Ribs on Demand

My amazing boyfriend cooks for me, he cooks for me all the time and pretty much anything I ask for. One of my absolute favorite foods is Ribs and well my guy loves BBQ more than he loves some of his family members, so I picked his brain and am bringing you his many years of trial and error…minus the error.

The first thing you should know is that you DON’T have to have a fancy smoker like he does in order to cook tender BBQ. People claim you need hickory smoke, or coals, or other items to have “real” BBQ, but a source of heat is a source of heat! You can set your oven to 230 degrees (Fahrenheit) and those ribs won’t be any the wiser. When cooking in the oven, you will lose some of the smokey taste, but a good dry rub and sauce will make up for it nicely. We have a pretty decent collection of rubs and one of those is my man’s personal recipe!


So you now have a rack of ribs and a source of heat. The preferred method of slow-cooking ribs is to use a tested competition technique called the 3-2-1 method. You won’t need a scale, a meat thermometer, or any special tools. All you need is a clock. This method is foolproof and will perfectly prepare your ribs regardless of their size or type.
First off is the number 3. Sprinkle your favorite dry rub on your ribs. If you don’t have one, think paprika, allspice, brown sugar, season salt, basil, whatever flavors you like. Place the ribs in your oven (Or smoker) and cook bone side down for 3 hours on 230. This will cook the ribs and start to tenderize them.
For step 2, you will remove the ribs and place them bone side up in aluminum foil. Here’s another chance to add flavor. You can add beer, apple juice, seasonings, anything you like. With the bones facing up, they will form a bowl shape and will hold whatever liquid you add. I put a few pats of butter on the ribs and a splash of cider vinegar. For this second step of the process, we will tightly enclose the ribs in the foil and return to the heat for 2 more hours. The tighter you wrapped the foil, the better the ribs will “Steam” in this step. Our fibers are starting to break down and reach that “Fall off the bone” state.
image6Lastly, you will remove the ribs, open the foil (Careful of that steam) and flip the ribs again. You’ll want them bone side down again for the last coating of dry rub, but be careful – they are so tender at this point, they might break on you! Use tongs and a spatula to turn them and if you used enough foil in step 2, you can “roll” them over to a new spot in the foil without having to flip the ribs in place. Make sure they have a good coating of dry rub on them and return them to the heat for one more hour. Being exposed to the heat, we can baste on some BBQ sauce and form a sticky shell on the outside of the ribs.
That’s it! No checking the internal temp of the meat or adjusting heat levels – think of all you can get done around the house in 6 hours while your dinner is cooking. When your guests taste these ribs, they’ll consider you an instant authority on ribs, and I wish I could show you a pic of us enjoying them but ribs have been one of my favorite foods since I was a little girl so well they don’t last very long when we make them, it will be the same at your house too! Remember, the ability of this method to be tailored to each taste with custom rubs, sauces, and other personal additions means you will not only have a recipe to share, but an easy to remember method as well! So next time you want something super fun and different but oh so American (Memorial Day is coming up!), let’s think of 3-2-1.

2 thoughts on “Ribs on Demand

    1. It is a time commitment for sure. But I love that the actual work or active time is very limited. We can go about our day doing whatever we want and by dinner time it’s ready!


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