Billows ThermoWorks Review

How We Made the Ribs

Rib Rub Recipe

If you have time, salt the ribs the night before (8 -12 hours) using the 1/2 teaspoon of salt per pound of meat rule of thumb. It does get a little tricky because half of the weight you pay for with ribs is bone; so adjust the formula accordingly (1/4 teaspoon of salt for the total weight of the slabs). If you don’t have time, as we didn’t, just salt the meat before adding the rub.

Makes about a cup (8 racks)

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
3 Tbs Paprika
2 Tbs garlic powder
2 Tsp black pepper
2 Tsp mustard powder
2 Tsp onion powder
1/2 Tsp chili powder

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

Next, we added a light layer of mustard just to get the surface wet and act as a bit of a glue when we go to apply the rub. However, if you opt to skip the mustard, just pat on a little water.

Now you’re ready to sprinkle on the rub.

Smoking the Ribs

Modifying the 3-2-1 Rib Cooking Method

The 3-2-1 method

6 hours of total cook time breaks down like this:

  • 3 hours in the smoker as normal
  • 2 hours wrapped in a Texas crutch (foil) on the smoker
  • 1 hour in the smoker as normal

We modified it to be 3-1-2. Still with six hours of cook time, it looks like this:

  • 3 hours in the smoker as normal
  • 1 hour wrapped in a Texas crutch
  • 2 hours in the smoker as normal

Texas Crutch:

After the first three hours on the smoker, we pull the ribs off to wrap them in foil. When we wrapped the ribs we added apple cider vinegar, bacon fat, red pepper jelly, and sliced onions. Then we toss the wrapped ribs back on the smoker for an hour. After that, we unwrap the ribs and place them back on the smoker for the final two hours.

In the video we cheated the last phase: instead of 2 hours as normal on the smoker at the end, we only did 1 hour. Mostly due to the fact I had plans for a night on the town and needed to wrap up the review with my final take; couldn’t do that without a rack of ribs to show off.

Why 3-1-2 instead of 3-2-1?

The reason I prefer the 3-1-2 method to the 3-2-1 is because two hours is too long to have the ribs wrapped. I like my ribs to have a bit of a bark and some texture to them however, it seems every time I’ve done the 3-2-1 method my ribs are squishy. And I know some prefer the 3-2-1 method because it tends to yield ribs that are more likely to “fall of the bone” and while there’s nothing wrong with that I shoot for a bit more texture and togetherness.


Log from the Billows Smoke

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