The Best & Even Easier 3-1-1 RIBS

Whether you’re new to smoking or a wiley veteran, the odds are good that you’ve heard the term “3-2-1 ribs before.” It simply means, you smoke your ribs for three hours, wrap them in a foil or butcher paper for two hours, then let them smoke for one more hour to tighten up out of the wrap. I’ve tried this a few times but never really cared for the finished texture when doing baby backs. In my opinion, the 3-2-1 method is best for spare ribs and there’s a MUCH better option for baby backs; I call it, “the 3-1-1 method!” Pretty creative, eh?!

Even though the name isn’t the most “creative,” the results are fantastic and, hands down, will be the BEST baby back ribs you’ve ever had!


  • As many racks of ribs as you want but this recipe is for one rack
  • Use my sweet rub and add a tablespoon of cayenne pepper to it or keep it simple with salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp of a sweet BBQ sauce
    • This will balance well with the seasoning
  • Tin foil big enough to fully wrap the ribs in
  • Parkay
  • Honey
  • Brown Sugar


  • Set your smoker to 225 degrees fahrenheit
  • Light your smoke tube if you choose to use one
  • Rub your ribs with your seasoning

MITCH TIP: I tend to rub them the night before then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap; makes for an amazing flavor profile

  • Place your ribs on the smoker
  • Let them smoke for three hours
  • Take a large piece of tin foil and drizzle the parkay, honey, and brown sugar on it
  • Remove your ribs from the smoker and place them meat side down into the drizzle
  • Wrap the foil tightly and place back on grill; meat side down
  • Let that smoke for one hour
  • After an hour, remove from wrap, place them meat side up
  • Check the internal temp at this time
  • Smoke for one more hour or until ribs are at 195 degrees internal temp
    • This has been my best temp to remove, let sit, and enjoy
  • When ready, remove from grill and let them sit for 10 minutes before slicing

MITCH TIP: If serving to friends & family, I find it easier to slice the ribs in “bones of two” – slicing every other bone.

MITCH TIP: Prior to slicing, spread some of your sauce on your board for when you flip the ribs bone side up to slice.


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