Smoked Baby Back Ribs are full of great smoke flavor as well as having super tender meat. With a BBQ sauce caramelized outer shell along with a pull off the bone meaty layers, this smoked pork ribs recipe will not disappoint.
If you are looking for competition ribs, with smoky flavor, then this is a great recipe for you. Pellet smokers are becoming more and more popular because of the great foods that can be cooked on it.
Learn how to use the 3, 2, 1 smoking method (Kinda, Sorta) to make the best ribs that you have ever had. Low and slow is how you want to make your smoked pork ribs to achieve a nice flavorful tender cut of meat.
Make a fresh glass of State Fair Lemonade as your baby back ribs are smoking. Pair with an assortment of your favorite side dish recipes like this potato salad and honey dill coleslaw to make this a complete meal that your family will love. This Frosted Lemonade Ice Cream Cake is the perfect dessert to have after having your smoked ribs meal!
Once you learn the proper smoking technique, you will be able to make this baby back ribs recipes and then branch out to learn smoked pork spare ribs. These smoked baby back ribs do not have apple cider vinegar or apple juice as an ingredient.
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What Ribs to Buy?
One rack of pork baby back ribs comes in a big package and will feed several people when cooked. Some baby backs have more meat and excess fat than others.
Look carefully before you buy. The best time to buy baby back ribs are when they are on sale for a good price. Baby back ribs freeze well, so don’t be afraid to stock up when the price is right.
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How Long to Smoke Baby Back Ribs?
Baby back ribs cook time will vary depending on the type of pellet smoker, the temperature you are using, the size of the ribs, the number of times that you open the smoker door, the outside temperature, and a countless number of variables.
Some smokers like to use a rib rack when cooking baby back ribs. A general rule of thumb that the entire cook would be 5 to 6 hours. Use the 321 ribs method as described below.
How to Smoke Baby Back Ribs with the 321 Method
The 321 smoking method is widely known with other smoker enthusiast. It’s a simple technique of smoking baby back ribs for 3 hours.
Then wrapping the ribs in foil with a little bit of liquid and a layer of BBQ sauce for 2 hours. The last stage is unwrapping the ribs, saucing with BBQ sauce, and then caramelizing them on the smoker for 1 hour.
Using this 3, 2, 1 method produces very tender, nicely smoked, baby back pork ribs. Every person that smokes their own meats have a favorite way to do them.
This 321 method is just a guideline and can be adjusted for desired rib tenderness. Testing and tweaking this method using your particular smoker takes a little bit of practice.
Best Wood to Smoke Pork Ribs
The best wood pellets for the pellet grill to smoke pork ribs is a very personal preference. I like to use competition blend for our RecTeq pellet smoker.
If you like a sweeter piece of smoked meat, then use fruit wood pellets such as cherry or apple. More great choices would be hickory, walnut, or oak wood pellets.
Smoker Baby Back Ribs Ingredients
Baby Back Ribs
Homemade Barbeque Sauce
There is nothing better than homemade BBQ sauce. My brother, Joel, makes the best BBQ sauce recipe and we are sharing it with you.
This BBQ sauce uses ketchup, brown sugar, and an assortment of spices. Get this best BBQ sauce recipe or use your own recipe.
If you are looking for dry BBQ spice rub then take a look at my best bbq spice rub recipe.
Using a dry rub verse a bbq sauce will give you a completely different tasting rib. Looking for Louis style ribs? Give this tasty ribs recipe a try.
Preparing the Smoker Grill
My pellet smoker of choice is a Rec Teq Grill, but you can use a Traeger Smoker, Pit Boss, or any other brand that you like. Make sure to do regular cleaning of the inside of the smoker.
The wood pellets need to be dry and the bin full when starting a smoking recipe. The excess pellet ash needs to be removed on a regular basis or it will create problems in the middle of your recipe.
Make sure the grease bucket is cleaned after every use. The drip pan and grill grates should be cleaned from grease and food drippings.
Check out my RecTeq Smoker Review for more in-depth explanation.
Remove the Silver Skin From Ribs
Removing the silver skin from the ribs is a must. The silver skin is a thin white membrane on the back side of the baby back ribs.
If left on will result in tough ribs. Remove the skin with paper towel held together with one hand gripping the piece of skin, and the other hand on the rib cage.
How to Make Smoked Baby Back Ribs
Gather all the ingredients to make the ribs recipe. Preheat the pellet smoker to 225°F and make sure the pellet bin is full of dry pellets.
Unwrap the baby back ribs from its package. Discard all the meat drippings and be careful not to cross contaminate while working on the ribs.
Remove the silver skin and season both sides of the ribs with your favorite seasonings. We like to season baby back ribs with Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, black pepper, and granulated garlic.
How to Smoke Baby Back Ribs
Place the baby back ribs on the preheated smoker grill so the bone side is down, and the meaty side is up. Close the lid and let the ribs smoke for 3 hours.
After the first hour and second hour, spray the top of the ribs with a layer of full-strength orange juice. On the 3rd hour, one by one, lay each rack of ribs on a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Pour a little bit of orange juice under the ribs for moisture and then BBQ sauce the top of each rack of ribs. Fold the two long sides of foil together and wrap tightly the ends down onto the ribs.
Curl each end in until it is snug against the package. Place back onto the smoker and cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Remove each foil package from the smoker. Drain the juice off the ribs and then BBQ sauce each side.
Carefully, place the ribs back onto the smoker so the bone side is down, and the meaty side is up. Discard the foil.
