Learn how to make ribs with us—the easy way!
Attaining perfectly smoked ribs at home isn’t as hard as you think. In the rib cooking world there’s an easy rib recipe called the 3-2-1 method. It essentially denotes how long to smoke ribs in the title! 3 hours of smoking, 2 hours wrapped on the pellet grill, and 1 final hour naked back on the smoker.
What’s the best sauce for ribs? You can find an excellent tried and true rib sauce right here in the ingredient section! Or baste your ribs with a homemade rib sauce concoction of your own.
If you want to learn more in depth about ribs check out our BBQ Bible Book of Ribs and become the block expert with an easy read. Still have questions about this recipe? Here are some questions we get about smoking ribs. Rest easy, you're not the only one.
What are 321 ribs?
321 ribs is a cooking method for preparing pork ribs that involves three stages of cooking with specific time intervals. In the first stage, the ribs are smoked for three hours at a low temperature. In the second stage, the ribs are wrapped and cooked for two hours with liquid for moisture. In the final stage, the ribs are unwrapped and cooked for one hour with barbecue sauce for flavor.
What type of ribs are best for 321 ribs?
Pork spare ribs are the best type of ribs for the 321 method because they have more fat and connective tissue, which means they benefit from the low and slow cooking process. Baby back ribs can also be cooked with this method, but the cooking times may need to be adjusted.
What temperature should the smoker be set to for 321 ribs?
The smoker should be set to a temperature of around 225-250°F for the entire cooking process. This low and slow temperature ensures that the ribs are tender and juicy.
Do you need to use foil during the cooking process?
Yes, aluminum foil or pink butcher paper is used during the second stage of the cooking process to keep the ribs moist and tender. The wrap traps in the moisture and allows the ribs to cook in their own juices.
Can 321 ribs be cooked without a smoker?
Yes, 321 ribs can be cooked in an oven, but they may not have the same smoky flavor as those cooked in a smoker. The cooking temperatures and times should be adjusted accordingly. Using a smoker or pellet grill will layer on flavor a traditional oven cannot produce.
How do you know when the ribs are done?
The ribs should be done when the meat pulls away from the bones and they are tender to the touch. The rack of ribs should bend but not fall apart when held in the center. You can also use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat, which should be around 195-205°F (90-96°C). Many people talk about fall off the bone ribs which may be your style but really the best ribs are done just before they fall off the bone.
What type of wood should be used for smoking 321 ribs?
Hickory, apple, cherry, and maple are all good woods to use for smoking 321 ribs. Hickory has a strong flavor and is commonly used, while apple, cherry, and maple provide a more subtle sweetness. It's important to use dry wood to avoid bitter smoke. Smoking can be an art form the some people have harder time dialing in the perfect smoke. Here is our in-depth everything you need to know article on getting the perfect smoke: The Book of Smoke
What temperature are pork ribs done?
The done temp for pork ribs is around 200°F. You can also use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat, which should be around 195-205°F. Pork is safe to eat around 145°F so you will be well past the temperature pork is safe to eat at.