Smoked Baby Back Ribs are a classic comfort food that are full of flavor and is a must for your next get together or cookout. Use our homemade rib dry rub and homemade bbq sauce – serve with cornbread and coleslaw for the perfect meal!
Best Ever Smoked Baby Back Ribs
This recipe for pork ribs is one of my favorites of all-time!! It took me a while to get the method down just right and I am so happy with it (this method would also work well with spare ribs). The meat falls away from the bone just right (it doesn’t just completely fall apart), it is tender but delicious and I cannot wait for you to try it! Serve with Smoked Corn on the Cob, Smoked Mashed Potatoes and Smoked Asparagus for a complete summer meal. And if you don’t have a smoker I highly suggest these Oven Bake Ribs – similar method just in the oven!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Tender: We nailed the texture here! Not a messy completely-fall-apart, but also not hard to eat. The meat falls away with little effort, is moist and so flavorful!
- Easy: Once you get your prep done, all you need to do is spray the ribs every so often and turn the temp up gradually! No worries about having to take off the ribs and wrap them in foil – we are keeping it simple!
- Flavor: that pork rub is our all-time favorite and we use it in so many of our recipes!
Smoked Baby Back Ribs Ingredients
- baby back ribs: we usually use two racks of ribs – leftovers are amazing!
- worcestershire sauce + yellow mustard: these are both rubbed all over the ribs and then the dry rub is added and together they make a paste.
- One batch of dry rub: I absolutely love our homemade dry rub for ribs which is a combination of kosher salt, ground black pepper, paprika, lemon pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and a little bit of cayenne.
- Mop Ingredients: some water, apple juice and apple cider vinegar are combined to create a mop that is sprayed all over the ribs periodically while smoking – it helps keep them moist and delicious.
- barbecue sauce: feel free to use any kind of bbq sauce you want – we do have a delicious homemade bbq sauce too!
Internal Temperature of Pork
Pork needs to be cook to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F to be considered safe to eat BUT if you took your ribs off the smoker at that temp they would be a little tough. The longer you cook them the more tender they become. We recommend an internal temp between 190-203 degrees F. The closer you get to 203 the more fall-off-the-bone they will become so that is personal preference how long you want to let them cook.
Smoked Baby Back Rib Side Dishes
Wondering what to serve with Smoked Baby Back Ribs – here are a few suggestions:
- Pellet Smoker: Traeger Pro 575 (the 780 is great too, it is just a little bit bigger)
- Electric Smoker: If you are looking for a starter electric smoker that is high quality, but also not the most expensive smoker ever made, I would recommend this one. We used it for 5 years with no issues and the quality of smoking is fantastic. We have recently upgraded to a Traeger and love that a well.
Traeger Smoked Ribs
We tested these on a Traeger and they turned out absolutely delicious!
How to Make Smoked Baby Back Ribs
We started with 2 racks of baby back ribs. Before you even begin, you need to remove the membrane (the thin layer of skin or connective tissue on the bone side of the ribs).
Remove and discard.
Pat dry with a clean paper towel.
Rub all over with worcestershire sauce.
Rub all over with yellow mustard.
Rub all over with the dry rub.
It is recommend to wrap in plastic wrap and then let sit overnight in the fridge. You CAN skip that step and just go straight to the smoker.
Place on the smoker directly on the grill grates (left side if using a pellet smoker as that is where it is the hottest) and close.
Spray with your Mop every 45-60 minutes. Make this quick so you don’t let out too much heat.
Raise the temp per the recipe card below.
At the end remove the ribs and brush all over with bbq sauce of your choice then place back on the smoker at 350 degrees F. to let that bbq sauce become sticky and delicious.
Other recipes you might like:
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Smoked Baby Back Ribs – an easy and delicious smoked rib recipe that is flavorful and simple to make!
- 2 racks of baby back ribs
- 1–2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce (see notes)
- 2–4 tablespoons yellow mustard
- One batch of dry rub
- Mop: 1 cup water, 1 cup apple juice; 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 bottle of your favorite (smokey) barbecue sauce
- Place ribs, meat side down, on a baking sheet. Using a small knife, gently lift off the corner of the membrane (the layer of thin connective tissue) and gently pull to remove.
- Combine dry rub ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Pat ribs dry with a clean paper towel.
- Rub worcestershire sauce all over ribs.
- Rub yellow mustard all over ribs.
- Rub dry rub all over ribs.
- Wrap ribs in plastic wrap, tightly, and store in fridge for 12-24 hours.
- The next day, remove ribs from fridge and let ribs come to room temperature.
- While ribs are warming up, turn smoker up to 225 degrees F. (use whatever pellets or smoking chips you prefer) and combine your Mop in a clean spray bottle.
- Place ribs in smoker, left side if using a pellet smoker, for 4 hours.
- Spray with “mop” every 45-60 minutes.
- After 4 hours turn smoker up to 250 degrees F.
- After 1 hour turn smoker up to 275 degrees F.
- Once ribs have reached an internal temperature between 190 – 203 degrees F (approximately 1 hour) (see notes) remove ribs from smoker and turn smoker up to 350 degrees F.
- Sauce the ribs generously with your favorite BBQ sauce and place back in smoker for 6-8 minutes, or until the BBQ sauce becomes tacky.
- Remove ribs from smoker and let rest 15 minutes (I usually cover with aluminum foil during the resting period).
- Serve and enjoy!
- Worcestershire sauce: If you are concerned with Whole30/Paleo simply omit this step.
- Mop: Continue to spray the ribs with the mop every 45-60 minutes throughout the cooking time.
- Letting sit overnight: If you forgot to do this the night before or you just simply don’t want to do this, you can skip this part and the ribs will turn out just fine (I have done it many times). But if you want the best results, letting it sit in the rub overnight is the best way to go!
- Internal Temp: Pork needs to be cook to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F to be considered safe to eat BUT if you took your ribs off the smoker at that temp they would be a little tough. The longer you cook them the more tender they become. We recommend an internal temp between 190-203 degrees F. The closer you get to 203 the more fall-off-the-bone they will become so that is personal preference how long you want to let them cook.
- here is a great recipe for how to make BBQ ribs in an Instant Pot! Always fun to try out different kitchen gadgets!
Keywords: smoked baby back ribs, smoked ribs
Originally published October 2016.