3/2/1 Ribs – A Pitmasters Trick | Barbecue Tricks

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3/2/1 Ribs – A Pitmasters Trick

The 3-2-1 method for ribs seems to be very popular in competition circles.  It’s a barbecue trick that has really caught on.

321 ribs in foilThe trick is to follow the 3-2-1 as time frames.

  • Smoke ribs for 3 hours naked (the ribs naked… but you can be naked too if you want)
  • Wrap the ribs in foil and return to grill for 2 hours (add a bit of liquid maybe brown sugar)
  • Unwrap and put the ribs back on for 1 hour to firm up the crust or “bark”

That’s it.  It’s a simple road map but worth noting that “your mileage may vary” depending on the exact heat of the cooker (base numbers assume holding a stable 225 degrees F) and the size of your ribs.  Practice with your key smoker to get it like clockwork.

I put the method to music.  Give it a look… 2 minutes to brand 3-2-1 into your brain.

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About Bill West

Bill West a BBQ enthusiast, Author, and Country Music aficionado in Charleston, SC. Get his BBQ Blueprint Book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/29xGMzD Follow him: http://twitter.com/BarbecueTricks http://www.youtube.com/user/BarbecueTricks http://Facebook.com/BarbecueTricks http://Facebook.com/BillWestBS

2 Responses to “3/2/1 Ribs – A Pitmasters Trick”

  1. TL says:

    Hi there,

    I have a question.

    If you’ve done the 3 hours smoke and the 2 hour foil, do you have to do the 1 hour naked grill right away??? Or can you hold the ribs after the foil part until you’re ready for the 1 hour naked grill?

    I just don’t want to have finished ribs waiting around for 3 hours before it’s even time to eat.

    Please let me know.


    • Bill West says:

      Times vary on different cookers – people tweak all the time.
      The last hour is mainly to “tighten up” the bark or skin. So sure you could probably just keep warm for longer…


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