| | | |

Smoking Ribs 3-2-1 Method

A male hand holding a piece of smoked rib over a plate with many ribs. These ribs were smoked using the 3 2 1 method.
Smoked Ribs 3-2-1 Method

Who does not love a great smoked rack of baby back ribs?! And add to that if they were smoked using the 3-2-1 method?! I have a feeling that it will be no one. This method will give you tender meat and boundless flavor guaranteed!

I first made ribs cooked using this method over a year ago. I was a little bit intimidated because it sounded like a lot of work but in reality, it wasn’t. There is lots of downtime and little mixing of ingredients. I love to smoke on Sundays so I have a full day to watch those amazing ribs come together. Now, it is one of my favorite ways to cook I highly recommend you try this method because you will be hooked!

What is the advantage of the 3-2-1 smoking method?

The 3-2-1 method is a sure way to have fall off the bone ribs. You don’t have to worry about overcooking or burning them when you use this technique. It’s literally fool proof!

What does the 3-2-1 smoking method consist of? Why is it called the 3-2-1 smoking method?

The 3-2-1 method breaks the cooking process down like this: smoking ribs at a certain temperature for 3 hours uncovered, in this case I had the smoker at 225º degrees, wrapping the ribs with liquid for 2 hours, and adding sauce for the last hour uncovered.

A close up of smoked ribs already cut and on a serving plate. Smoked using the 3 2 1 method.
Smoked Ribs 3-2-1 Method

What type of smoker do I need?

I own an electric smoker that uses wood chips. This is the newest version of the one I own. It’s a Masterbuilt brand and super easy to use. But you don’t need and electric smoker you can use your gas grill.

How to smoke on a gas grill?

Place the pan directly on the bars over an unlit burner or two, preferably in a back corner. Put the cooking grates in place. Turn on the grill, with all the burners on high, and close the lid. When smoke appears, begin cooking your food, adjusting the temperature of the grill as needed.
Source: Weber

What type of wood chips work best for smoking ribs?

I used apple wood chips for this recipe because I wanted a sweeter, fruitier flavor.
That being said, the types of wood chunks/chips that are best for pork ribs are hickory, oak and mesquite. They are the most traditionally used. However pork also matches really well with chips that are sweet and fruity in flavor, like apple (which I used in this recipe), pecan, cherry and maple. So basically the wood chips world is your oyster!

What do I need to smoke this 3-2-1 method Baby back Ribs recipe?

Grill or electric smoker
Apple wood chips/chunks
Aluminum foil
Sauce brush
Spray bottle

Watch me make them!

More Belqui’s Twist Ribs recipes:

Oven Baked Latin Style Ribs
Taylor’s Ultimate Ribs
Casa M Spice Co® Smoked Short Ribs
Braised Short Ribs – Latin Style

A male hand holding a piece of smoked rib over a plate with many ribs. These ribs were smoked using the 3 2 1 method.

Smoking Ribs 3-2-1 Method

3-2-1 competition style baby back ribs that will be fall of the bone tender!
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Course: dinner, How to, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Latin, Latin Fusion, Mexican, Mexican American
Keyword: 3-2-1 competition ribs, 3-2-1 competition style smoked ribs, 3-2-1 smoked baby back ribs, baby back ribs, baby back ribs recipe, best 3-2-1 competition style smoked ribs, best smoked baby back ribs, fall off the bone baby back ribs, fall off the bone ribs, fall off the bone smoked ribs, how to smoke baby back ribs, how to smoke ribs, latin smoked ribs, smoked baby back ribs, smoked ribs, smoked ribs recipe, spanglish asadero
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Servings: 8 people


  • Smoker


To start the ribs (step 1)

  • 2 racks baby back ribs each rack cut in half
  • 1/2 cup yellow mustard
  • 8 tbs Spanglish Asadero all-purpose seasoning Or your preferred all-purpose seasoning

Spray mix

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple juice

For step 2

  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce pick your favorite
  • 1/2 cup apple juice

Finishing sauce for step 3

  • 1 cup BBQ sauce pick your favorite
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tsp all-purpose Spanglish Asadero or your preferred all-purpose seasoning


  • Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. That is a light film that covers the rib bones. It is very important you take it off to ensure overall tenderness.
  • Spread yellow mustard all over the ribs including the back of the bones.
  • Sprinkle all-purpose seasoning all over top of the ribs, evenly. Make sure you have no big clumps.
  • If you are going to pre-seasoned the ribs, wrap the ribs in saran wrap and then foil. Place in fridge for 4 hours minimum or overnight.
  • If smoking right away, preheat smoker to 225º degrees and place the ribs bone side down into the smoker.
  • If you prepared and refrigerated your ribs, remove ribs from saran wrap and foil.
    Place ribs bone side down in the center of the smoker.
  • Time for 3 hours.
  • In a spray bottle, mix ½ cup water and ½ cup apple juice. You will be spraying the ribs with this mixture every 30 minutes for the first 3 hours.
  • After the first 3 hours, lay a large size aluminum foil on your counter. Enough to wrap the ribs.
  • Remove the ribs from the smoker and maintain the smoker temperature at 225º degrees.
  • Lay the ribs on the aluminum foil.
  • In a bowl, mix ½ cup BBQ sauce and ½ cup apple juice and pour over the ribs. Make sure the liquid doesn’t spill out of the foil and onto the counter.
  • Wrap ribs well making sure there are no leaks.
  • Place in the smoker for 2 hours.
  • After the 2 hours, remove the ribs from the smoker and open the foil wrap. Maintain the smoker at 225º degrees.
  • Prepare the finishing sauce by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl.
  • Coat ribs generously with the finishing sauce.
  • Place ribs (without the foil) back in the smoker for 1 more hour.
  • Remove the ribs from the smoker and brush with more sauce and enjoy!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating