Ribs for work

Discussion in 'Catering & Large Group Gatherings' started by walleyeslayermi, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. Looking to cook about 30 slabs of St Louis ribs for a work party. I would need to have them at work by 1030 a.m. and it's an hour travel time from my house to work.  So I would have to be on the road by 930 ish. I really don't want to start everything at 1:30 a.m. but they are easy enough that I could. I don't have any food transporters other than some igloo coolers, towels and one large cardboard box.

    So here are my options.

    Burn them starting at 1:30 /3:00 a.m. using 3-2-1, cool them a bit and wrap in foil and into coolers/box, travel, drop off and leave.

    Or burn then Thursday during the day without saucing 3 hrs on smoke 2 in foil. Cool and place in pans foil wrapped. Drag cooker to work, heat up and sauce at same time and then drop off and leave.

    Really would hate to have to drag cooker with me and it may not really be an option right now. What would be the chances of ribs going to much if I went with option 1?
  2. You already know the answer.3-2-1 and hold. their is no 3-2 and start over.

    Happy smoken.

  3. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You need to do all of the cooking steps together as the final 1 only works because it is continuing at the temperature reached by the preceding 3-2.

    You would be best using option 1 so long as you have a good alarm clock. Don't let them cool though before wrapping in foil. As soon as they come out of the smoker get them in several layers of foil and into the cool boxes. If you can place some blankets around them too that would be good. They will stay hot for the hours drive and will effectively had an hours rest helping the meat to relax and juices to be reabsorbed.

    If you have kitchen ovens at work then there is an option 3. Cook them the day before using 3-2-1, wrap in foil and refrigerate overnight. When you arrive at work place them in a slow oven (~250 F) for about 45 minutes to reheat and you will be good to go. Ideally if you have a digital thermometer then you should check that they have reached 165 F (74 C) - if you do not have one then check that they are all "piping hot" before serving.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
  4. superdave

    superdave Smoking Fanatic

    3-2 and finish the next day is absolutely an option.  The ribs just need to get grill marks and caramelize any sauce in the finishing stage.  It would mean you don't need to get up near as early to finish and re-wrap for transport. 

    Wade's option 3 is also viable.
  5. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Maybe I need to expand on my response. You cannot simply put them back for the last 1 the next day (after you have done the 3-2 the previous day and then chilled) and expect it to be the equivalent of the 3-2-1 all together. Yes you can finish the cooking the following day however if you are trying to do this in the smoker you will effectively have to get the smoker up to temperature and then bring the ribs back up to temperature and then look to see how much of the last 1 you still actually need to do. This is going to take you the best part of a couple of hours (probably more).

    This would take less overall time if you finished them off in the oven however it would still take longer than just the the last "1", unless you finished them off at a higher temperature than the initial smoke.
  6. superdave

    superdave Smoking Fanatic

    IMO, the "1" is not literal.  My ribs are essentially done after 3-2.  Like I said, 1 is done on the grill for marks and caramelizing any sauce.  Sometimes I don't even do the "1" and go straight to the table after 3-2. 
  7. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That is sometimes true I agree. However it does depend on the thickness of the ribs and the actual temperature that they are cooked at. I usually find to get the desired pullback it does need some of the last "1" but often not all of it.
  8. I would skip the whole 3,2,1 method. I started doing my ribs that way and they were good, but have since stopped. It's a lot of extra work. Now I do on average a straight 4 1/4 to 5 hrs( that's usually when they pass the bend test) and then sauce and smoke another 30-45 minutes. Spray the ribs with Apple juice once an hour until they get sauced. They come out so much better than any ribs I have done with the 3,2,1.
  9. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm with Stanley, smoke them unfoiled (less work), once they are done wrap in two layers of heavy foil and toss them in a dry towel lined cooler (or two). They will stay nice and toasty for several hours without any issues. If you want it less messy just serve the sauce on the side, it can be heated up in a microwave at work and people can add it as they wish.

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