Smoke until the desired tenderness and caramelization is achieved. Finished ribs should be able to be cut with a butter knife and the ribs fall off the meat.
Remove from the pellet smoker, cut with a sharp knife into pieces, and serve hot.
Temperature for Smoking Ribs
When smoking ribs, remember that low and slow is best. I recommend smoking baby back ribs at 225°F for 5 to 6 hours.
The lower the temperature, the more smoke flavor your foods will have. The higher the grill temperature, the quicker the ribs will get done.
Learn How to Smoke Baby Back Ribs – Video
Get step by step instructions on how to make this amazing smoked ribs recipe.
What to Serve with Smoker Baby Back Ribs
This exact same smoker baby back ribs recipe will work for making spare ribs. Smoke ribs can be done with or without barbecue sauce.
Try using rib rub instead of your favorite bbq sauce for a little bit different taste.
How Do You Keep Baby Back Ribs From Overcooking?
Keep the smoking temperature low at 225°F to 250°F for best results. Baby back ribs are hard to overcook when smoking but can happen.
Remember that low and slow is best which will help not to overcook the ribs. The cooking process and length of time can vary depending on your desired rib doneness.
Fall off the bone will take about one hour longer than tender baby back ribs that need to be chewed off the bone.
More Smoker Recipes
- Smoked Queso Dip
- Chicken and Veggie Smoked Kabobs
- Smoked Spatchcock Chicken
- Cream Cheese Spinach Dip on the Smoker
- Smoked Cedar Plank Salmon
- Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese on the Smoker
- Smoker Crostini Recipe
- Smoked Crack Dip
- Smoking Venison Kabobs
Smoked Baby Back Ribs – FAQ
When using the 321-rib smoking method, it will take about 6 hours to smoke the baby back ribs. Smoking temperature, foil wrap times, and the outdoor elements will affect how long the ribs take to cook.
The 3, 2, 1 rule for smoking ribs is 3 hours of smoking the ribs on the grill. Then 2 hours wrapped in foil with a little liquid and a layer of BBQ sauce. And finally, 1 hour unwrapped on the smoker, sauced with BBQ sauce, and caramelized until ribs are fork tender.
Smoked Baby Back Ribs Recipe
Get the full recipe along with nutrition information below!
- Baby Back Ribs 1 Rack
- Seasonings of Choice 1/4 cup
- Orange Juice 1/2 cup
- BBQ Sauce 1/2 cup
How to Make Smoked Baby Back Ribs
- Gather all the ingredients to make the baby back ribs recipe.
- Preheat the pellet smoker grill to 225°F and make sure the pellet bin is full of dry pellets.
- Unwrap the package of baby back ribs. Discard all the packaging and meat drippings. Be careful not to cross contaminate while working on the ribs.
- Remove the silver skin from the ribs and season both sides with your favorite seasonings. Our favorite rib seasonings are Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, black pepper, and granulated garlic.
How to Smoke Baby Back Ribs
- Place the ribs on the preheated smoker grill so the bone side is down, and the meaty side is up.
- Close the smoker lid and let the ribs cook for 3 hours.
- After the first hour and second hour, spray the top of the ribs with a layer of full-strength orange juice after the first hour and then the second hour.
- On the 3rd hour, one by one, lay each rack of rib on a large piece of heavy-duty foil. Pour a little of orange juice under the ribs for moisture and then BBQ sauce the top of each rack of ribs.
- Fold the two long sides of aluminum foil together and wrap tightly down onto the ribs. Curl each end in until it is snug against the foil package.
- Place the foil package back onto the smoker and cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
- Remove each package from the smoker. Drain the rib juice off and then BBQ sauce each side. With a pair of tongs, place the ribs back onto the smoker so the bone side is down, and the meaty side is up.
- Discard the aluminum foil.
- Smoke until the ribs are tender and caramelization of BBQ sauce is achieved. Finished smoked baby back ribs should be able to be cut with a butter knife and the ribs fall off the meat.
- Remove from the pellet smoker grill, cut the rib pieces with a sharp knife and serve hot.
Homemade BBQ Sauce
There is nothing better than a homemade BBQ
sauce recipe. My brother, Joel, makes the best barbecue sauce recipe and we are sharing it with you. This BBQ sauce recipe uses ketchup, brown sugar, and an assortment of spices. Get my best BBQ sauce recipe or use your own favorite BBQ sauce recipe. Watch our video on how we make Joel’s simple BBQ sauce.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This page contains affiliate links. Click on the highlighted text in a post to explore a product. If you purchase through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I ONLY EVER ENDORSE PRODUCTS THAT I TRULY LOVE. Thank you for your support!
Lawry's Seasoned Salt, 16 oz
McCormick Pure Ground Black Pepper Bonus Pack, 4 oz
Member's Mark Granulated Garlic by Tone's 26 oz. A1
12" BBQ Sauce Basting Mops & Brushes for Roasting or Grilling - Pack of 3
recteq Ultimate Premium Hardwood Grilling Cooking Pellet Barbecue BBQ Grill Smoker Blend with Red Oak, White Oak, and Hickory, 40 Pound Bag
recteq RT-700 Wood Pellet Smoker Grill | Wi-Fi-Enabled, Electric Pellet Grill | 702 Square Inches of Cook Space
Amount Per Serving Calories 325Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 66mgSodium 562mgCarbohydrates 23gFiber 0gSugar 18gProtein 19g
Note: For exact nutritional information, consult your dietitian. All nutritional information is simply a guideline.
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