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Hand picking up a smoked pork rib dipped in BBQ sauce.
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5 from 1 vote

Smoked Pork Ribs

Smoked Pork Ribs. Flavorful, and tender, this fool proof recipe is easy to make and always pleases!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 906kcal
Author: Serene


  • 2 racks St. Louis Style Pork Ribs (these are meatier ribs, cut from the belly, usually are nicely trimmed before packing)
  • cup mustard
  • ½ cup Sweet Rub (homemade recipe makes the exact amount needed for 2 racks of ribs)
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar OR diluted apple juice (for spritzing)
  • cup BBQ Sauce


  • Preheat Grill: follow instructions for your particular grill or smoker to preheat to 225℉.
  • Prepare Meat: Trim the meat if needed, typically it comes trimmed. 
  • Remove the membrane from the back, simply peel up a corner with your fingers (the skin with a silver shine to it) and using your hands, peel the layer of membrane off the bones. 
  • Binder: place the meat on a large baking sheet, meat side facing up. Brush the mustard over the meat. Then flip the ribs and brush mustard on the back side of the ribs also. 
  • Season: Evenly sprinkle the sweet rub over the back of the ribs, then carefully flip and do the same to the top of the ribs. Press the rub into the mustard to help ensure the rub stays on the meat. 
  • Smoke: Place the ribs on the grill so that the meat part is facing up, the bones are on the bottom. Smoke at 225℉ for 2 hours undisturbed. After 2 hours, spritz the ribs with the apple cider vinegar (or diluted apple juice) every 30 minutes for the next hour. (3 hours total on the smoker at this point..spritzing twice)
  • Slather: Flip the ribs, so the meat side is down and bone side is up, spritz the ribs, then brush the BBQ sauce on the ribs, close the smoker and let this cook for 15 minutes. Then flip the ribs so that the meat side is up, spritz the ribs again and brush the remaining sauce on the top of the ribs, close the smoker and let this cook another 15 minutes. (When handling the ribs avoid tongs, since this can damage the crust forming on the ribs)
  • Wrap: Remove the ribs from the smoker and wrap tightly in aluminum foil. Easiest method is to lay a sheet of foil flat on a large baking sheet, lay the ribs on this, fold the edges in over the ribs, then use another sheet of foil over the top. This helps ensure that the juices stay inside the foil and don’t leak out the bottom. 
  • Continue Cooking: Place the ribs back on the smoker (or in an oven at 225℉, at this point we have the smoke flavor, we’re just braising the meat). Continue to cook the ribs at 225℉ for another 2 hours. 
  • Set Sauce: Remove the ribs from the foil and place the ribs back on the grill. Smoke for an additional 30-45 minutes until the ribs are done. (careful opening the foil, there will be a lot of liquid in there. Carefully remove the foil packets to a large baking sheet and open and remove the ribs there, this helps contain the liquid that will spill out).
  • Rest: once done cooking, test for done-ness (information below), remove the ribs from the smoker and place on a clean baking tray. Cover tightly with foil and let the ribs rest for at least 30 minutes before serving. 


How Many Ribs to make?
  • Plan for 1 rack of ribs for 2-3 adults.
How to Test Done-ness: 
  • Meat will be pulled up, exposing the bones on the end of the ribs. 
  • When you pick up the entire rack of ribs, one hand on each end, you will notice the meat start to crack in the center of the rack. 
  • If you grab a bone and twist it will start to pull away from the meat. 
  • Overcooked ribs will have bones falling out of the meat..we want the meat to still cling to the bone. 
Best Wood to Use:
  • Use a combination of a classic and a sweeter, fruity wood. Options include: Hickory, Oak, Mesquite, Apple, Cherry, Pecan and Maple. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 906kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 72g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 243mg | Sodium: 730mg | Potassium: 834mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 81IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 3mg