Dear BBQ Friend:
The big question I'm going to try to answer here is whether to foil your barbecue ribs or not foil your barbecue ribs. Of
course, I'm talking about slow smoked barbecue ribs and not grilled ribs. For those who do not know the difference, slow smoking is using slow, indirect heat usually around 200 - 250 deg F. Grilling is cooking directly over high
Most people use the 3-2-1 method to slow smoke their barbecue ribs (at 250 deg). In BBQ competitions, you'll probably get a low score if you use the 3-2-1 method because your ribs will be too mushy and will fall completely off
the bone. In competitions, and hopefully in your back yard, you want your ribs to have some consistency - you want them to stick to the bone but pull clean from the bone when you bite into them.
Tip: The Texas Crutch - while foiling does provide some "steaming" and tenderizing inside the foil, most people don't know the REAL reason foil is used. And that is to regulate the amount of smoke applied to your meat.
Too much smoke and heat applied to the outside of your BBQ and your "bark" will turn out dry and oversmoked. Experienced pitmasters cook by color and when their BBQ is the correct color, they wrap it in foil.
Foiling barbecue ribs is a great way to get that proper consistency. But don't use the 3-2-1 method.... use the 3-1-1 method instead and your barbecue ribs will come out just right. For those of you who do not know, the "3" means to
slow smoke your ribs for 3 hours first. I also need to mention that I'm talking about spareribs here - not baby backs. The second number "1" refers to the amount of time in the foil. Make sure it is tightly sealed in the foil.
And the third number "1" refers to the amount of time after foiling. This is when you remove your barbecue ribs from the foil and place them back on the smoker, apply your favorite barbecue sauce for glazing. Glaze for one hour
and your ribs should be done to perfection.
Now, of course, there's a lot more to cooking competition quality barbecue ribs than what I can put on this web page. That's why I wrote a book entitled "Competition BBQ Secrets".
If you buy this book today, I guarantee you will be cooking better slow smoked barbecue ribs tomorrow!