Three, Two, One Ribs

July 6, 2020

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There is only one way to make ribs and it’s called the 3-2-1 Method.

The 3-2-1 Method isĀ for fall-off-the-bone cooking ribs that involve smoking the ribs for 3 hours at a low temperature, wrapping them in foil, cooking for 2 more hours, then unwrapping to cook for 1 more final hour at a higher temperature while basting.


3-2-1 Beef Ribs



For this recipe, the ribs were dry brined at room temperature for about an hour. Instead of mixing up the spices and dusting the ribs, the spices were layered onto the ribs directly in this order: salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, (optional) added salt.


Bring grill/smoker up to temperature. Shoot for 200-225F. Once at temp add wood chips for smoke. Any woodworks. This recipe utilized hickory. Place ribs bone side down on the grill and maintain temperature adding wood chips as needed for THREE hours.


After the first three hours in heavy smoke, transfer ribs to a large enough piece of foil that will allow you to completely wrap the ribs. Place ribs on foil meat side down. Add 2-3 tbsp of butter cut into pads, sprinkle with brown sugar, and pour apple cider vinegar solution into foil (form foil into a boat shape at this point so the solution doesn’t spill out). Crimp foil over ribs taking care not to tear the foil making sure the ribs are completely covered. Return to the grille and maintain temperature (225-250F) for another TWO hours. You should see the meat starting to pull back from the rib bones at this point.


Carefully remove foiled ribs from the grille and remove from foil. Steam from the liquid may be hot. Return the ribs bone side down to the grille. Save the liquid from the two-hour step to baste the ribs for this step. You can discard the liquid and use your favorite BBQ sauce if preferred. Again, maintaining 225-250F temperature, baste ribs occasionally for ONE hour to the desired doneness or if you used BBQ sauce until sauce is thick and sticky.

Ribs should pull out smoothly and cleanly from meat.


3-2-1 Ribs Ingredients:

  • Rack of Ribs
  • Spices (salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar w/ 3/4 cup water
  • 2-3 tbsp butter cut into 5-6 pads

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