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Smoked Ribs Recipe

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Smoked Ribs Recipe

If you love the taste of tender, smoky ribs, you’re in for a treat. This guide will walk you through a simple smoked ribs recipe that anyone can master.

You’ll learn how to use a dry rub, manage cooking temperatures, and ensure your ribs are perfectly done. Following these easy steps can transform your next barbecue into a mouth-watering feast.

Ready to impress your friends and family with some amazing smoked ribs? Let’s get started.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

Baby Back Ribs or Spare Ribs: Both work great. Baby back ribs are leaner, while spare ribs are meatier and fattier.

BBQ Rub: This includes a mix of salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and brown sugar. You can buy a pre-made rub or make your own.

Apple Juice or Cider: Used to keep the ribs moist and add a sweet flavor. You can substitute with pineapple juice or even cola.

BBQ Sauce: This can be any store-bought sauce you like. For a special twist, combine it with a bit of apple juice or Dr. Pepper.

Optional Ingredients:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Mix with sauce for extra tanginess.
  • Hickory, Fruit, or Apple Wood: These woods are good for smoking and add a nice flavor to your ribs.


  • Smoker: Preheat to around 225°F-250°F.
  • Foil: Wrap the ribs during part of the smoking process to keep them moist.
  • Squirt Bottle: Helps to apply sauces evenly.

Feel free to experiment with these ingredients to find the best combination for you!


  1. Preheat and Prep:

    • Preheat your smoker to 250°F.
    • Trim the ribs and remove the membrane on the back.
    • Brush a thin layer of mustard on both sides.
    • Season with a dry rub.
  2. Initial Smoking:

    • Place the ribs in the smoker.
    • Leave the smoker closed for the first 3 hours.
  3. Foil Wrap:

    • Remove the ribs and place them on aluminum foil.
    • Add butter and an apple juice-BBQ sauce mix (1/2 cup each).
    • Wrap the ribs tightly and put them back in the smoker for 2 hours.
  4. Final Smoking:

    • Unwrap the ribs and place them back in the smoker.
    • Apply your favorite BBQ sauce.
    • Smoke for 1 more hour.
  5. Serving:

    • Let the ribs rest for a few minutes.
    • Slice between the bones.
    • Enjoy your smoked ribs!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Tips & Tricks

  • Seasoning: Coat your rib tips with olive oil or mustard before applying your BBQ rub. This helps the seasoning stick better and adds extra flavor.

  • Temperature: Keep your smoker at around 250°F. The internal temperature of the rib tips should reach 190°F for the best tenderness.

  • Wood Choice: Choose good wood for smoking like hickory or apple wood. This will give your ribs a delicious smoky flavor.

  • Resting Time: Let your seasoned rib tips sit at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes before smoking. This allows the flavors to penetrate the meat more deeply.


  • Refrigerating: Store your smoked ribs in an airtight container in the fridge. They stay good for up to 3-4 days.

  • Freezing: For long-term storage, wrap ribs tightly in foil or plastic wrap and place them in a zip-top bag. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.


  • Oven Method: Preheat your oven to 275°F. Place the ribs in a pan, cover tightly with foil, and heat until they reach a good eating temperature.

  • Grill or Smoker Method: Preheat to 275°F. Maintain a low and slow heat, covering the ribs with foil until they’re hot and ready to eat.

Use these tips and tricks to make sure your smoked ribs are always delicious and easy to store!

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

Recipe Variations

  1. Adding Apple Juice: Mix your BBQ sauce with apple juice for a sweeter glaze.
  2. Molasses Drizzle: Collect drippings, reduce them by half, and add molasses. Spoon this mixture over ribs before serving.
  3. Different Rubs: Try various dry rubs like spicy, sweet, or savory.

Cooking Methods

  • 3-2-1 Method: Smoke for 3 hours, wrap in foil for 2 hours, and then smoke unwrapped for 1 hour.
  • Low and Slow: Maintain the smoker at 225F and cook slowly to ensure tenderness.
  • Wrapping Techniques: Use heavy-duty aluminum foil or butcher paper to keep the ribs moist.

Serving Suggestions

  1. Coleslaw: A refreshing side dish that perfectly complements smoky ribs.
  2. Cornbread: Serve with slices of warm, buttery cornbread.
  3. Grilled Vegetables: Offer a mix of grilled veggies like corn, peppers, and zucchini.


  • Sauce Choices: Offer a variety of sauces—sweet, tangy, spicy—to cater to different tastes.
  • Garnishes: Top ribs with chopped fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro for added flavor.
  • Presentation: Arrange ribs on a large serving platter and garnish with lemon wedges and fresh herbs.


  • Resting Time: Allow the ribs to rest for a few minutes before slicing.
  • Cutting: Use a sharp knife to cleanly slice between the bones.
  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.