- Pork ribs
- BBQ sauce (optional)
Total Cooking Time
- Four hours or so
I've changed my mind. There is a much easier way to make ribs and, in my opinion, come out much better than going through all the extra nonsense. My original recipe is at the bottom of the page if you're curious.
- Get smoker to 225°-250°
- Anywhere in that range is fine
- Add wood for flavor
- Grab ribs and pat dry
- Apply seasoning to ribs
- Do it simple with salt, pepper, garlic, and some sugar
- Add whatever else makes you happy
- Put ribs in smoker
- Wait at least two hours
- Rotate ribs 180° to even out the cook
- After four hours or so, check temp
- Make sure to probe the meat and not the bone
- When ribs are ~195-200°, add BBQ sauce if you want sauce
- If BBQ sauce is cold, add it earlier
- When ribs are ~205°, they're done
For you flowchart nerds, here's a step-by-step guide:
Words From My Mouth Hole
My toddlers like helping me make a mess with applying various rubs, plus they have a lot of fun helping. Cooking is always a great opportunity to get your kids involved.
(for archive purposes)
- Clean smoker grate
- This brush and these wipes make life easy.
- Get temp between 225-250°.
- Let smoker stabilize at desired temps for twenty or so minutes before adding food. There's no rush here.
- Many will tell you 275° is where it's at, but I've never been happy with temps that high.
- Pull off rib silverskin and pat dry.
- Use a paper towel and watch a how-to (link).
- Add water to your smoker.
- If using a Weber Smokey Mountain, cover your water pan in aluminum foil. Otherwise, fold aluminum foil into a boat or use a disposable foil pan that is appropriate for your smoker.
- Add water to the water pan. It helps keep the temps more stable / low and also helps keep food moist.
- Note that the smoker takes additional time to get up to temp when water is added.
- Layer seasonings on both sides of the ribs.
- First goes salt, pepper, garlic (i.e. "SPG").
- Then a light coat of all an purpose BBQ rub.
- Finally, I recommend topping with Meat Church's Honey Hog or heavy sugar-based rub.
- Let the rub sit for 15 minutes or so.
- You'll know it's ready when the ribs become visibly wet
- Add chunks of wood or pellets to your smoker.
- Post oak, cherry, pacan, and hickory are good choices.
- Check out my smoker wiki page for tips and wood choices.
- These guys have a great selection of smoking wood, but shipping can get expensive.
- Lay ribs on smoker grate.
[+ 1.0 hour]
- Lightly spray ribs with water or something else that's wet - like apple juice.
- Rotate the grill grate 180° to even out the cook.
[+ 1.0 hour]
- When rub is "set", wrap.
- "Set" means that seasoning will not come off when rubbing your finger across it.
- Give it 10-15 more minutes if not yet set.
- Wrap with two layers of aluminum foil.
- Bones are stronger than foil and will poke through one layer.
- Spread the following on to the top layer of foil:
- Handful of brown sugar.
- Butter, butter substitute, or spritz of apple juice / water.
- Some of the leftover seasoning from when we started.
- Some of your favorite BBQ Sauce.
- Place ribs upside down on sticky mess.
- Wrap tightly and place ribs back in smoker so they're sitting upside down.
- Don't leave your smoker lid open during this. Controlled airflow is key to maintaining temps. "If you lookin', you ain't cookin'."
- While on the subject, opening the lid slowly prevents a rush of oxygen from hitting your coals.
[+1.5 - 2.0 hours]
- Unwrap and check internal temp
- We're aiming for 200° internal.
- Make sure you're testing temps on the inside meat and not the bones.
- Most will tell you "timing is key!" or "just use the 3-2-1 method dummy face!" but I only trust my thermometer.
- I've grown to trust ThermoWorks's line of thermometers. Wait for them to go on sale.
- When we've hit internal, take ribs out and add a thin layer of BBQ sauce on top.
- Place ribs back in smoker for 10 minutes.
- We're waiting for the sauce to set.
- Remove, rest for 15 minutes, slice, and serve.