1 more hour.  I usually don’t need this whole hour, YMMV.  I usually just smoke them for 30 more minutes.  Be careful removing them from the smoker as they will start to fall apart on you.  I usually let hem sit for 5 minutes then sever and enjoy.

1 Comment

  1. Remember to cook them low and slow


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