This is the best way to smoke ribs as well as a great dry rub for ribs that’s salty and sweet so you don’t even need barbecue sauce. Which cuts of meat make the best ribs and the trick to get them fall off the bone tender when you’re smoking ribs at home. One of our all time favorite easy smoker recipes.
It’s the summertime and you may be looking for the best way to smoke ribs and we have it!! We use an electric smoker but the same would hold true for traditional pellet smokers as well. It’s one of our favorite easy smoker recipes. (originally published 6/18, affiliate links present)
Best Smoked Pork Ribs
We’ve got tips and tricks for fall off the bone ribs cooked slowly. We also have the best dry rub for ribs recipe to share. Whether you want to make smoked ribs in electric smoker or pellet style in a Traeger they are the best ever.
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If your mouth is watering when you look at this picture above we’ll show you how to make them! They are our all time favorite dinner ever! Yes you can use beef if you’d like but pork ribs are our very favorite overall. First watch this video which explains the best way to smoke ribs in an electric smoker.
To get your meats absolutely perfect we have this printable meat smoking chart to refer to so each and every time it will be fork tender.
- Recently we upgraded to this Traeger pellet smoker and grill and love it.
- We started with an electric smoker that was a Charbroil which worked well to start with.
- These are the pellets we always have on hand and use for almost everything.
- This smoker cookbook has some more great ideas if you want to cook outside more regularly.
How to Smoke Ribs
Now we can go into specifics of the best dry rub for ribs and reiterate the directions shown in the video. The dry rub we use on all the things really. Since we loved it so much on this dinner I thought I’d give it a whirl on dry rub pork chops and they became wildly popular too. Those could be smoked but were baked in the oven that go around.
You can make it in a large batch if you begin to love it as much as we do. That will save you a step thereafter if you have it already made and in a sealed container in your cupboard. We have been told that we should bottle it and sell it on it’s own but don’t think we have time for that so the secret is out. Just make it yourself. 😉
The biggest secret or kitchen hack you need to know is to remove the membrane from ribs. This simple step will make them ultra tender when done. If you have never done this it isn’t a big deal and we show you step by step how to do that, just click on the blue link above and read that post first.
Easy Smoked Ribs
This is all we used to slow cook ribs outside if you don’t want to use your oven. Normally I am not super particular about brands but when it comes to these I tend to not buy store brand. Foster Farms is great and Smithfield has a great rack too.
- Smoker – this is the electric smoker we have (inexpensive and great for beginners)
- Recently we bought a Traeger pellet grill / smoker too
- Wood chips – I buy a variety pack
- Ribs – we prefer pork baby back ribs
- spare ribs or St. Louis style can be used too but won’t be as tender
- this is one of the best meats to smoke if you’re a beginner
Smoked Ribs Dry Rub
- Brown sugar
- Garlic powder
- Salt – we prefer kosher salt
- Chili powder
Use any sort of Bbq sauce at the end if you want but honestly there is tons of flavor without it with these seasonings.
Smoking Ribs on Pellet Grill
As he states you want to get a really thick layer of rib rub on the top and the bottom. Yes put it on the bone side too!
Yes you can use a thin layer but we prefer a lot! Some will fall off in the cooking process but most will stick and caramelize.
- The key to smoking in general is a great dry rub and cooking it at a low temperature for a longer duration of time.
- Don’t rush it, slow and steady wins the race on this one for sure. Start these in the morning if you want them for dinner.
1 rack of ribs is usually just enough for the 5 of us. My girls finish each one eating the bones dry because the smoke flavor is so good.
I usually love a lot of barbecue sauce on meats but I literally use none when my husband makes this dry ribs rub.
He coats them really well. It’s a salty and sweet flavor that you can heat up with more pepper and/or chili powder but the rib rub below is mild as far as heat goes.
Once you’ve tried these, try our other electric smoker recipes
- Smoked salmon recipe
- Tender Smoked pork loin
- And serve them all with our cheesy smoked bread recipe!
There are many ribs recipes out there. We still love our easy crockpot ribs using apple juice to tenderize them even further.
We hope you love these as much as we’ve enjoyed them over the years and they become a new family favorite at your house too.
- Cooking time will vary depending on how thick your ribs are, and what style you use. We do not choose to wrap the ribs so the smokey flavor permeates it and they get a crunchy outside too.
Feel free to line the bottom pan though with aluminum foil for an easier clean up. 😉
Smoking Ribs Time
Here’s the printable recipe. Now get lots of paper towels ready because this will be a fantastically sticky dinner: Rinse ribs, pat dry and remove the membrane from the back of the ribs to make them more tender. (instructions for removing membrane link in post)
- Mix all spices in a bowl well.
- Lay ribs on cutting board and spread rub on the top and bottom getting as thick of a coat on as possible.
- (can cut rack in half if desired to layer in smoker, that is what we do)
- Set smoker to 180 degrees. When it reaches this temp. you can continue on to the next steps.
- Lay 1/2 rack on top rack and 1/2 rack on lower rack. Use temp. probe if desired into middle of thickest part of meat.
- You want it to reach 145 min. degrees internally, or check after about 5 hours to check.
- Depending on size of ribs ours usually take 6 hours to look as the picture does with rub caramelizing and meat is pulling away from the bone which means they’re done and they will be tender.
After you fall in love with these you might want to give our country style pork ribs Instant Pot recipe a whirl too! Both will save quite well if you have leftovers, you just want to keep the air out of the bag or container when you store them in the fridge. Air is the enemy when it comes to leftovers of any kind, but especially when it comes to meat.
Traeger Ribs with Dry Rub
Want to spice these up a bit more than we did? No worries, you can easily do that with some dry Sriracha, more chili powder or red pepper flakes will make it more spicy. I am more of a mild or medium kinda’ leveled person but occasionally I get a hankering for heat and those work well. Let us know if you tweak it with something else!
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
Best Way to Smoke Ribs
- Rinse ribs, pat dry and remove the membrane from the back of the ribs to make them more tender. (instructions for removing membrane link in post)
- Mix all spices in a bowl well.
- Lay ribs on cutting board and spread rub on the top and bottom getting as thick of a coat on as possible. (can cut rack in half if desired to layer in smoker, that is what we do)
- Set smoker to 180 degrees and lay 1/2 rack on top rack and 1/2 rack on lower rack.
- Use temp. probe if desired to reach 145 min. degrees internally, or check after about 5 hours to check. Depending on size of ribs ours usually take 6 hours to look as the picture does with rub caramelizing and meat is pulling away from the bone which means they’re done and they will be tender.