The 3-2-1 method of smoking ribs is not my original idea but it’s an idea worth repeating. The method yields very consistent and oh so delicious results. If you want your ribs falling off the bone this Fourth of July, keep reading!
The 3-2-1 method of smoking ribs is as easy as it sounds, don’t worry it’s not rocket science – just a series of basic instructions that lead to magically delicious and tender ribs.
Preparing Your Ribs
Start off by preparing your ribs as normal by removing the membrane. I recommend slathering your ribs in yellow mustard and then applying a dry rub, I use the following recipe:
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
I recommend applying your yellow mustard and dry rub the night before so your ribs can properly marinate.
Preparing Your Grill or Smoker
Preferably, you’ll use either an electric smoker or a kamado style (Big Green Egg, Char Griller King Griller, etc…) grill to cook your ribs. You can also use an oven or gas or charcoal grill.
Get your smoker or grill to about 225 degrees and prepare an area for indirect cooking, you don’t want your ribs sitting directly over the heat source.
The 3-2-1 Rib Method
Stage 3: Requires about 3 hours at 225 degrees. When the meat starts to pull back from the bone by about a quarter inch you’re ready for Stage 2.
Stage 2: Remover the ribs from the smoker or grill, splash some apple juice on them and wrap them up in heavy duty tin foil. Place the ribs back in the smoker wrapped in foil and let them cook for 2 hours.
Stage 1: Remove the foil and place the ribs back on the smoker grate unwrapped to firm them up a little before serving. Remove the ribs when they reach 172 degrees which usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour.
Remove the ribs from your smoker, let them rest for about 15 minutes and dig in!
The 3-2-1 method is best designed for spare ribs. For baby back ribs the the process will be closer to 2-2-1.