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3-2-1 Ribs

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321 Ribs

Moist, juicy, smoky, and tender 3-2-1 Ribs

Look no further for the perfect summertime BBQ recipe than these 3-2-1 Ribs by Director Drew. Simple to make with rich with caramelized smoky flavor, these ribs are guaranteed to satisfy even the heartiest of appetites. 

Must(ard) we?

You may be wondering why we’re rubbing the ribs, and meat in general, with yellow mustard when we use a smoker. Some time ago, someone figured out that yellow mustard loses most of its flavor when put in a smoker. Combined with the fact that mustard is a sticky substance, Mustard suddenly became the gold standard for holding dry rubs onto meat without leaving unwanted flavor. In fact, the vinegar from the mustard helps to carry flavors from the rub into the meat. The mustard also helps to tenderize the meat by leaving a thin crust on the meat. 

Caramelized and Glazed

We already know that we’re getting a thin crust from the mustard but when we add that brown sugar and butter on here, it’s going to slightly caramelize the skin of the ribs. This will give us a deep rich flavor that can’t be emulated and is a real treat for everyone eating these ribs. No easier and more flavorful ribs in the world than these 3-2-1 Ribs.

Why Are They Called 3-2-1 Ribs?

The “3” actually relates to smoking the ribs for the initial three hours on the smoker. The “2” stands for the two hours that we put the ribs back on the smoker after adding butter, brown sugar, and apple juice. The “1” stands for the final hour you’ll stick back in the smoker after you brush on your favorite barbeque sauce.

If you like these rib you should also try our St. Louis Style Ribs as well! Also, if you’re looking for other good recipes for the smoker, try our smoked corned beef recipe or our smoked bologna chub recipe.


Prep Time

30 Mins

Cook Time

5 Hours 30 Mins


  1. Using a paper towel, remove the membrane
  2. Using yellow mustard, coat and rub down your rack of ribs
  3. Using your favorite Dan-O’s Seasoning flavor, coat generously on top and bottom and pat the seasoning in. 
  4. Smoke for 3 hours
  5. Remove ribs from the grill and place each rack in a large sheet of aluminum foil bone down. Rub down with brown sugar, add sliced butter and a good amount of apple juice. Seal the foil and throw back on the smoker. 
  6. Smoke for 2 hours
  7. Remove ribs from the foil. Brush down with your favorite bbq sauce and smoke at 225 for another 30 minutes to one hour. 
  8. Enjoy
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Sprinkle Generously.

Low Sodium
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