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clikover 09-24-2011 11:08 PM

3 - two - 1
(Regarding STL):

I have read all the posts (and recipes in other places on the web / books) recommending the 3-2-1 method...but I just can't figure out how TWO ever works?!? It always seems WAY, WAY too long in foil to me.

The first time I used TWO, the ribs were TOTALLY overcooked.

I have since experimented with everything from 30 minutes, to 45 minutes, to 1 hour and back down again. Time & again, it seems to me that the MAXIMUM is 45 minutes, unless you want to seriously risk having WAY over-cooked ribs. (I'm talking pork here.)

This is on a Good One Marshall smoker with a target temp of 225, that might fluctuate from 215 - 250.

I was killing some time tonight searching around on the forums to see if anyone else had similar experience and it seems nobody else has posted about TWO being WAY too much time in foil. Everyone always seems to reference "3-2-1", which seems like a recipe for DISASTER, to me. I wanted to see if others have had similar experience to me?


Smoothsmoke 09-24-2011 11:10 PM

A lot of people have had the same experience as you. I'd venture to say that most find that 2 hours in foils is way too much time. The times that I've foiled, 1 hour has been the limit for me.

ShutYrMouth 09-24-2011 11:11 PM

yes, way too long for me.
your temps would be a big factor in this.
i usually cook at 250.
i dont foil anymore. i just dont open the lid for 4 hours.

MilitantSquatter 09-24-2011 11:13 PM

Clay - actually, these days, I see so many posts here saying the exact same thing about too long in foil and everyone just chooses to adapt or not using foil any longer.

3-2-1 is a guide, not a rule.

Not sure who started it, but for all we know there pit thermometer could have been off by 40 degrees... :wink:

tmehlhorn 09-24-2011 11:18 PM

I do not foil my ribs, only did it a couple times and they were over cooked and even soggy. I have quit using foil on anything except in a pinch on time, or if something just is not getting there. Probably used it twice in the last two years now. Just try cooking them with a good coating of rub. Then about 15 min before you pull them put a very light coating of curlys bbq sauce on.:thumb:

DC-Q 09-25-2011 05:10 AM

No foil!

blues_n_cues 09-25-2011 05:19 AM


Originally Posted by DC-Q (Post 1798694)
No foil!

foil is for leftovers.:becky:

TIMMAY 09-25-2011 06:05 AM


Originally Posted by MilitantSquatter (Post 1798647)

3-2-1 is a guide, not a rule.

My timeline is 3hr, 1hr foil, 30min. That's almost borderline too much depending on my temp control skill for the day.

Bart 09-25-2011 06:13 AM

In the Netherlands we don't have Louisiana cut ribs and what we usually get is baby backs, my interpretation of 3-2-1 is 2,5-1,5-0,45 (glazing on the last 45 and 15 minutes)

aquablue22 09-25-2011 06:23 AM

I don't like to foil either, every time I have the meat seems soft and over cooked.

Pappy 09-25-2011 06:53 AM

Yes. I did 3-2, never made it to 1. They were done. Today I'm skipping the foil. Looking to do 4 hours at 250 in the UDS for some STL spares.
Going to use toothpick & bend test.

Garyclaw 09-25-2011 07:18 AM


Originally Posted by Pappy (Post 1798729)
Yes. I did 3-2, never made it to 1. They were done. Today I'm skipping the foil. Looking to do 4 hours at 250 in the UDS for some STL spares.
Going to use toothpick & bend test.

Me too.:thumb:

cliffcarter 09-25-2011 07:54 AM

Often when people cite the "3-2-1" method they fail to make any adjustments for the size of the racks they are cooking. As stated before it is a guide, not an iron clad rule.

Bigdog 09-25-2011 08:11 AM

I have never had good luck with 3-2-1. Way over cooked. :tsk:

DirtyDirty00 09-25-2011 08:16 AM

i did the 3-2-1 yesterday at 240-250 i did a full 3, about 1h 45m and about 45m came out delicious

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