3-2-1 Ribs question

Discussion in 'Pork' started by porktaco, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. porktaco

    porktaco Newbie

    I have used my new Smoke Vault 24 the last few weekends trying to prefect my ribs. I am using the 3,2,1 method at 225 the whole time. They have turned out great each time except they are a bit too tender. They are falling off the bone. I want just a little more bite or tug off the bone.

    I need to know where to make the adjustment and how much? Should it be less in the first segment or less while wrapped and how much?

    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016
  2. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Depending on the size of the ribs you very rarely need the full 3:2:1. Even the full meaty racks I find are fine after only 5 hours. 
  3. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Yeah. Try 3/1/1. Some folks don't foil at all. Play with it til you get where you want to be.
    That being said, I'll bet you managed to suffer through and eat them...:biggrin:
  4. smokinal

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

    If you have a good instant read therm, such as a Thermapen.

    Check the IT of the ribs in the meatiest part, being careful not to hit the bones.

    At 195 IT they will be tender & juicy, but not quite FOTB.

  5. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Are you cooking whole spare ribs, St. Louis trimmed spares or loin back/baby back ribs? How much do the racks weigh, on average?
  6. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hi Rick,
    As others have said, reducing the time in the foil is the best place to start for firmer ribs. And as Cliff suggests, the size of the rack and how meaty it is really determines how much to adjust the foil time.

    Just a suggestion, but have you tried no-foil ribs? Just put em in the smoke and leave them...let em ride until they get to your desired tenderness. When I'm doing ribs for myself, this is my preferred method. They still get tender, but not FOTB...and have a nice smoky bark.

    grillard likes this.
  7. porktaco

    porktaco Newbie

    Most of the time I am smoking St Louis cut. Next Saturday I am going to smoke two racks so I will do one with no foil and one using 3,1,1 and see how they turn out.

  8. tjdcorona

    tjdcorona Meat Mopper

  9. tjdcorona

    tjdcorona Meat Mopper

    The 3-1-2 method, or 4-1-1, has worked for me, and for me its typically the 6hrs that's magic at 225
  10. cksteele

    cksteele Smoking Fanatic

    id say the biggest adjustment is just time, ribs have a pretty small window of doneness.  id say if you cut your cook time by even 15-20 even 10  min  you'll notice a huge difference. when i cook ribs  the last hour  im picking them up and feeling how they bend. when they  have a nice soft bend  they are usually done, if they flop they are over cooked .

    but even when you take them off they are still  cooking, so you may take them off when they are perfectly done. but  while they sit in your kitchen they are still cranking along  at 190-200 degrees they overcook.  it just takes time  and experimenting  with how long you cook them and when you pull them off 
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
  11. ademily87

    ademily87 Newbie

    Also adding too much apple juice or apple cider vinegar during the foil stage can make em too tender as well (or whatever liquid you use, if any). I don't necessarily do the 321 method though. I cook at a little higher temp and do probably 2-1-1. And I put very very little liquid (apple juice) when I foil. Makes for a great bite and stays on the bone.

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