Question about the 3-2-1 method for Baby Backs

Discussion in 'Pork' started by jrmartin, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. Hey all, this is a great forum I stumbled on to in the last week or two and just want to say thanks.  Its made my start in the smoking world much much easier!  So far I have been able to turn out a couple great chickens and some amazing salmon.  So I figured this weekend it was on to some ribs.  I talked to my local butcher who is getting me some nice fat baby backs and I figure for my first time I am going to go with the 3-2-1 or 2-2-1 method as a starting point.  My biggest question is: since there is a little discrepency about the times to take things off, is there more of a temperature gage I can use to know when to start each step?  For instance, the first step should be 2-3 hours, is there a termperature I should be on the look out for to foil wrap them?  Same question for taking them out of the foil?  Thanks in advance and I look forward to many more learing posts!

  2. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Hi John, If you are doing BB's I would follow the 2-2-1, that's 2 hours in the smoker, 2 hours in the foil with some foiling juice and 1 hour out of the foil back on the smoker. I would start with that and see how you like it, you can adjust your times next time to perfect it for the way you want. Everyone likes their ribs a little different so it's really hard to say what will work best for you but 2-2-1 is a really good starting point. It is really hard to check temps on ribs, there's just not enough meat to get an accurate measurement.

    I see this is your first post here, when you get a minute would you do us a favor and go to Roll Call and introduce yourself so we can get to know you and give you a proper welcome, also would you add your location to your profile, we like knowing where you are when we talk to you, Thanks!
  3. Thanks S2K9K, we will find out exactly how I like them this weekend with 3 racks going on to practice!
  4. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    You can adjust your foil time for tenderness. Longer in the foil will make them more tender, fall off the bone. Less time will give them more of a tug. Still stick with 5 hours though and if you adjust your foil time compensate it with the pre/post foil time.
  5. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

  6. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey John - Dave has you covered on this but don't be shy about asking for more help if you need it - that is why we are here 
  7. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I find that cooking times for baby back ribs depends on the weight of the rack itself- 2 to 2 1/4 lb racks I cook for 2-1-1 or less, 2 1/2  to 2 3/4 go 2-2-1 or less and the big ones 3 pounds plus may go 2.5-2-1 or less. I keep noting or less because preferred cooking temp varies from person to person, I prefer to cook ribs in the 240°-250° range. That said sometimes they can go a bit longer, too, so try to remember that the 2-2-1 method is really just a guideline and not a hard and fast rule.

    Generally ribs are done when the pass the bend test, pick up the rack from one end with your tongs, when they bend like this they're done.

    Good Luck!
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The guys gave you good advice and I would also like to point out that the 2-2-1 for Baby backs refers to smoking between 225 and 240*F. As Cliff pointed out if you go hotter reduce the cook time. Here is another Instructional that puts photos of what to look for at each point in the 2-2-1 or 3-2-1 timing formula and can be applied at higher temps...JJ
  9. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    [​IMG] .... Last BB's I did were 2-1-1
  10. Thanks for all your help so far guys, I will be picking up a couple racks tomorrow and prepping them for the grill on Sunday.  I'll be sure to shoot some photos and hopefully get a few mouths drooling!
  11. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Everyone has given you a great list of advice. The last baby backs I did were like Joe's (boykjo) 2-1-45

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