Simple as one – two – three? Actually this BBQ ribs trick is as easy as “three two one”.
The trick is to break down the low and slow cooking process into three easy to remember segments and add in some time spent wrapped in foil.
Works for gas grills… works for charcoal… even in an electric smoker. Or – gasp – the oven.
You start with a stable low and slow temperature on your grill while you prep the ribs – and we’re talking pork ribs here – with the rub of your choice. We like pulling the membrane off the back with a paper towel for good grip and trimming them up “square or St Louis style here.”
With the grill temp set at 225 degrees F for the long cook you start with three hours of indirect heat on the grill. This is when you’re going to get all the smoke flavor so use wood smoke via chips or chunks of wood (we like hickory or pecan) during this time.
After three hours you then use what they call the “Texas Crutch.” It has nothing to do with Texas BBQ really. Simply put you wrap the ribs in heavy duty aluminum foil. The smoke should have done most of the flavoring it can and won’t penetrate much more at this temperature – so no more wood chips are needed. Also before wrapping most pit masters usually add a cup of a sweet or savory liquid. Apple juice is popular. Some spritz it out of a spray bottle; others just pour some in . If you like sweet it’s a good time to add a layer of sweet. This is basically braising the ribs and will result in that fall off the bone experience. Try not to go too long (or too hot) in this stage or you can give the ribs a texture that becomes too mushy. In the backyard (with the exception of competition judges) most of your guests will appreciate and rave about that fall off the bone bbq.
Finally unwrap the ribs and cook on indirect heat for one more hour adding layers of sauce as you allow the more dry heat to tighten up the surface of the ribs and create a firm bite. Shellac, glaze, or char for your desired finish. More sugar in the sauce will burn faster. They continue to get more succulent but by adding a nice bark you can avoid the meat from actually falling of the bone before getting to the plate.
It’s a fool proof trick for barbecue ribs your guests will rave about. The three two one method is a barbecue trick that works and it’s even easier to remember. Watch it here: BBQ Ribs Fall off The Bone