Among all of the culinary enthusiasms, a passion for barbecue is often the most extravagant.
Whether it’s traveling the backroads of the South to find the hidden motherlode of spicy, succulent goodness or devoting hundreds of man hours to build the perfect backyard smoker, barbecue lovers will stop at nothing in their pursuit of smoke-infused joy on a platter.
Steve Raichlen, the father of the website www.barbecuebible.com and author of Ribs, Ribs, Outrageous Ribs, discovered the 3-2-1 method of cooking ribs during the course of researching his book. The method breaks the cooking process into three blocks: three hours of smoking unwrapped at 225 degrees, following by two hours cooking in foil, and finally one hour of cooking unwrapped at a high temperature with a generous basting of sauce.
According to Raichlen, the method yields flavor-infused meat so tender it slips from the bone. And better yet, the method is relatively foolproof, dodging the twin perils of dryness and toughness.
And while Raichlen does not dispute their tastiness, positing that these are ribs anyone could love, he says “they weren’t hall of fame ribs – ribs with character, with soul – ribs that test a smoke master’s mettle and declare victor in the heroic battle to balance smoke, spice, heat and time…”
For Raichlen, it’s the foil that is the crux of the problem, as it results in the ribs being boiled in their own juices. Many barbecue masters and rib connoisseurs prefer a bit of fight in their meat, and the moist environment in the foil can soften the smoky crusty exterior that is so prized by pit masters.
Most of us, however, are not pit masters – just lovers of smoky, spicy, tender and delicious ribs, and that’s exactly what this recipe yields.
For more information, please read:
The 3-2-1 Method for Ribs | Barbecue Bible