Baby Back Ribs, 3-2-1 Method (revised)

Baby Back Ribs, 3-2-1 Method (revised)


  • 1 Rack Baby Back Ribs
  • Meat Mitch Whomp Rub (1)
  • Meat Mitch Steer Rub
  • Meat Mitch Whomp Sauce
  • Honey
  • Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Butter, melted
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Yellow Mustard

Sauce Mix:

  • Combine 1/2 cup sauce with 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup honey. Set aside for finishing the ribs.


  1. Preheat smoker to 175-225*. (2)
  2. Remove the membrane from the bottom sides of the ribs. Apply a very thin layer of yellow mustard to both sides and rub to distribute evenly. (3)
  3. On the bottom side, season with 1/2 Steer and 1/2 Whomp rub.
  4. On the top side, season with Whomp rub. Don’t be shy, get a nice layer on there.
  5. Add ribs to smoker for 3 hours.
  6. Remove and place meat side down in a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil. Put grill to 250*. Melt the butter and add 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar. Brush with a small amount of melted butter mix (4), then sprinkle with brown sugar, drizzle honey (5), and add an additional layer of Steer rub. Flip, and repeat the process with Whomp rub.
  7. Fold the foil at the corners to ensure that the steam does not leave. Place onto your 250* grill.
  8. Check the ribs after 1:30 if they’re thinner, and 1:45 if they’re thicker. You’re looking for pullback on the bones 1/4-1/2 inch. When they look ready, remove, and up grill to 350 degrees.
  9. Sauce the now cooked ribs on both sides and place back on the heated grill. After 20-30 minutes, when the sauce is set and the sugars are caramelized, remove, slice, and eat (6). Enjoy!


  1. Meat Mitch is a (perfectly named) product/company that I found in the KC area. They own a restaurant called Char Bar, and are opening up a new placed called Meat Mitch. You can use any sauces and rubs you like, but this combination of their products has produced by far the tastiest results for me.
  2. I use a Traeger Grill for smoking, and mine has a “Super Smoke” feature that I turn on during this time. I will use 175 for thin ribs, 200 for medium, and 225 for thicker ribs. People have complained about the 3-2-1 saying that they’re overcooked, but I think it’s because people smoke them at too high of heat during this part, when they’re thinner ribs.
  3. Mustard is totally optional. You honestly probably can’t even tell by the time it’s cooked, but I think it’s kind of fun to do, looks cool, and does help the rub to stick.
  4. This mixture is partially for flavor and partially for steam purposes. Once the ribs are back meat side up you can add as much of the rest of the mix as you’d like, knowing that whatever falls off will just end up being liquid that helps to cook and steam the ribs.
  5. Obviously more honey and brown sugar means sweeter ribs. The more you plan to eat the less I’d do on the rack. For “competition” style ribs, or if you’re just eating a few at a party, you can afford to have them a little sweeter as you won’t get burnt out on it. You can also reduce the amount of honey in the finishing sauce mix to your liking, but the honey does help the sauce caramelize and stick and gives it a nice sheen that looks great in pics.
  6. Once the ribs are out of the “2” phase of cooking they should be fully cooked. I tend to like ribs that are more fall off the bone than not, and this method ensures that, without being totally steamed. This is also the revised part of the process, you don’t need a full hour here. All you’re doing is tightening the ribs back up a bit and making a nice glaze on them. The increased temp helps reduce that time. Also, you can do multiple layers of sauce, that’s all personal preference.


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