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How to Cook Pork Spare Ribs Using the 3-2-1 Method

pork spare ribs

Mmmm … nothing says BBQ like pork spare ribs that are coated in your favorite rub, smothered in sauce and smoked to fall-off-the-bone perfection. If you want to be on top of your rib game with minimal effort we have the perfect method for cooking pork spare ribs that will leave you with juicy ribs that are packed with flavor. The 3-2-1 Method will take all the confusion out of cooking ribs and leave you feeling like the true master of meat that you are! 

What Is The 3-2-1 Method for Ribs?

The 3-2-1 Method is the perfect technique for cooking ribs slowly so they have time to develop flavor without completely drying out. First, the ribs are cooked at a low temperature for three hours. When the three hours are up, the ribs should be removed and wrapped in foil and steamed for an additional two hours. Lastly, brush the ribs with your favorite glaze or sauce and grill them for one hour. 

It’s important to note that this method only applies for ribs that are going to be smoked or on a grill that is setup to be used as a smoker with indirect heat. This method need not apply to ribs that will be cooked in the oven. Each phase of the 3-2-1 Method serves its own purpose to ensure that your ribs are cooked perfectly. 

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In the first stage, the ribs should be generously coated with your favorite rub. Here at Lady Jaye, we provide some of the most unique rubs you will find in West Seattle ranging from beef to rabbit. Once you decide what you want to marinate your meat in, set the smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit to create a low and slow smoking process. If you’re cooking pork spare ribs, it’s recommended that they be smoked for the full three hours. However, if you’re cooking back ribs you may want to adjust the time to two hours of smoking. Otherwise, you’ll find that the ribs can start to lose their tenderness and end up too dry. For the best ribs, try smoking them using hickory, apple, maple or alder wood. 

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The second phase is all about tenderizing the meat. The goal of this stage is to slowly raise the internal temperature to break down the collagen and muscular fibres in the ribs. Wrap the ribs tightly in foil allowing them to steam to create tender, juicy ribs. Place the ribs back in the smoker and let them steam for two hours. The best temperature to smoke the ribs using this method is 225 degrees Fahrenheit. At this stage, it’s also possible to use the oven. 

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Once the pork spare ribs have been smoking for two hours, take them out and lather both sides in your favorite BBQ sauce. Finally, grill the ribs for an additional hour — depending on how you like your ribs cooked, this final stage may only take up to 30 minutes. 

Voila, there you have it, perfectly cooked tender ribs that are full of a smokey flavor. The 3-2-1 Method is an easy way to guarantee your ribs will be the envy of any BBQ everytime. 
Want more information on how to smoke your favorite meats? See Lady Jaye’s full list of Smokin’ Hot Tips.

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