3 2 1 ribs are a fool proof way to get fall off the bone tender ribs every single time. The 3 2 1 rib method is based on smoking ribs at a certain temperature for 3 hours, sealing with liquid for 2 hours, and then saucing for the final hour.
3 2 1 SMOKED RIBS
Today, I’m showing you an amazing method for smoking ribs: the fool proof 3 2 1 ribs recipe. This method has gained a lot of popularity with home cooks in recent years because of the flawless results in churning out super tender ribs that fall off the bone every single time. And not to mention- it doesn’t take any special equipment or skills except your hands, and your smoker.
So fire up your smoker and let’s get smoking!
3 2 1 RIB METHOD
I firmly believe that you should cook food the way you like it, and ribs are no different! You like your ribs saucy? Put some extra sauce on them! You want them spicy? Add some spice! You like your ribs falling off the bone? Then you MUST follow this 3 2 1 Rib Method! These are your ribs after all. Don’t you let the rib eating man get you down. Just don’t.
Here’s how to cook your ribs using the 3 2 1 method:
- Smoke for 3 hours. Start with exposing the seasoned ribs to 3 hours of heavy smoke over low heat. I prefer fruit woods (apple or cherry) when smoking pork, but other hardwoods (hickory and alder) also work really well with ribs.
- Wrap for 2 hours. After the initial 3-hour smoke, foil the ribs with a liquid of your choosing (I used apple cider, 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, and 2-3 Tablespoons of butter) and cook at 225-250 degrees for 2 more hours. After the braising period I look for great retraction of the meat from the bones. I want the bones to be exposed on the end at least 1/4 to 1/2 an inch.
- Sauce and smoke for 1 hour. Lastly, baste the ribs basted in your favorite BBQ sauce and return them to the grill for a final hour to hour and a half to finish the ribs and set the sauce.
Sticky, sweet, tender, and oh so savory, 3 2 1 ribs are probably the most requested meal I receive for potlucks or family dinners. I tend to fall back on these ribs for gatherings because I know that they will deliver that tender, flavorful porky flavor every single time. And consistency is super important!
- 1 rack baby back ribs
- Jill’s Signature Sweet Rub (listed below)
- 1 cup apple cider apple juice also works
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2-3 tbsp salted butter
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
Jill’s Signature Sweet rub:
- 1/2 tbsp Cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tbsp Garlic powder
- 2 tbsp BBQ spice blend (I chose WannaRub)
- 1/2 tbsp Cumin
- 1 tbsp Pepper
- 1/2 tbsp Salt (to taste)
Mix together, and lather up that rack!
Begin by removing the membrane on the back of the ribs
Liberally season both sides of the ribs using the sweet rub, starting with the bone side.
Prepare your smoker for indirect smoking. Target temperature is between 180-200 with thin blue smoke. Place the seasoned ribs on the smoker and close the lid. Leave them to smoke for 3 hours.
Tear off a large piece of aluminum foil and place it on a large working surface. Transfer the ribs to the foil bone side up so the bones don’t tear through the foil. Sprinkle with the brown sugar, top with the butter cut into small pads, and then pour over the apple cider.
Tightly crimp the foil together to create an airtight seal. Return to the grill and increase your cooking temperature to as close to 225 degrees as you can get it. Let the ribs braise for 2 hours in the foil.
Carefully remove the ribs from the grill and place on a large working surface. Open the foil package (be careful of hot steam) and use tongs to remove the ribs and place them back on the grill, bone side down. Discard the foil and excess cooking liquid,
Brush the ribs with your favorite BBQ sauce, close the lid of your grill and cook at 225 degrees for an additional hour until the ribs are done to your desired tenderness and the sauce is sticky and set.