- Pork ribs
- Spray bottle
- BBQ sauce
- Butter or butter substitute
- Brown sugar
Total Cooking Time
- ~4.25 hours
- Clean smoker grate
- 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.
- 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.
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 many BBQ'ers.
My toddlers typically help 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.
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.