I was asked to do ribs for a birthday party on Saturday night, so I fired up the Big Green Egg and did what I do best!  BBQ!

The general approach behind the 3-2-1 method is this:

  • 3 hrs on the cooker, using an indirect setup
  • 2 hrs wrapped in aluminum foil with a cup of apple juice
  • 1 hr unwrapped, back on the cooker with sauce if desired.

This would give you a total cooking time of 6 hours, but I’ve found that using a slightly modified version of this method I can have great ribs in about 5 hours.  So here’s the blow by blow on how I do ribs.

  • The first step, and a very important one, is to remove the membrane from the underside of each rack of ribs.  Removing the membrane allows the rubs to penetrate the meat.  It also has a papery consistency when cooked if you don’t remove it.
  • Just like pork butt, I slather each slab with a coating of yellow mustard followed by the BBQ rub of your choice.
  • Setup the cooker for indirect cooking and stabilize the temp at 250 degrees.
  • Put the ribs on the cooking grate with the meaty side up.
  • Cook indirect for 3 hours.  By the end of 3 hours, the meat should begin to pull back from the bone nicely.
  • After 3 hours, wrap each rack individually in foil.  Add a cup of apple juice to each foil pack and return them to the cooker for 60-75 minutes.  I usually put them back on the cooker with the meaty side down.
  • After a little more than an hour, remove the ribs from their respective foil pouches, brush both sides lightly with sauce (optional), and return them to the cooker for 45mins to an hour,  to let them firm up and the sauce get good and sticky.  Be careful removing them from the foil because they will likely be falling apart.
  • That’s it!  Serve ‘em up and enjoy!



6 Responses

  1. Do you ever use cider vinegar with the apple juice?

  2. I’ve used a cider vinegar and apple juice mixture to mist ribs during the cooking process. I’ve never used it in the 3,2,1 method though. But I’m sure it would probably work just fine.

    Kind like the mustard used during the prep, you don’t really taste the apple juice, but it helps tenderize the ribs during the foil step.


  3. I have an Eye of Round roast and a turkey breast to cook this weekend, now I think I have to get some ribs!

    I think I’ll try Spares, as I always do Babys.

    Thanks for the idea!

  4. […] 3,2,1..RIBS! January 2009 3 comments 4 […]

  5. Hey bud! I have a conundrum and you seem to be the guy that did what I am trying to do… I purchased 2 pork butt’s that weigh 10lbs a piece. I am trying to have them done by 7am saturday. My question is; how big were the ones you did in 2009 and is it possible to cook that amount of meat in 16hrs?

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