Barbecuing intimidates beginners because there are a number of factors that play a key role in ensuring the final dish is tender and flavorful with an appealing texture. These include using the right amount of heat and smoke and balancing the rubs and seasoning. One of the almost foolproof techniques you can adopt is the 3-2-1 method which involves a total cooking time of 6 hours. To cook 3 2 1 ribs, you first smoke them on low heat for 3 hours. Next, you wrap them in aluminum foil, add liquid like apple cider, and cook the ribs for 2 hours. After that, unwrap the ribs and apply sauce, and then continue cooking them for one hour.
In our definitive 321 ribs guide, we have provided step-by-step instructions on the three cooking stages and the purpose they serve in optimizing taste and texture. We have also included some of the popular variations.
The 3-2-1 method consists of three stages which add up to 6 hours. The stages may use different temperatures, and the ribs may be wrapped or unwrapped depending on the cooking stage.
The 3-2-1 ribs cooking method is sometimes referred to as Texas Crutch in BBQ cook-offs. Texas is popular for its variety of barbecues Trusted Source The best barbecue in Texas and beyond Growing up in Ohio, Vaughn didn’t truly fall for barbecue until he moved to Dallas more than 16 years ago. It didn’t take long for him to become obsessed, and he started chronicling his weekend journeys across the state on his blog, Full Custom Gospel BBQ, while working as an architect. www.cnn.com which include pork ribs, pulled pork, smoked turkey, and of course, brisket. If you are looking for a smoker for Texas-style barbecue as well as other types of smoked dishes, we recommend Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro 830. It comes with a side firebox that increases the total cooking space to 830 square inches and a temperature gauge that maintains a consistent temperature.
After reading through our comprehensive 3-2-1 guide, you will realize that making the fall-off-the-bone ribs that have always been in high demand would be a walk in the park.
Below is a detailed explanation of the three steps involved in the 3-2-1 cooking method for ribs.
This is the stage where the seasoned ribs are tenderized to get the popular fall-off-the-bone results. The fat continues to render, and the ribs cook without burning to a crisp.
This is the final stage of smoking 3 2 1 ribs.
The 3-2-1 method is mainly used to smoke pork spare ribs because it is specifically designed for that cut of rib. As we had mentioned earlier, there are variations for other types of cuts. For example, the 2-2-1 method is preferred for pork ribs; it is the same as 3-2-1, but the wrapping time is reduced to 2 hours to avoid overcooking or drying out the ribs.
In competitive circles, judges prefer pork ribs with a snap-in their bite. If you prefer the same, you could reduce the wrapped second stage of 3-2-1 to 30 minutes or one hour so the ribs won’t be so tender that they will melt off the bones when you take a bite.
If the 6 hours is too long for you, you could smoke the ribs for 3 hours, then wrap them, and then put them in an oven to continue cooking at low temperature. Most of the smoky flavor is infused in the first three hours anyway. For the last hour, you could cook the ribs on a grill or in the oven.
The 3-2-1 method entails three hours of smoking ribs, another two hours of smoking them while wrapped with a bit of liquid or dry spices in aluminum foil, and a final hour of smoking the ribs with sauce. Quite a number of people who prefer their meat with a bit of chew reduce the wrapping time to a maximum of one hour, and there are others who would rather not wrap it at all. The latter opinion is popular in competitive cook-offs.
Part of the fun of barbecuing is exploring different types of meat and cuts, ingredients such as spices and sauces, and wood flavors to find your favorite flavor and preferred style. Start with the 3 2 1 ribs, and then you can tweak your cooking style over time if need be.