Finished baby back ribs sitting on cutting board
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There’s nothing quite like smoked baby back ribs.

These baby back ribs were made on an offset smoker (like God intended). If you are looking for pellet grill ribs check out our Traeger 2-2-1 ribs here.

And you can make them anytime you want without driving to your BBQ joint and dropping a small fortune on your addiction. AND you can smoke as many racks of pork ribs as you like and eat them until you burst! Read on, my fellow smoked pork rib fanatics, and I will show you how easy smoking your own pork ribs really is!

Why You Should Try This Pork Ribs Recipe

  • Only five ingredients – five simple and easy-to-find ingredients.
  • Prepping is uncomplicated – easy to assemble. Your pork ribs are ready to smoke in no time!
  • Relatively short smoking time – 15 minutes to prep, 2 hours on the grill exposed to the smoke, 2 hours on the grill wrapped in foil, and 15 minutes of rest time for a total of 4 1/2 hours total cooking time. Smoking most other types of meat takes longer than this.
  • One rack of ribs generally serves two people – double or triple the recipe, and you can easily serve a whole lot of people.

Ingredients for Smoked Pork Ribs

  • 1 rack baby back pork ribs – There are basically three main types of pork ribs: spare ribs, St. Louis ribs, and baby back ribs. I like using baby backs because they are generally more tender than the other two and take less time to smoke.
  • ½ cup yellow mustard – Yup, good old-fashioned yellow mustard! You liberally brush the mustard on the ribs to help keep them moist while smoking, and the mustard allows the rib rub to stick to the pork ribs easily.
  • 1 cup rib rub –  Use your favorite store-bought pork rib rub. I like to use Famous Dave’s Rib Rub. Or you can make your own ‘secret ingredient’ pork rib rub. Check out this book by Paul Kirk to learn how to make your own. (Drizzlemeskinny is not associated with Paul Kirk in anyway. We don’t get a commission if you buy the book, we just like it)

·  1 cup apple juice – For the very last step of the smoking process, you will spray apple juice on your pork ribs to keep them moist. 

Step By Step Directions For Smoking Pork Ribs

1. Bring your smoker to temperature – You want to maintain a temperature of roughly 250 degrees throughout the smoking process.

2. Wipe off the moisture – Take a paper towel and remove the excess moisture from the rib rack.

uncooked baby back ribs sitting on cutting board

3. Remove the membrane and trim – Use a sharp knife to separate the clear membrane from the ribs on the underside of the rib rack. Then, using a paper towel to grab the membrane, firmly pull it down and rip it off the rib rack.

using knife to remove membrane from baby back ribs
peeling back membrane from baby back ribs

4. Apply the yellow mustard – Brush the yellow mustard over the entire rib rack, front and back.

spreading mustard on baby back ribs

5. Apply the rib rub – Liberally shake on the rib rub over the entire rib rack front and back, then pat it on to make sure it sticks well to the mustard.

dry rub spread all over baby back ribs sitting on white cutting board

6. Place your rib rack on the grill grate – Place your ribs midway on the grill grate so they are not too close to the firebox (heat source). Remember, we want to smoke the ribs, not grill them.

baby back ribs placed on smoker

7. Rotate and flip – If you are smoking more than one rib rack, rotate and flip the rib racks every half hour to ensure all the racks and surfaces are not constantly exposed to the heat source. This first step of smoking is two hours long, so you will be rotating and flipping your ribs three times.

flipping baby back ribs on offset smoker

8. Wrap in foil with BBQ sauce – Take your rib rack off the grill grate and place it on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Liberally brush the ribs with your BBQ sauce and fold the aluminum around the rib rack to form a tight seal. This step will help to ensure that your pork ribs are very moist and juicy.

wrap smoked ribs in foil with bbq sauce

9. Place the rib rack back on the grill grate –  Place midway on the grill grate, and again rotate and flip the rib racks every half hour to ensure all the racks and surfaces are not constantly exposed to the heat source. This second step of smoking is also two hours long, so you will be rotating and flipping your ribs three times.

ribs in foil back on grill

10. Remove the rib rack from the smoker – Take the rib rack out of the aluminum foil and place it back on the grill grate. Liberally spray the surface with apple juice and let rest on the grill for 15 minutes with the lid closed.

ribs after foil is unwrapped

 11. Cut and serve – Slice the rib rack between the bones to create individual pieces and serve with more BBQ sauce or your favorite dipping sauce.

sliced baby back ribs on cutting board
sliced ribs on cutting board
sliced rib ready to eat on cutting board

Variations And Substitutions For Smoked Pork Ribs

Types of BBQ sauces – There are four major BBQ styles in the United States: Kansas City, Carolinas, Memphis, and Texas. Each style has a different BBQ sauce that has its own unique and special variation. Each time you smoke your pork ribs, try one of the regional styles and compare the differences. I bet you’ll like them all!

