What’s up devils? On Monday we discussed what the 3-2-1 method of cooking ribs is and the merits of doing so. In short, it’s ideal for up-and-coming barbecue cooks, as it is a surefire way to produce tender, juicy, fall-off-the-bone ribs. It’s been tried and true, and is a great method to choose when your unsure of your skills at the pit. But because it’s so scientifically precise and essentially fool-proof, does it count as barbecue? There is a lot of opposition to 3-2-1 ribs, with most opponents highlighting on the fact that it’s not pure barbecue; it’s cheating really. It removes much of the skill and the art of the barbecue, and instead requires you just pay attention to a clock to when it’s time to change up the way your ribs are being cooked. But what are the reasons for all the opposition to 3-2-1 ribs?

Barbecue is an art form. Each pit master has their own ways for cooking the ‘cue. But the 3-2-1 method is universal and can be used by all, so that in itself is reason enough for many barbecue purists to despise the method. Most barbecue people will tell you the only way to get your meat perfect is to practice and practice and practice, not caring about how many cuts of meat you destroy in the process. You go until you get it right, and you have to know your pit like your know yourself to barbecue properly and with consistency.

But the main reason for opposition to 3-2-1 ribs is due to what goes on in step “2,” when you wrap the ribs in foil with a liquid (i.e. apple cider). This is considered to be absolute blasphemy in the world of barbecue. The temperature of your smoker will be between 2r25 and 250 F. The boiling point for a water, or any other liquid really, is 212 F. So, the liquid in your foil is way above boiling, so essentially you are boiling your ribs for 2 hours. This is an absolute no-go in barbecue because you everything must be cooked with just fire and smoke; no short cuts, no cheating, no other cooking methods.

Now that you know about the 3-2-1 method of cooking ribs, and why some loathe it, you can decide whether or not it’s right for you. If it’s your first time cooking ribs though, it might not be bad to start with.


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Be sure to let us know your thoughts on 3-2-1 ribs in the comments below.