St. Louis Ribs....first time for this newbie

Discussion in 'Pork' started by texasrob, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. texasrob

    texasrob Fire Starter

    Hello All,

    I will be doing my first rack of St Louis Ribs with Jeff's rub and  Jeff's BBQ sauce....I was going to go with 3-1.5-1.5...only because I'm hearing that 2 hrs wrapped(with some apple juice) has produced some mushy ribs with the solid 2 hrs.  I have a couple questions...IF I decide in the last period of cooking to brush with the BBQ sauce should I apply it in the last .5 hrs(1hr on rack and .5 basted) I also heard that the BBQ sauce will burn if left too long(full 1.5hr)  So does my plan of attack of 3-1.5-1.5(still not sure if Im adding the sauce in the last .5hr or just leave it alone)sound like a good one?  I know this is all trial and error and Im starting a notebook today when I finally decide how I cook and add if I add sauce, for a reference the next time.

    Another question...I didn't plan on trimming the slab of ribs, why do people cut the ribs to get the more "rectangular" look?  Is this just for appearance? Does it do anything for the taste?

    Any/All input is appreciated...this forum/website is awesome!

    Happy 4th of July to all....let's enjoy and stay safe everyone!!

  2. Rob,

    i agree with the shorter foiling time. How long the last, unfoiled period is has more to do with when they are done vs. a set time, and when they are done depends on a lot of things -- the cut of meat, temp of smoker, and the luck of the draw. My advice is to test for doneness in the last phase using whatever works for you. I like the bend test -- pick up the rack with metal tongs about 1/3 way up and see if they're bending about 45 degrees. If so --> done. At that point I'd paint your ribs with sauce, but not before. Put them back on for 15-20 minutes to let it caramelize, then pull them off the smoker.

    As for St. Louis cut vs. untrimmed. I think it's just a matter of appearance. Nothing wrong with using an untrimmed slab, but you definitely want to remove that membrane on the back.
  3. ps0303

    ps0303 Meat Mopper

    I have never had mushy ribs with the 321 method.  What temp are you planning on smoking them at?  I always apply sauce for the last hour. Just a glaze to make them look nice.  They are trimmed primarily just for looks.  Plenty of people cook them as they come without trimming. Also keep in mind some people don't wrap at all.  Maybe if you can try a slab wrapped and one not and see which you prefer. 
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Specific impulse has ya covered on all you asked. When I do 3-2-1 method I don't add any liquid to the foil. I've found there's enough fat and juices in the meat and it creates it's own braising liquid.

    If your glazing sauce contains lots of sugar you will want to apply for the last 15-20 minutes tops, or it will burn.
  5. texasrob

    texasrob Fire Starter

    Thanks for the responses!  I have a Master Forge gas smoker....I was looking to keep the temp at 200-240ish. This is my first smoker and I love it. Sometimes I find it a bit difficult to get the temp over 250 for a constant time. I agree with trying a rack wrapped and one not wrapped...all trial and error and documenting what worked and didn't work for the next time. I have heard some people swear by the 3-2-1 and other mention the middle part needing to be tweaked. All great input!! 

  6. ps0303

    ps0303 Meat Mopper

    To get your smoker to the higher temps and lower temps, you are going to need to modify it.  I have mine modified and I can really crank it up as well as dial it way back fro really low heat.  I usually smoke my ribs at 225 and can keep that temp constant with the mods.

    If you do a low heat, sauce won't burn.  I've never had that happen and always sauce during the last hour.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014

Share This Page