First time 3-2-1 St. Louis ribs w/Qview

Discussion in 'Pork' started by wisconsinbutt, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. Found some St. Louis style ribs on sale at the local grocery store. I have been excited about trying some ribs but wanted to get used to my smoker before trying the hard stuff. I bought Jeff's book for myself and have been snooping around this sight for about a month now, so after about a dozen smokes I thought I would try the ribs.. 

    I mixed up some BigBald BBQ rub from the book and rubbed it all over the rack. I got the smoker going on hickory and cherry and tossed them on..

    Tried my hardest to keep the temp between 225-240 but with this un-modded smoke hollow, the best I could do was keep it between 210-255 burning only wood :( Let them smoke for 3 hours and tossed them into the foil..

    I mixed up some of J.J's foiling juice for these beauties!

    I let them cook in the oven at 240* for 1.5 hours to save smoke wood. **My reasoning behind the 1.5 hours was from my research on here about getting mushy meat when you go for 2 hours in foil, and I like a little bite/chew to my ribs**

    I removed them from the foil and back onto a 240* smoker!

    Let them cook for another 1.5 hours between 215-250.. Smothered on some Sweet Baby Rays the last 15min. and pulled them off.

    And after all this work, they were almost inedible they were so tough!! I loved the flavor but the wife and kids said it was way to hot.. But I couldn't enjoy the flavor because I literally had to rip and tug the meat.. Does the last 30min in foil make that big of a difference? Any insight and advice will be greatly appreciated! 
  2. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    You should probably go two full hours in foil for spares.  Also, it sounds like you had really inconsistent temps.  You should consider getting a digital thermo and not use the dials on the SH for controlling and tracking temperature.  If you were bouncing around from 210 to 255 during the entire smoke it's hard to say what temp the ribs saw most.  You must maintain a steady temperature to turn out good ribs!!!

    Give it another try after you get the hang of controlling the temperatures and let us know how it turns out.

    Good luck,

  3. I have a Maverick that I was using.. I will have to mod the SH in order to get the temps under control I believe.
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I think your fluctuating temps contributed but the meat could have an impact as well. Some ribs are tougher than others. First time with SL ribs it is a good idea to go the full 3-2-1. The oven move was fine. As far as the Rub goes that much Black Pepper, Lemon Pepper and Cayenne, will be pretty Hot. I would cut the Peppers to no more that 1-2 tsp each and the Cayenne to 1/2 to 1 tsp. That will be more toward your families taste, you can always hit your ribs with some Hot Sauce or Cayenne at the table. You can double check your ribs for tenderness with a Tooth Pick, give the meat a poke, it should go in easily. Picking the ribs up from the end with a pair of tongs is another trick. The ribs should bend 90*F in the middle and there should be a lot of Cracking of the surface meat. Most of the time the ribs will go the 3-2-1 and be done but I always run the back up tests just to be sure. If you still have the leftovers...Pan up with some Foiling Juice and/or BBQ Sauce, cover and go in a 325*F Oven for 30-60 minutes and they will be Tender. In any event don't get discouraged...Our ART takes Practice...JJ
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
  5. Thanks for all the knowledge J.J.! I will try the toothpick trick the next time for sure. I will also go with the full 3-2-1. As far as the rub goes, I really laid it on pretty thick so I might just try "sprinkling"  it on instead of laying it on so thick. I did notice that when I grabbed them off of the smoker that they didn't really have much flex to them. If all else fails on my next time around I will try the 325* oven trick!

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