Some people experiment for years trying to make the ideal, fall-off-the-bone ribs. They’re either too tough, too mushy, or just dull. It is for this reason that the 3-2-1 method of making ribs began. It’s a straightforward approach you can repeat time and again with positive results.
Why is it called 3-2-1? Because you start by smoking your ribs over 3 hours. Then you wrap them with some liquid and spices for 2 hours. Finally, the ribs receive smoke again for the last hour.
Ready? Set? 3-2-1 GO Ribs
- smoking wood cherry, pecan, or hickory to avoid bitterness
- aluminum foil
- heavy duty grill gloves
- ribs (1 pound per person)
- barbecue rub (your choice)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- babrbecue sauce
- Losen the silver skin (membrane) from the back of the ribs and pull it off.
- Coat them lightly with a rub blend, and put them in the refrigerator for two hours.
- Remove the ribs and bring them to room temperature.
- Carefully remove the ribs, transferring them into a double layer of aluminum.
- Shape the aluminum around the ribs so it looks like a tall boat (high enough to finish wrapping completely).
- Set up your smoker for indirect cooking. You're looking for a temperature between 180-200 degrees F. (*1)
- Set your ribs into the smoker for 3 hours.
- Take the brown sugar, and butter (melted) and evenly pour it over the ribs in the boat.
- Seal the aluminum foil, returning it to the grill for two hours.
- Remove the ribs again. Caution: they will be HOT.
- Grab the ribs with tongues and put them onto the grill.
- Cover with barbecue sauce.
- Cook for the final hour. You can let them go a little longer if you want them crispier. Just take care to avoid over-cooking.
- Rest the ribs for 15 minutes.
- Slice and serve with barbecue sauce for dipping or tropical pico-de-gallo.