2-1-1 Baby Back Ribs

R.D. Harles

TVWBB Fan
I never foiled ribs - before last night. I really liked the results. I did 2 hours unfoiled, 1 hour foiled, last hour unfoiled. I put a light coat of BBQ sauce on them at the 3 1/2 hour mark and took them off a 1/2 hour later. (total cook time 4 hours @ 240-250)

The meat was firm and held to the bones but the bones were very clean after eating. Just right for my taste.

It's a bit of a pain to foil but I have to say they might be the best ribs I've made so far - the wife agreed.
 

Doug D

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Interesting. I have followed Stogie's 3-2.5-.5 recipe with excellent results-- but you really have to maintain the strict 225° called for. Good to know there's a way to do it a little faster, still with a good product.
 

adam clyde

TVWBB Pro
Doug - is the 3/2.5/.5 a guideline for spares or baby backs? I'm supposing the former, since that totals 6 hours, which seems too long for baby back... right?

If you were to adjust R.D.'s 2/1/1 formula for BBs to work for spares, I think you would get approx 3/1.5/1.5. I wonder how the end result would differ from the 3/2.5/.5 method...

just thinking out loud. As you can probably tell, I haven't perfected ribs - by any stretch. So I'm trying to understand the process better...
 

Doug D

TVWBB Hall of Fame
No, Stogie's method is indeed for loin backs. I, too, always thought that 6 hours total including that long in foil would be way too long for baby backs, but, if you keep it strictly at 225°, it works.
 

R.D. Harles

TVWBB Fan
Doug,
I wasn't so sure how the higher temps would work either. The last 2 hours were pretty steady at 250. Despite a little extra work (foil), I'll definitely do it like this again. I liked the speed (4 hours) as well as the finished product.
R.D.
 

Jim Babek

TVWBB Pro
I do spares at 3-1-1 and love the results, almost too done as the bones on the ends fall out. Im still working on it and maybe will try adjusting the temp down to strict 225 rather than tweaking the time factor.
 

Tom K.

TVWBB Member
Doug - I noted the link you included to "Stogie's Method" in this discussion, and printed Stogie's directions off and followed them to a "t" last night for the first time. WOW!!! Definitely the best ribs I've ever put in front of my family. They were delicious!! I gave Stogie all the credit for laying it all out so clearly, but still, I was one popular guy at our dinner table last night. Wonderful side benefit of longer cooking times is that I get to hang out on the couch and read all afternoon while monitoring the temps on the ET-73. Just wanted to say thanks to you, and particularly to Stogie for this great method.
 

Bob T.

TVWBB Wizard
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Jim Babek:
I do spares at 3-1-1 and love the results, almost too done as the bones on the ends fall out. Im still working on it and maybe will try adjusting the temp down to strict 225 rather than tweaking the time factor. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Jim, I go with 225-230 at the lid for my spares. Most times, they are on for 6-6.5 hours. I don't trim mine St Louis style. The packs I get from Costcos or BJ's are between 8-9#'s. I do foil after about 3.5 hours, and leave them in the foil for about 1.5 hours, then back on the smoker till done.
I was thinking about trying the next batch at 250-260 at the lid to see what difference that made. I think the ribs are my #1 choice to eat. Now if I could only get a brisket that I am happy with. The Wife said I am to critical, and ask "are you ever happy with what you make?" Always trying to make it better!
 

K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bob T.:
Jim, I go with 225-230 at the lid for my spares. Most times, they are on for 6-6.5 hours. I don't trim mine St Louis style. The packs I get from Costcos or BJ's are between 8-9#'s. I do foil after about 3.5 hours, and leave them in the foil for about 1.5 hours, then back on the smoker till done.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>
What I did yesterday is very close to this. I had 3 racks , all within a few ounces of each other in weight, which I did trim St Louis (which for me means I make the obvious cuts and skin them but do not trim out any fat).

They started out at 300--I was late getting them on and the water had heated, but I closed lowers and let the temp drop; took an hour to get to 250. I adjusted vents slightly and went to town. When I got back (3 hour mark) it was 225. Brought it back to 240 and foiled with a pineapple juice/tamarind mix at just past the 3.5 mark for about an 1.5 hours. Finished unfoiled at 225 or so for an hour.

These ribs were delicious and tender. What was weird was that with one of the racks you could pull the bones right out of the meat. Lifting it from the center with tongs though it wouldn't fall apart. The other two were not like this, requiring slicing between the bones as usual and eating as usual. I've never had that happen before with what appeared to be racks of fairly equal weight and fat distribution.
 

Jim Minion

TVWBB Emerald Member
Kevin
That does speak to the fact that any 3-2-1 or...
methods is to generic for every piece of meat you cook. Spares most of the time I will leave on the cooker for three hours and then into foil for about 45 mins to an hour maybe a little longer. Using strict times does not work all of the time that's where the art comes into play.
Jim
 

K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
So true. I wasn't particularly focused on time. I foiled based on good color in the ribs, a bit more color than previous cooks, which put me at the 3.5 (or so) hour mark. I removed foil based on nothing at all, just felt like it was time.
Not focusing on the clock is pretty usual for me when I'm home. I have a lot to do in the short time that I'm here so I tend to wing it, making decisions as I go based on look and feel and hunch. It works for me--it has to--and I like my results. But I can pretty much guarantee that my next spare cook will be different in timing as far as the clock goes, at least by a little; variations in meat, weather, personal 'interruptions', etc., will see to that.

Btw, Jim, I mentioned elsewhere to you wanting to try tangerine and cherry together. It was a very nice smoke, I could've used more and will next time I use that combo for ribs. Also, the I made the tamarind stronger than usual (used more pod paste with less water) but kept my proportions the same, 5:1 pineapple juice to tamarind. Worked very well I thought. Give it a shot some time, see what you think.
 

Jim Minion

TVWBB Emerald Member
I will in the foil stage at say 30min mark open foil and test with a toothpick to see how tender they have become, close back up and leave them on longer based on how they felt.

The tough part up here is getting tangerine wood, wouldlove to try it some time.
Jim
 

K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Jim Minion:
I will in the foil stage at say 30min mark open foil and test with a toothpick to see how tender they have become, close back up and leave them on longer based on how they felt.

The tough part up here is getting tangerine wood, wouldlove to try it some time.
Jim </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I need to focus on that specific point/stage of the cook more, I think, though I'm pleased with my results. That part I want to be able to replicate, even if the other stages vary by happenstance or design.

My tangerine has dwindles to practically nothing (lots of other citrus though). I'll see if I can't get a new stash going and throw some in the truck. I'm hoping to get up your way this late spring/early summer. I really need a trip to Pike Place!
 

Jim Minion

TVWBB Emerald Member
Kevin
May 30th would be a great date, World Seafood Championship at Pike Place. No matter when you come in get a hold of me.

The very best cooks I know don't leave anything to a formula not that the formula doesn't get you to a point.
Jim
 

Todd D.

TVWBB Super Fan
Going to try this 2-1-1 approach today. Would you start with standard method or Minion method? I was thinking I'd start with Minion method as it is easier to control on the way up, than to bring down the temps from a standard method lighting. After the 4 hours is up, just close all the vents and have plenty of leftover charcoal for next time.

Does that sound reasonable?
 

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