It's getting hot outside, school bells are ringing, and kids are running wild as Memorial Day kicks off summer. Water is splashing out of the pool from the cannon ball contest and it's time to light the grill. Grandma has brought the potato salad and cole slaw, but she'll be surprised when you pull these off the coals before throwing on the hot dogs. Here's my version of a common 3-2-1 rib cooking method that's about as easy as flipping burgers.
First, head to your local meat market and grab a couple slabs of ribs. The ones pictured above are a St. Louis style cut of spare ribs. I like working with these more than baby backs because you have more meat on the bone and less margin for error. If you can't find them, a whole slab of spare ribs will work fine. Once you have your meat picked out, take them to the house and rub them generously with Uncle Rhett's Steak & French Fry Seasoning. When you get done, they should look something like the picture below.
Alright, now our ribs are ready for the smoker. If you don't have one, you can cook these in the oven at the temperatures provided. A lot of folks have temperature controlled pellet grills, but I personally use a masterbuilt smoker which has a compartment where I can add wood chips to get that smoke flavor. As far as wood chips, Hickory is my favorite, but you can use what you want. The type of cooker you use is not as important as the temperature which should be set around 215 to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Once your cooker is up to temp, you want to place the ribs in bone side down, and smoke for 3 hours. After which, they will look like the picture below.
Now that we are at the halfway point of our cooking time, the next step is to make the ribs a little more tender and add depth of flavor. We are going to do this buy wrapping them in tin foil with some sort of liquid. If you have a mopping sauce, now is the time to use it. You just want to make sure you have some sort of liquid inside the foil to tenderize the meat. A lot of times, I use sprite to bring in some acidity. So decide what you will use as your liquid and pour it in some tin foil with the ends folded up to keep it from escaping. Wrap the slabs entirely and return to your cooker. Smoke the ribs in tinfoil at 215 to 225 degrees for 2 more hours.
Once the two hours have passed, carefully remove the ribs from the foil and dispose of the remaining liquid and foil. It is now time to add some of Uncle Rhett's Back Slappin' BBQ Sauce. We are going to apply the sauce liberally from end to end of the slabs.
The last hour of cooking we need to raise the temperature to caramelize the sauce onto the ribs. My smoker has a maximum heat of 275 degrees, but I recommend finishing them off on a grill, especially if you did the first 5 hours of cooking in the oven. You may not need a complete hour for the final step, you just want to caramelize the sauce until they look like this.
Time to ring the dinner bell, cut, and serve these delicious ribs with a side of Uncle Rhett's Back Slappin' BBQ Sauce. One tip while cutting the ribs. It is easier to see the bones on the underside of the slab, so flip them over and cut them. Doing this won't change the taste of the ribs at all and might save a finger!
Here's a summary of Uncle Rhett's version of 3,2,1 ribs!