Smoking Barbeque Ribs for Beginners

smoked bbq ribs

Smoking any meat is not as daunting as the grilling process. One thing you need to remember about the smoking technique is that you need to do the smoking process low and slow. Barbeque ribs are a technique where you need to be patient and enjoy the process. It can take few hours and you have to be prepared mentally for it.

The best part is that you need not worry about when to flip the meat or whether you have to use direct or indirect heat. It’s that easy, all that you have to know is to figure out the type of wood pellets/chips to use, the type of meat you would want to smoke and what flavor is required for the meat. Allow the smoker to do the rest.

Understanding these things is important for making a delicious and juicy smoked ribs recipe. Proper preparation before you begin smoking is necessary to make the process enjoyable. Once you get hold of it, the next time it will be easier.

Type of Wood Chips to Use

Smoking can be done with different types of wood chips and choosing the right kind of wood chips is extremely essential for a successful smoked ribs recipe. Deciding what would be the best is crucial. Certain types of wood chips are suitable for a particular protein. Wood chips come in different range from mild to strong. The best types of wood chips are apple, maple and mesquite. Don’t even consider sap woods like the pine as they will ruin your food and are highly toxic too. 

What type of Ribs to choose?

Smoking Barbeque Ribs for Beginners

The best ribs are the Baby backs and spare ribs. They are tender and have more flavors.

What type of rub should you put on the ribs?

If you want to make your own rub, it is perfectly fine. A combination of equal parts of brown sugar, paprika, cumin and garlic powder is fine. You can skip the salt if you wish to, if your meat already has in it. Even the BBQ sauce has a lot of sauce. If you are looking to purchase a good BBQ rub, then go for Blues Hog Dry Rub. Once you have the ideal rub, then season and rub the meat well. This is the first step to making the best smoked ribs. 

What type of Barbeque sauce should you use?

This is a type that is similar to the rub. The choice is endless. There are various types of BBQ sauces out there in the market, but the one that got our attention was Stubbs Hickory BBQ sauce. This seemed to be the best one for me, but the choice of sauce is entirely dependent on your taste.

How to make BBQ Pork Ribs?

Once everything else is identified, then the next step would be to set your smoker to a low temp of 225 degrees. Rub the pork ribs with the seasoning and allow it to set for 30 minutes so that the flavors get absorbed well into the meat. Set the meat on a rack and place it inside the smoker once it is ready.

Close the lid of the smoker. Do not open the smoker during this time as it will let out all the heat from the smoker. In the meanwhile keep checking on the smoker and make sure there are enough wood chips for use if required.

Cook the ribs for 3 ½ hours. Open the smoker lid and apply your favorite BBQ sauce to the meat. After application, close the lid and allow it to stay for 10 more minutes. After 10 minutes, flip the ribs and apply the BBQ sauce on the other side. Enjoy!!

Alternatives if you don’t have a smoker?

Oven is a nice alternative to cook a smoked barbeque ribs. Just set the temperature of the oven to 300 degrees. Once you reach the required temperature, bake for 2 ½ to 3 hours for the spareribs and 1 ½ hours for baby back ribs. Halfway through cooking, cover the ribs with an aluminum foil to protect the ribs from drying. Brush with barbeque sauce and serve hot. 

Recipe for Smoking Barbeque Ribs for Beginners

Smart points will depend on how much of ribs you eat

3 oz of pork ribs is about 6 smart points


For the rub

  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce of your choice
  • 1 rack of pork ribs

Cooking Instructions

  • Take a large mixing bowl and mix together brown sugar, cumin, paprika and the garlic powder. Mix well to combine
  • Rub this seasoning on to the pork ribs. Flip the ribs and apply the seasoning onto the other side too. Allow it to rest for 30 minutes
  • Set the smoker temperature to 225 degrees 
  • Place the rack of ribs onto the smoker
  • Set the timers to 3 ½ hours and after this time open the lid and apply the BBQ sauce over the ribs. Flip the ribs over and apply sauce onto the other side too. Allow the meat to rest for 30 minutes before you begin serving. 
  • Enjoy with corn on the cob or baked potatoes

Remember not to serve smoking ribs dry. When they are done, glaze it with BBQ sauce. You can set them on direct heat on the grill or apply sauce and then put them back on the rack for 15 more minutes.

Allow the sauce to set into the ribs. The best part of ribs is that once they are done, they are done.

Put them on a platter and cut them in two or three and don’t cut them into individual bones because that can be pretty messy and may not interest many BBQ lovers. Once you know how to smoke a slab of ribs, then you can cook a whole hog quite easily. Bon Appetit!!

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