• Pork ribs
  • Seasonings
  • Spray bottle
  • BBQ sauce
  • Butter or butter substitute
  • Brown sugar
  • Thermometer
  • Water


Total Cooking Time

  • ~4 hours




  • Clean smoker grate
  • Get temp between 225-250°
    • 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
    • I use this WSM pan and cover it in aluminum foil
    • Water helps keep the temps more stable / low and also helps keep food moist
    • 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
  • Let rub sit for 15 minutes
    • You'll know it's ready when the ribs become visibly wet
  • Add chunks of wood to smoker
    • Post oak, cherry, and hickory are good choices
    • Check out my smoker wiki page for more info
    • These guys have a great selection, but shipping is $$
  • Lay ribs on smoker grate

[+1.0 hour]

  • Lightly spray ribs with water or something else that's wet
  • Rotate the grill grate 180° to even out the cook

[+0.5 - 1.0 hours]

  • When rub is "set", wrap
    • "Set" = seasoning will not come off when rubbing your finger across it
  • Wrap with two layers of aluminum foil
    • Bones are stronger than foil
  • Spread the following on to the foil
    • Handful of brown sugar
    • Butter or butter substitute
    • 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 upside down
    • Don't leave your smoker lid open during this - controlled airflow is key to maintaining temps
    • While on the subject, opening the lid slowly prevents a rush of oxygen from hitting your coals
    • Avoid opening your smoker lid whenever possible - "If you lookin', you ain't cookin'"

[+1.5 - 2.0 hours]

  • Unwrap and check internal temp
    • We're aiming for 200° internal
    • Most will tell you "timing is key!" or "use 3-2-1 dummy!" - I only trust my thermometer
    • I've grown to trust ThermoWorks's line of thermometers - wait for them to go on sale though
  • When we've hit internal, take ribs out and cover in BBQ sauce
  • Place ribs back in smoker for five to 10 minutes
    • We're waiting for the sauce to set
  • Remove, rest for 15 minutes, and serve


Words From My Mouth Hole

My primary smoker is a WSM 18" and I use my own technique to get it going at 225°. However the recipe above is nothing special. It's just a combination of learning from a lot of trial and error and various approaches from YouTube BBQ'ers.

My toddlers helped me make a mess with applying various rubs, plus they had a lot of fun helping. It's a great opportunity to get your kids involved.

Recommendations and links were added where applicable, but I love discussing seasonings, sauces, and tools, so let me know what you all  use and why.