It’s As Simple As 3-2-1
So this past week I used the replacement smoke for the first time. My last smoke had a huge grease fire after cooking a 15lb full brisket for about 22 hours. I should have cleaned it better before smoking it, but the company replaced it all the same, so that was good. I opted to smoke two full racks of pork spare ribs. I had read about the 3-2-1 method prior but hadn’t really looked into it in depth. It’s a simple method that really netted some of the best results yet, even in a fairly unseasoned smoker.
What is the 3-2-1 smoking process? 3 hours with the ribs bare, only the rub, with full smoke and temp about 220-230 (depending on which smoker and which article you read). At 3 hours pull them out and wrap them in heavy duty aluminum foil. Return to smoker for 2 hours. I left the smoke going during this phase, though most recipes say that they turn the smoke off and simply keep cooking the ribs. It’s important to note that many sources say to add liquid to the foil right before you close it up to help moisturize and steam the ribs. I added a couple ounces of Chocolate Shake Porter from Boulder Beer. Some add apple juice, or other liquid. I wanted chocolate shake porter because its a great beer with a great chocolate flavor and I was out of my chocolate syrup for use in my homemade BBQ sauce. The final hour, or the 1, is with the ribs out of the foil with whatever sauce, liquid or other finishing use you want on them.
So I did 3 hours full smoke at about 230 degrees. Pulled the ribs out, wrapped in foil and added about 2-3 ounces of the Chocolate Shake Porter beer to each packet. I returned to the smoke for two hours at 250 degrees while adding in some corn on the cob to smoke along with them. At the end of the two hours, I removed the ribs and moved them to a 350 degree pre-heated grill. I added my homemade BBQ and did about 3-4 coats per side over the course of about 15-20 minutes, turning as needed to avoid burning the sauce and overcooking the ribs. So instead of the 1-hour back in the smoke about 15-20 minutes at a higher temp to finish them off.
I used the following dry rub and it was quite fantastic! I doubled it – one batch for each full rack of ribs.
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
- 1 tablespoon granulated onion
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- Combine all ingredients into bowl, mix well. Don’t be afraid to pack the rub on to the ribs!