3-2-1 Spare Ribs

For the last food post of 2017 (probably), I present one of our favourite new meals from the year … spare ribs smoked low ‘n’ slow in our Big Green Egg. A flavoursome and very enjoyable meal to have with friends and family over the holiday season.

Continue reading“3-2-1 Spare Ribs”

3-2-1 Spare Ribs

10 mins prep
6 hours cook
2-4 servings
Smokey bourbon baked beans
New York deli style coleslaw
Ch. Ste Michelle Syrah

The approach I took, known as the 3-2-1 method, has been used by countless others.

  1. Smoke the ribs for 3 hours.
  2. Wrap the ribs and cook for a further 2 hours.
  3. Unwrap, cover with sauce and cook for up to 1 hour.

This specifically applies to pork spare ribs, and can be adapted for other types and cuts of rib. With baby back ribs, a 2-2-1 timing is more common.


To get the most out of this, this you’ll need a Big Green Egg or similar, as part of the cooking involves smoking the ribs. This method can be used for slow cooking ribs in a standard oven (without adding smoke in the first bit), if doing this use a non-fan setting.

In addition you’ll need:

  • Kitchen foil
  • Sharp knife
  • Sauce or pastry brush
  • Drip tray
  • Meat lifters (optional)


  • 1 full rack spare ribs
  • Dizzy Pig Dizzy Dust
  • BBQ sauce for marinade
  • 1-2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • Apple smoking chunk(s)

The choice of rub and sauce are down to personal taste, particularly the sauce. I used Lanes BBQ Kinda Sweet sauce for this cook. I have also used Big Green Egg Kansas City Style BBQ sauce. Check out your local BBQ supply shop or supermarket. Or make your own, this is a good recipe for Kansas City Style BBQ sauce.

Rack of spare ribs rubbed with Dizzy Dust
Final cooking stage with the BBQ sauce applied


  1. Preheat the Egg to 125°C/250°F, indirect setup.  Once the coals are glowing and the Egg’s temperature is stable, toss on the wood chunks and wait for the thin blue line of smoke.
  2. Meanwhile, and if it’s there, remove any membrane from the back of the ribs with a sharp knife. Coat the top of the ribs with the rub.
  3. Place a drip tray on the platesetter of the Egg, then add the stainless steel grid and place the ribs on the grid, bone side down. Smoke the ribs in the Egg for 3 hours.
  4. Lay out some kitchen foil (enough to wrap up the ribs) on a flat surface, then fold up the edges a little. Pour the cider vinegar down the length of the foil. Remove the ribs from the Egg and place them on the foil bone side down, covering the vinegar.
  5. Tightly wrap the foil around the ribs. Poke a couple of small holes in the top with a sharp knife. Return to the Egg and cook for 2 hours.
  6. Remove the wrapped ribs from the Egg, and remove them from the silver foil. Pour the marinade down the length of the ribs, and gently brush it to the edges of the ribs. Return to the Egg and cook for a further hour.
  7. Serve with smokey bourbon baked beans and New York deli style coleslaw.

Hints, Tips and Pictures

  1. During the last hour, check every 15 mins to see if more marinade is needed (sometimes they can dry out), or the ribs are done.
  2. This video clip shows how to remove membrane from the ribs:
  3. Meat lifters are very handy for moving the ribs around.
  4. Two or more ribs can be cooked like this, either on different levels in the Egg or vertically in a rib rack.

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