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Babybacks with 3-1-1

HaggisHaggis Posts: 998
edited 4:54AM in EggHead Forum
I did some babybacks yesterday using the 3-1-1 approach with a minor modification but I wasn't completely happy. I know that babybacks don't take as long as spares but these were pretty fat ones so I figured I didn't have to reduce time too much. I was wrong.[p]I did 3 hours indirect with the ribs in a V-rack and at a dome temp of about 275. Then foiled with a a little honey/applejuice mix for an hour. The ribs were close to done at that point (close to floppy when picked up) but I still wanted to baste with some sauce so I left them on a raised grill, direct, for another 30 minutes. They ended up tasting fine but way too "falling off the bone" for my taste. [p]So, if I want babybacks that are "close to but not quite" falling off the bone and I'm otherwise happy with the flavor, where should I make my adjustments? Should I reduce the first three hours to, maybe, two? Should I knock the foiled stage in half? I need some time at the end to baste with sauce and let it set up. [p]What's your advice?


  • Haggis,
    I did some baby backs using a modified 3-1-1 last weekend. Like you, I kept them at 275, foiled after 3 hours, and then put them back on direct. But mine weren't too floppy after foiling. I left them on direct for an extra half hour (making the last step 1.5 instead of 1) and then served. They were good (I did a few beef ribs the same way and they were incredible.) but I think they could have cooked even longer. Maybe it's just variations in the meat?[p]Paul

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,739
    i just cook direct (sometimes indirect if im not there to flip half way thru) at those temps and babybacks usually take less than 3 hours and they are starting to fall off the bone. when i used to do the foil stage i found that it was very inconsistant and that you needed to adjust the 1 hour foil with every cook. i dont think i have ever cooked babybacks with foil, only spares, but it was inconsistant.

  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    The last "1" or 1.5 in the equation is intended to firm the floppy/mushy ribs back up....They will almost always come out of the foil "flopy" as you say...I go 1 hour sometimes 1 1/2 hours after the foiling stage to kinda tighten things back up......NEVER foil for more than an hour, if you do you`ll be lucky if you can get them out of the foil without literally falling apart...Better luck next time[p]Wess

  • Haggis,
    At the risk of being burned at the stake (there's a pun in there somewhere), I have been converted to the "stand em in a rack,do em indirect at 350 for an hour 15 to an hour 30. They are tender and tasty but not falling off the bone, there is some texture and pull. We all seem to prefer this method because its quicker and easier. Have only done spars not baby backs but would think it works just as well. Its all part of the Egg eggploring and eggperimenting eggperience.

  • Essex County,
    Also, I think 275 is about 50 degrees too hot....

  • HaggisHaggis Posts: 998
    WessB,[p]Thanks for that nuance! I'd never have thought that was the effect of additional cooking.
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