Ribs are by far my favorite thing to put on the smoker.  I’ve shared a few other recipes like my Traeger 2-2-1 ribs, and my fall off the bone ribs, but I wanted to showcase a technique that is about as simple as it gets.  This one is for the backyard pitmaster who is sitting around all afternoon by the pool or at the lake and wants to make some delicious ribs by doing the least amount of work.

For this recipe I used my Traeger Timberline XL, taking advantage of the large hopper to fit in the most pellets I can.  The large hopper combined with the performance of +/- 5º I get with this pellet grill makes it the ideal choice for slow smoking delicious ribs all day long.

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Why should you try this recipe

  • No fuss: This recipe offers a “set it and forget it” option. After some quick prep, you can confidently place these ribs on your smoker and let them cook for hours while you take care of chores, entertain guests, or simply relax by the smoker.
  • Ribs scream summer: Summer is grilling season, and ribs are a staple on smokers all across the country. This recipe provides an easy way to create delicious ribs with minimal effort.
  • Delicious smoke flavor: Leaving the ribs unwrapped during the cooking process allows the delicious smoke flavor to permeate the meat throughout the entire time they are on the smoker, resulting in a rich and smoky flavor profile.

Ingredients for No wrap, No sauce Ribs

  • 1 slab Baby back ribs:  Baby back ribs come from the top of the rib cage near the backbone, offering a meatier alternative to spare ribs which come the bottom of the rib cage. 
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard:  Simple yellow mustard covering all sides and edges helps the rubs adhere without changing the flavor profile.
  • 2 tbsp Smoked Q Rock’s Anytime SeasoningThis all-purpose SPG spice blend will infuse Salt, Pepper, & Garlic flavors as a solid base used on both sides.
  • 1 tbsp Smoked Q Smashville HOT Spice BlendLayering this hot spice blend brings in some heat while still packing a punch of flavor on the underside of these ribs.
  • 1 tbsp Smoked Q Hey Boo! Honey Spice Blend:  This last layer comes in to finish off the flavor profile with a deliciously sweet taste.  

Instructions for making No wrap, No Sauce Ribs

1. Bring smoker to temp: I cooked these ribs on my Traeger at 275ºF. This temperature is perfect for maintaining the desired texture while ensuring the ribs are cooked within a fairly reasonable timeframe.

2. Remove the membrane: To begin the prep of these baby back ribs, I used my finger to get underneath the membrane on the underside of the rib.  Then, using a paper towel, I removed this thin layer, allowing for the maximum flavor to adhere from the rub and the smoke.

3. Bottom side binder and seasoning: To ensure the rub stays on the ribs, I coated them with yellow mustard before layering on the seasoning. Starting with my trusted Smoked Q Rock’s Anytime Seasoning blend on the underside, I then added Smoked Q Rock’s Smashville HOT spice blend for an extra kick.

4. Top side binder and seasoning: I then applied a generous layer of yellow mustard to the top side, followed by Smoked Q Rock’s Anytime Seasoning blend. Then, I added a generous layer of Smoked Q Rock’s Hey Boo! Honey spice blend to finish off the prep.

5. Smoke for 5 & ½ hours: This one is very simple, let the ribs roll on the Traeger at 275º until the meat hits 198º.  This often takes between 5 to 6 hours.

6. Let rest and separate: Once they have hit temp, I removed them from my Traeger, let them rest for about 10 minutes before separating.

Variations and Substitutions:

Alternate Rubs: If I’m smoking ribs but using rubs other than Smoked Q, I look to none other than 2x Memphis in May Rib Grand Champion Heath Riles for some of his great rubs.  To mimic the Smoke Q rubs in this recipe reach for the following:

  • Anytime substitute – Heath Riles Everyday rub
  • Hey Boo! Honey – Heath Riles Honey rub
  • Smashville HOT – Heath Riles Hot BBQ rub

Substitution or variation: I’ve found that while this recipe still works for St. Louis style or spareribs, they can tend to dry out more than I’d like since I don’t wrap and let them smoke for a rather long time.  However, if you prefer spare ribs plan to either back the cooking temp down or cook them in a shorter time or pull them at around 190-195º internal temp.

Tips and tricks for making this No wrap, No Sauce Ribs

Go for the marbling: When choosing ribs, I make sure to select ones with the best visible marbling, which appears as “white lines” intertwined with the red meat.  This can be hard to tell sometimes behind the vacuum packaging, but I do my best.

Substitute Worcestershire sauce for the binder: Worcestershire sauce is an excellent binder, adding an additional layer of flavor and also slightly tenderizing the meat when left on for 30 minutes to an hour.

Warm up some barbecue sauce: I understand that this recipe doesn’t call for wrapping or sauce, but some guests might appreciate having a delicious sauce option. To accommodate them, consider pouring some of your favorite sauce into a heat-resistant container during the final 30 minutes and placing it on the smoker.  It is no secret my favorite sauce is my Smoked Q Irish Whiskey BBQ Sauce.   

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No Wrap, No Sauce Ribs

Servings: 4 people
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 5 hours 30 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total: 6 hours
No wrap, No Sauce Ribs Finished
Ribs are my absolute favorite thing to put on the smoker. Sure, there are many recipes out there, but this no wrap, no sauce rib recipe showcases how simple it can be. This one is for the cul-de-sac cook who is sitting around all afternoon by the pool or the backyard pitmaster at the lake who wants to make some delicious ribs by doing the least amount of work.

Equipment

  • 1 Traeger Timberline XL

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • I cooked these ribs on my Traeger at 275ºF. This temperature is perfect for maintaining the desired texture while ensuring the ribs are cooked within a fairly reasonable timeframe.
  • To begin the prep of these baby back ribs, I used my finger to get underneath the membrane on the underside of the rib.  Then, using a paper towel, I removed this thin layer, allowing for the maximum flavor to adhere from the rub and the smoke.
  • To ensure the rub stays on the ribs, I coated them with yellow mustard before layering on the seasoning. Starting with my trusted Smoked Q Rock’s Anytime Seasoning blend on the underside, I then added Smoked Q Rock’s Smashville HOT spice blend for an extra kick.
  • I then applied a generous layer of yellow mustard to the top side, followed by Smoked Q Rock’s Anytime Seasoning blend. Then, I added a generous layer of Smoked Q Rock’s Hey Boo! Honey spice blend to finish off the prep.
  • This one is very simple, let the ribs roll on the Traeger at 275º until the meat hits 198º. This often takes between 5 to 6 hours.
  • Once they have hit temp, I removed them from my Traeger, let them rest for about 10 minutes before separating.

Nutrition

Calories: 322kcalCarbohydrates: 0.4gProtein: 27gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 206mgPotassium: 361mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 37IUVitamin C: 0.03mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Tried this recipe?Mention @drizzlemeskinny or tag #drizzlemeskinny!

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