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View Category "TIPS AND SECRETS" for complete competition cooking methods used by the pros.
  Recipe Home » TIPS AND SECRETS » 3-2-1 RIBS Competition Style
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  3-2-1 RIBS Competition Style
  Author: Pitmaster
  Date: 7/15/2014
  Hits: 1402
St. Louis Cut Pork Ribs
Baby Back Ribs

your favorite rub (or try one from

your favorite BBQ Sauce (or try one from, Yee-Haw comes to mind)
3-2-1 Basics:
All you need to know about the 3-2-1 method is that you smoke as normal for 3 hours, followed by 2 hours cooking wrapped in foil, and finally 1 more hour unwrapped.
This gives the meat time to soak in smoke during the first three hours, when most smoke is absorbed.
During the wrapped period the ribs are steamed, making them more tender and loosening the meat from the bone.
During the last hour the ribs are exposed to the dry, smoky heat again to form a surface crust.

The Specific Steps:
1.Prep the ribs by removing the membranes and applying your rib rub
2.Place ribs, bone side down in smoker at 225 degrees F. and cook for three hours
3.Wrap ribs tightly in heavy duty aluminum foil to form an airtight seal with apple juice or honey or even butter inside the wrap, return to smoker bone side up and smoke for 2 hours
4.Unwrap ribs and return to smoker bone side down for 1 hour
5.Apply sauce to ribs (if you want) during the last 30 to 20 minutes of the cooking time, not before or it will burn...

Baby Backs (3-1-1):
The 3-2-1 method is specifically designed for pork spareribs and the timing works best for that cut of rib. If you prefer back ribs then you should use a 3-1-1 method for the ribs or they will get overcooked and dry out.

The Competition Curve:
Watch for meat temps carefully... With the 3-2-1 method the 2 may become 1 1/2 and not the full 2. The wrapped cooking causes steaming and the steaming loosens the meat from the bones. Fall of the bone meat will not win you any competitions...
Some people think this is the way ribs should be, but, competition ribs are described as meat that holds to the bone but doesn't stick to it. In other words the meat should pull away cleanly from the bone when you bite, but certainly not fall off.
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