Smoked Ribs (3-2-1 Method)

Last Sunday was Mother’s day and my wife wanted some ribs.  I have recently bought a new wood pellet grill and I wanted to try cooking some ribs on it.  I have cooked ribs in the past on my kamado grill which uses lump charcoal and I wanted to compare how the ribs tasted on the pellet grill.  I also have been reading a new book called Franklin Barbecue A Meat Smoking Manifesto by Aaron Franklin who owns a very successful restaurant in Austin, TX.  Aaron talks a lot about the science of smoking meats and this book is more a how to smoke meat right and not just a recipe book.  It is a very interesting read if you like learning how to cook.  I wanted to see if how I cooked ribs in the past was the way that he did it.  He uses the 3-2-1 method to cook his ribs just like I have done.  I thought that if this is good for Aaron then it is good for me.  Here is how I prepared the ribs:

Ingredients:

  • St Louise Cut Ribs.  For special occasions when I am not cooking for so many people I like to get ribs from the local butcher which have higher quality meats and meatier ribs.
  • Your own favorite rub
  • Prepared Mustard
  • 1/4 cup of Brown Sugar per rake of ribs
  • Honey
  • Apple Juice
  • Mesquite wood pellets
  • Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
  • Favorite BBQ Sause

Directions.

  • Remove the membrane (next to the rib bones on the back side) by using a knife and paper towel to pull it off.
  • Place the ribs on a cooking sheet and spread a light coating of mustard over both side of the ribs.  Spread an even coating of rub over both side of ribs.  Hold the bootle of rub 6 – 8 inches above the meat when applying the rub.
  • Place saran wrap over the ribs and place in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours.
  • Turn on the Traeger grill to smoke and light the wood pellets.  Close the lid after 5 minutes and let it heat up
  • Place a pan of water on top of the grill to keep the air moist so that it does not dry out the ribs.
  • Place the ribs on the grill meat side up and smoke the ribs for 3 hours.  Every hour spray the ribs with water, vinegar or apple juice which will help the meat absorb the smoke particles that make the ribs taste so good.  Now is the time to relax and enjoy the time while the meat cooks.  Read a book, do some yard work that you have been putting off or take a nap.
  • Place a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil on a cooking sheet and fold up the edges a bit.  Spray cooking spray on the aluminum foil.
  • Place a rack of ribs meat side down in the aluminum foil and pour some apple juice on the ribs.
  • Spread the 1/4 of brown sugar on the ribs and the drizzle some honey on them.
  • Wrap the ribs in the foil and create a tight seal with the foil tightly being careful not puncture the foil.  This will create a semi-pressure cooker to help break down the collagen and make the meat tender and moist.
  • Place the wrapped ribs back on the grill carefully and cook for another 2 hours.
  • After 2 hours the ribs should be flexible and the bones starting to pull away from the meat.  Take the ribs out of the foil and place them back on the grill meat side up.
  • Place some BBQ sauce in a metal bowl and add a little water to thin it out and place the bowl on grill besides ribs.  Mop the BBQ sauce on several times during the next 1/2 to 1 hours to finish cooking the ribs.

My wanted some shrimp with her ribs and since it was mother’s day I made up a couple of skewers of small shrimp that we had and coated them garlic powder, seasoning salt and some BBQ sauce and place them on the grill the last couple minutes of the cook.

The rub is on the ribs and ready to be smoked

The rub is on the ribs and ready to be smoked

Started cooking the ribs.

Started cooking the ribs.

Ribs are coming along

Ribs are coming along

Preparing the ribs to be wrapped in foil

Preparing the ribs to be wrapped in foil

What the ribs look like after taking them out of the foil.

What the ribs look like after taking them out of the foil.

Final stage, adding the sauce to the ribs

Final stage, adding the sauce to the ribs

Added some shrimp to the meal

Added some shrimp to the meal

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

Share with us some of your experiences in cooking ribs.  There are some many ways to prepare them and I can not remember any way that I did not enjoy them (except when they are over cooked and dry)

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