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rundrave

What’s your cook time and method with ribs

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Posted (edited)

Got a new electric smoker I'm trying to get dialed in. Smoked 2 racks of baby backs today. You see lots of references to the 3-2-1 method but I always get mixed results. 

 

Today I set the smoker to 225 and put both racks in on the same shelf laying flat for 3 hours. New smoker has a remote and all the bells  and whistles and I have put other remote probes I have to make sure temps are reading accurately.

 

Then I pulled each rack and wrapped in foil for 2 hours and kept smoker at 225. When the 2hrs was up I pulled each rack and cut them in half to leave me with 4 half racks. I was starting to see some pull back so I left 1 half wrapped in foil and resting at room temp. I took 1 of the others and also wrapped foil but put it back in the smoker with the 2 other halves for 1 more hour at 225.

 

The 2 that didn’t get wrapped for the last hour were fall off the bone tender but a little dry.

 

I couldn’t tell a difference between the 2 I left in foil. So that leaves me wondering can you get by with just a 3-2 method or maybe I should try a 2-2-1 method?

 

We prefer our ribs dry and no sauce. I didn’t have any apple juice to spray on todays run so perhaps that’s why they got dry?

 

Whats your suggestions I just get different results every time so maybe it’s the ribs?

Edited by rundrave

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I cook my ribs for a couple hours until the rub stays on when I scratch with my fingernail. Generally around the 160 degree temp. Then I foil, apple juice or not they seem to turn out about the same for moisture. Then back on the grill till they firm up and not wet like when they come out of the foil. The 3-2-1 is just a generalization, all ribs are different how long it takes to get them the way you like.

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For BBRs I do 2-2-1.  For St Louis or Spareribs I do 3-2-1.

 

Also, no matter what type of ribs -  I will see how the meat is doing with a fork at the start of the last hour - if it's really shredding I may just sauce them and let them carmelize/set-up a bit (10 min or so).  If they still have a little resistance, I'll go the whole hour.  All part of the adventure, no two racks are the same :)

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I forgot to mention to poke your ribs with a toothpick or meat thermo to determine if the ribs are ready to come out of the foil. Should feel like poking into room temp butter.

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I use the 3-2-1 method but thats really just a rough guideline to go by.  Sometimes it ends up being 2-2-1 or 3-1-1 or some similar variation.  Just got to let the rib talk to you to determine when exactly to wrap it and when exactly to unwrap.  It can depend on type of rib, temp youre smoking at, how consistent your temp is, if you're using a mop sauce, if you're finishing with sauce or leaving dry, etc.  

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My madness method is definitely skipping the last, used to like charing them up afterwards but that's how they get dry. I dont cut them in half either wether they are on the big charcoal unit or the pellet smoker. I try to keep  the temp low ( 190 -200) and smoke away. Around an hour if they dont have a deep mahogany or starting to split I'll leave a little longer. But, after they are sauced (optional) and foiled I crank the temp to 300 to break them down.  Usually after the first hour or so  of foil a fork will go in easy at the center,  if not give it 30 min but dont unwrap until your ready to eat. You can call this the 1 1/2 -2 method. Been doing it this way for years.     

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appreciate the responses will have to dial it down on the time it looks like. Just need to stock up on some more meat now.

 

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I have found that a 2.5/2.5/1 has been great for me!  My family loves fall off the bone ribs and the extra time in the foil with apple juice really makes for a tender rib.  I also agree that taking the membrane off helps.  My mouth is watering thinking of ribs...looks like it is a trip to the store for some weekend smoking!! 

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