Other pork rib rubs – There are many varieties of pork rib rubs on the

market today. But here’s a simple and tasty rub you can make yourself!

Chef Keith’s Pork Rib Rub

½ cup salt

1 tablespoon Cajun Seasoning

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl and place in a spice jar for storage.

Try a different type of pork rib rack – As I mentioned earlier, the other two types of pork ribs besides baby back ribs are spare ribs and St. Louis style ribs, both delicious and easily available. Both other pork rib variations are a bit bigger, so longer cooking time will be necessary.

TIPS AND TRICKS FOR MAKING SMOKED PORK RIBS

  • Easy clean–up: Place a large piece of cardboard under your smoker before you start smoking to catch all the drippings and spills that WILL HAPPEN! Believe me, I’ve learned the hard way.
  • No mess rib package opening – Open your rib rack package in your sink. Open the plastic bag at the large end of the rib rack with a pair of scissors. Then, reach in and pull the whole rib rack out. Turn the package over and allow the blood to flow out into your sink, then throw away the package. Try it, it works! Easy, no mess, no fuss.
  • Two spray bottles – You have one spray bottle for the apple juice, but you also need another one filled with water to dampen the flare-ups in your firebox. And flare-ups WILL HAPPEN!
  • Open the smoker lid as little as possible – Besides the scheduled times to rotate and flip your rib racks, be sure to leave the lid closed. Every time the lid is opened, the temperature plummets, and it takes time to bring the temperature back to 250 degrees. So don’t worry, no peeking. The ribs are gorgeous, and they are smoking just fine!
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Smoked Pork Ribs

By: Keith Morrison
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 4 hours 15 minutes
sliced ribs on cutting board

Equipment

  • 1 off set smoker

Ingredients 

  • 1 rack baby back ribs
  • 1/2 cup yellow mustard
  • 1 cup rib rub, use your favorite store bought or scroll up in post to see how to make your own at home
  • 1 cup bbq sauce, use your favorite store bought
  • 1 cup apple juice

Instructions 

  • Bring your smoker to temperature – You want to maintain a temperature of roughly 250 degrees throughout the smoking process.
  • Wipe off the moisture – Take a paper towel and remove the excess moisture from the rib rack.
  • Remove the membrane and trim – Use a sharp knife to separate the clear membrane from the ribs on the underside of the rib rack. Then, using a paper towel to grab the membrane, firmly pull it down and rip it off the rib rack.
  • Apply the yellow mustard – Brush the yellow mustard over the entire rib rack, front and back.
  • Apply the rib rub – Liberally shake on the rib rub over the entire rib rack front and back, then pat it on to make sure it sticks well to the mustard.
  • Place your rib rack on the grill grate – Place your ribs midway on the grill grate so they are not too close to the firebox (heat source). Remember, we want to smoke the ribs, not grill them.
  • Rotate and flip – If you are smoking more than one rib rack, rotate and flip the rib racks every half hour to ensure all the racks and surfaces are not constantly exposed to the heat source. This first step of smoking is two hours long, so you will be rotating and flipping your ribs three times.
  • Wrap in foil with BBQ sauce – Take your rib rack off the grill grate and place it on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Liberally brush the ribs with your BBQ sauce and fold the aluminum around the rib rack to form a tight seal. This step will help to ensure that your pork ribs are very moist and juicy.
  • Place the rib rack back on the grill grate –  Place midway on the grill grate, and again rotate and flip the rib racks every half hour to ensure all the racks and surfaces are not constantly exposed to the heat source. This second step of smoking is also two hours long, so you will be rotating and flipping your ribs three times.
  • Remove the rib rack from the smoker – Take the rib rack out of the aluminum foil and place it back on the grill grate. Liberally spray the surface with apple juice and let rest on the grill for 15 minutes with the lid closed.
  • Cut and serve – Slice the rib rack between the bones to create individual pieces and serve with more BBQ sauce or your favorite dipping sauce.

Additional Info

Course: BBQ
Cuisine: Barbecue
Tried this recipe?Mention @drizzlemeskinny or tag #drizzlemeskinny!

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About Keith Morrison

Chef Keith has been a cook, restaurateur, and food writer for nearly 50 years. Since graduating of culinary school, Keith has completed classes at the world famous Le Cordon Bleu Paris, and has been a chef, manager, owner, consultant and recipe developer for dozens of restaurants and catering companies.

One of Keith's many cooking loves is BBQ in general and the Offset Smoker in particular. Keith has participated in competition BBQ for many years.

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  1. Sweet Baby Ray’s uses high fructose corn syrup instead of molasses. Stubb’s is really good and doesn’t use any kinds of corn syrup.