3-2-1 in Bradley Digital Smoker - Newbie

Discussion in 'Pork' started by mayweather, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. mayweather

    mayweather Newbie

    Hi all,

    Next weekend i am smoking 4 racks of Pork Spare Ribs in my Bradley Digital. Given the amount of meat that will be in the smoker, do i need to set the temp to maybe 250F instead of 225F, and do i need to rotate the racks? If so how often? I was planning on keeping the door closed for the first 3 hours, and then transferring to my oven when they are wrapped in foil?

    Appreciate any advice as i have not done 4 racks before.

    Thank you
  2. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    :welcome1: to SMF!

    225 or 250, or somewhere in between will be fine. I'd preheat at 250 so when you add the cold meat you may recover faster.

    As for rotating, I would about 1/2 way through.

    For finishing them, it's up to you at that point, they have their some fix already.
  3. myownidaho

    myownidaho Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    What Cranky said. And when you rotate them, I would also turn the racks 180 degrees.
  4. mayweather

    mayweather Newbie

    So i did a test run today with 2 racks of ribs and the results were decent for a first attempt. I use the Auberin PID and set it to 300F today to pre-heat but after 1 hour it only managed to reach about 250 so i put two racks into the Bradley anyways to test things out (i have visitors next weekend (for the 4 racks)). I left them for 3 hours in the smoker, then 2 hours foiled in the oven with a bit of butter and apple juice. After the foil i placed them in a bbq tray uncovered in the oven for 1 hour. The ribs turned out decent. A little tender but still too much bite for my liking and a little too dry. My water pan was full the entire time so not sure how to get them more moist. 

    I like my ribs to practically be tearing off the bone...similar to a long slow cooked lamb shank. I am thinking that in order to get this texture and keep it moist i may need to spritz the meat at the 1.5 hour mark during smoking (but im also worried about the amount of time it takes for the Bradley to come up to temp again). I am thinking i might also foil for 3 hours such as  3-3-1 to get them extremely moist and literally falling off the bone. I have heard using a brick in the Bradley can also help with heat retention so i might try this as well. 

    What do you all think about using 3-3-1 to achieve the type of rib i described above? 3-2-1 method still has too much "bite" for my liking. 
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I think 3-3-1 would get you extremely tender ribs.

    If you have a good instant read thermometer, the meat temp you are looking for is 200-205.

    That would be fall off the bone tender.

  6. myownidaho

    myownidaho Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I do my ribs on the Bradley at 250. I stopped foiling and use Al's method of cooking to an IT of 195. Take his advice and cook to 200-205 IT. Spraying with apple juice a couple of times will help hold in moisture.
  7. mayweather

    mayweather Newbie

    Thanks for the advice. With the meat being so thin on a slab of ribs how to do you manage to get accurate readings on the internal temp? Where do you insert the probe into the meat to measure? Between the bones?

    Do you use a brick in your Bradley to help with temp control? Are you using the standard Bradley heating element or have you modified it so it has two heating elements like many people seem to have done?
  8. mrob22

    mrob22 Fire Starter

    I could be wrong as I use the bend test and have never checked the temp but I believe you stick the probe between the bones prob center of the rack and insert it horizontally from the edge
  9. myownidaho

    myownidaho Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Let's start with the fact I'm lazy. The only upgrade I've done is adding a Maverick 732 to my repertoire to better gauge heat and meat temp. The probe is thin enough I can stick it between the bones in the center of the rack. Whether you foil, or not, that will help you quite a bit. If you smoke enough that the bend test works, that's fine too.

    I don't use a brick but given how I smoke, I have the time to pay close attention to how the things are going. One thing with the Bradley, at least for mine, is that the temps can vary up to 20 degrees. The last butt I did a little hotter than usual. The temps varied from 265- 285. Given that I was shooting for 275, that worked for me. If you're not able to pay that much attention during the smoke, a brick or two will probably be just fine. I would add another 30-60 minutes to the preheat to bring the bricks up to temp.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017

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