First rack of Spare Ribs. Method?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by ballplayerlc, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. So the other day I smoked three racks of baby back ribs and I used the 2-2-1 method. 

    After the five hours they had perfect shrinkage and tasted amazing.

    I am going to be trying spare ribs this week and I was curious to know how people here like to cook them. I've been doing some reading and see that the majority of people use the 3-2-1 method instead or they just leave them on the smoker for 4-5 hours. I was planning on using the 2-2-1 method again but now i'm thinking differently.... 

    What tends to produce the best product? 
  2. jbills5

    jbills5 Meat Mopper

    3-2-1 for spares is the general guideline.  Spares take a bit longer because they are meatier.  With all that said, I would smoke for the first couple of hours and check your color.  If they have a color you like, go ahead and wrap them (this would be the 2 portion).  At about 1.5 hours wrapped, I would check them and lightly try pulling a bone out.  If it feels like it is going to come out easily, you are done with wrapping and you can put them back on the smoker for the last hour or so to tighten back up and glaze.  Be careful to not add smoke on that last hour or you may get creosote on the ribs which will make them darker and also keep an eye on them if you put brown sugar on when you foiled as the sugar can burn easily when they are out of the wrapping.

    3-2-1 again is just a guideline, just check on them, do the bend test, or toothpick or try pulling the bone when they are wrapped.  The cook could be shorter if you are smoking at a higher temp as well.
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Jbills gave some good info but Creosote is only an issue if you are making White Smoke. If you are making the proper Thin Blue Smoke, TBS, there is no issue with creosote. If you are not going to put more smoke on the ribs the last hour, most of us do, you might as well put them in the Oven for the foiling period and last hour and not have to mess with the smoker. As far as Sugar burning, Sugar will only burn if the smoker gets up to 320°F or higher. There is more of an issue if you use Honey on the ribs as Honey will Caramelize and begin to burn at 230°F, so watching temps is more critical. At 225 to 250° the Spare ribs will need most of the 6 hours of 3-2-1. If you want to smoke 4-5 hours, no foiling, you will need to run the temp at 275°F, I like Spare Ribs much better than Baby Backs. They are more meaty and because of the additional connective tissue, stay moist. Good luck...JJ
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
  4. Do you guys smoke them whole or cut them St. Louis style?
  5. jbills5

    jbills5 Meat Mopper

    I always cut mine St. Louis Style.

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