3-2-1 Method BBQ Ribs

Ribs are a winner on the smoker. But you can acheive low and slow ribs on any type BBQ.
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3-2-1 method BBQ Ribs are simple yet have outstanding taste.

Ribs are a winner on the smoker. But you can achieve low and slow ribs on any type BBQ. All you need is a little patience!

These ribs are an ideal recipe for anyone who is new to smoking meat or cooking on the Weber Smokey Mountain or other type BBQ smoker. They are difficult to get wrong, but even if you do then you can be safe in the knowledge that ribs are not an expensive cut of meat!

If you cook these to perfection, you’ll have some meat falling off the bone and people wanting to come back for more!

Dish Info

Serves: 4 -6

Total Time: 6 hours

3-2-1 Method BBQ Ribs are a timeless classic. Fall off the bonable BBQ ribs.

Why is it called the 3-2-1 Method BBQ Ribs?

The name comes from the time it takes to cook ribs using this method.

  • 3 hours cooked uncovered meat side down
  • 2 hours cooked meat side up, covered in sauce and wrapped in foil
  • 1 hour cooked meat side down again but with the foil undone

So a total cook time of 6 hours. This is one of the simplest dishes to cook on the Weber Smokey Mountain or any other BBQ smoker for that matter. A tasty dish and is difficult to get wrong and now you know why it is called the 3-2-1 Method BBQ Ribs? .

This is my favourite way to do BBQ ribs. They come out perfect every time.


BBQ sauce


Take your time! Perfect ribs take a while to achieve. See the recipe below for more info on how to cook 3-2-1 method BBQ ribs.

Have you seen our other BBQ recipes on dadwhatcooks.com? There are lots to choose from to cater for all abilities so chck out the

3-2-1 method bbq ribs at dadwhatcooks. Com

Finding time to cook on the smoker is not easy but when you can take the opportunity to crack open a beer and throw on the charcoal it feels great. Trying to light the BBQ is sometimes a challenge when the weather is not great. But using a Weber chimney starter kit is a sure fire (pun intended) way of getting the flames going.

With only a few coals in the bottom, spark up a firelighter and place the chimney starter on top. I really like these Weber natural firelighters as they are low smoke and are all natural too. I generally use a couple of these but they do help get things cooking quickly and simply.

Once you have a nice glow of coals, normally its around 15 minutes and the top coals are white then it is time to use them. From here you can tip them carefully on the BBQ onto the rest of the unlit coals. Keep in mind this does get VERY hot so it’s probably worth investing in some BBQ gloves. There are so many styles and types to choose from that I can’t recommend a specific set but will suggest that you cover your wrists as well as hands to save from catching on the edge of the BBQ.

Back to the 3-2-1 Method BBQ Ribs

Time for some sauce for the ribs. Again, lots of choice and this all comes down to personal preference. A standard bottle of Heinz BBQ sauce will do the trick, but for something extra special you can get some ideas from these BBQ gift selection sets. This way it is possible to get a variety of different sauces to try on your 3-2-1 method BBQ ribs without breaking the bank.

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Tip Top Temp – Steady Temperature Control For Your BBQ Smoker

So here is a unique simple little gadget called the Tip Top Temp and is a smoker temperature controller. So simple yet so effective.

Have you ever had the issue with trying to control the temperature on your Weber Smokey Mountain or other smoker? Even a normal BBQ (anything with temperature control vents can benefit from one of these beauties. It has a dial which can be set and the vent opens and closes automatically to keep a steady temperature throughout the cook.

A wise investment for anyone who uses a smoker and will only cost the same as a big lump of brisket. Risk it for a brisket? Check them out here on Amazon.

3-2-1 Method BBQ Ribs

The simple way to cook ribs on a smoker
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, British
Keyword: 3-2-1 method, bbq, bbq ribs, ribs
Servings: 4 people


  • Weber Smokey Mountain


  • 1 Rack Ribs
  • 1 Bottle BBQ sauce
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tbsp Mustard
  • 2 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 100 g BBQ rub Use paprika, salt and pepper mixed together if you have no BBQ rub


  • Lay the ribs on the rack and cover them in mustard. Then rub the BBQ rub all over so it is covered.
    Set the smoker up to be at a steady 130C / 255F
  • Once covered the rub, place them MEAT SIDE UP for 3 hours on the smoker.
    Bbq ribs rub
  • After the 3 hours, place some tin foil on the table and pour on some honey and brown sugar. Then place the ribs in and cover them in BBQ sauce. Wrap them ribs up and place them back on the smoker MEAT SIDE DOWN for 2 hours. I like to use the Jack Daniels sauces for this part.
    Jack daniels bbq sauces
  • After this time, unwrap the ribs (but leave them in the foil open to catch the sauce) and place them back on the smoker MEAT SIDE DOWN for 1 hour.
    Ribs in foil
  • After the hour is up, the meat should be pull off the bonable and just fall apart. Serve with a side salad, corn on the cob or whatever you fancy.
    Ribs done


This is a nice simple way of doing Pork Ribs. BBQ baby back ribs done using the 3-2-1 method is a great beginner recipe for smoking.
Did you make the 3-2-1 Method BBQ Ribs recipe?

Leave me a comment and tell me how this recipe worked for you?

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About Dad What Cooks

About Dad What Cooks

Hi I'm Martin and I am Dad What Cooks. This is a collection of my favourite recipes I have put together.

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