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How to Smoke Ribs That Make You Squeal and Grunt

Lavern Gingerich

In barbecue, there is nothing that can compare with unrealistically-delicious ribs, such as those we enjoy smoking around here. I thoroughly enjoy pulled pork, brisket, chicken, and even “run of the mill” smoked ribs—but, these unrealistically-delicious ribs are still a winner for me.  :)

In this article, we are going to show you how to smoke ribs that almost make you feel like crying when you sit down to eat your very own unrealistically-delicious smoked ribs. And we’re going to make it so simple, you can easily do it yourself. Pay close attention though. Here are the secrets:

  1. Use a decent barbeque smoker that’s made to hold a consistent temperature for hours at a time. We believe Meadow Creek makes it fun and easy to smoke ribs.
  2. Start with a nicely trimmed slab of ribs. I’d say go with spare ribs trimmed down to St. Louis style. They tend to have more meat than the baby backs and are not as expensive. But either one is great. Even if your ribs come trimmed, you may need to do a little more trimming before you start. This is important: You don’t want any cartilage and meat past the ends of the rib bones. AND if the small end is a lot narrower than the big end, the small end will get done a lot quicker than the thick end. You can either trim part of it off before it goes into the smoker, or leave it all on and trim it off when it gets done for an early sample.  :)
  3. Remove the membrane on the bone side so more smoke can penetrate the meat. A catfish skinner works very well for this. Or use a knife to get it started and a towel to pull it off.
  4. Cover them with a liberal coating of Meadow Creek’s Brisket Rub. Or try this brisket rub recipe. Try to cover the entire surface with rub, even the edges. You can get enough rub on the meat without using mustard. Pat it on and it will soon turn into a paste as it blends with the moisture in the meat.
  5. Fire your smoker with 100% hardwood charcoal briquettes. We use a propane weed torch or an electric charcoal starter to light the charcoal.
  6. Cook the ribs at 225–250 degrees F in your smoker. Try to keep the temp in the cooker as consistent as you can.
  7. Make some smoke. Add some chunks or pieces of fruit wood for the first couple hours or so to produce a thin blue smoke for the first part of the cook.
  8. If you have hot spots in your cooker, rotate the position of the ribs during the cook to keep them cooking more consistently.
  9. Spray the ribs with apple juice every hour or so as they’re cooking. Or brush them with a mop made of melted butter and rib seasoning.
  10. Cook the ribs for the right length of time. It can take roughly 4-6 hours to cook your ribs. Don’t worry about the time too much. Look for tenderness. Lift one end of a rack with tongs and fold the rack in half. If you see the meat is cracking along the bend, that’s a sign it’s done or close to done. Be careful not to dry them out. The ribs below are done.
  11. When you first pull your ribs off the smoker, immediately wrap them in heavy duty plastic wrap and then in heavy duty aluminum foil. Next put them in an empty ice chest cooler (without ice) for 30 minutes or so. They will come out more tender.
  12. Put the rack of meat on a cutting board with the meaty side down. Cut between each bone and plate them up. Ooooh, if you’re not grunting by now. Look at the smoke ring.

There is a lot more that could be said on how to smoke ribs. Some like them sauced, some like them with rub only. It’s really up to you. You can mix sauce with honey and brush that on in the last hour or so for a nice glaze.

Some like to foil their ribs for the last part of the cooking. That helps to tenderize them, but I like the challenge of cooking them without foil. And you also have to be careful not to overcook them with foil. If you’re not careful, they get so tender, they just fall apart and that is not what you’re looking for either.

Now go smoke some unrealistically-delicious ribs. And resist the squeal.

Have fun!

Lavern Gingerich

14 Responses to “How to Smoke Ribs That Make You Squeal and Grunt”

  1. How to Smoke Ribs (Free Smoked Rib Recipe) | SeriousBBQs.com Says:

    […] Click here to learn how to smoke ribs. […]

  2. Terry LeMaire Says:

    Yummmy…. Look good rib!!!

    [Reply]

  3. Johnny Says:

    Gonna give it a try this way. Mine have been too dry and spouce dont like. Thanks
    Meryy Christmas and a Happy New Year

    [Reply]

    Lavern Reply:

    Hope it goes well. Now that we cook good ribs, my wife actually loves ribs too! :)

    [Reply]

  4. Joseph the Accountant Says:

    Very, Very good article, that meat looks good enough to eat off the page! Where do you get that brisket rub?

    [Reply]

    Lavern Reply:

    Thanks for the feedback. You can buy it from Marlin next door. :)

    [Reply]

  5. Howard Says:

    Looks great,We don’t like to foil either,never tryed brisket rub , we will!Keep up the great articles !!Thanks

    [Reply]

  6. Guillermo Cardona Says:

    Thanks for your recipies. I would like to see how can I get the Brisket BBQ rub?
    Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Lavern Reply:

    If you’d like to buy some, order some from Marlin. Click here for contact information:
    http://www.smokymtbarbecue.com/contact.php

    [Reply]

  7. Jim Turner Says:

    Thanks for sending me the info. on cooking great ribs.I have already used some of your tips. The ribs turned out great. Happy Cooking, Jim Turner, North Carolina

    [Reply]

  8. How to Smoke Ribs | Great Free Tips for the Perfect Rib | SeriousBBQs.com Says:

    […] my article on how to smoke pork ribs that make you squeal and grunt. (You may even shed a few […]

  9. Bob Anderson Says:

    I can’t wait to try it. I have to cook some chickens (Big Red’s Chicken) next month and I’m looking forward to having some ribs!!

    [Reply]

  10. Mike Coloma Says:

    Thanks for your input.

    [Reply]

  11. Richard Seals Says:

    Hi Lavern, I tried to get your Brisket Rub receipe but got a sign that said I was not permitted to go there, most likely because of ABUSE from my ip address?? Of course I have not abused anything and have no website,, so any help would be appreciated, Thanks, richard

    [Reply]

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Struggling to choose the right cooker for your needs? Check out our Meadow Creek cooker comparison charts. If you would like to discuss your dream cooker over the phone, call Marlin toll-free at (877) 602-1568 to get some good, friendly advice. Or if you're close by, come visit our display lot in Pikeville, Tennessee to check out these fine barbeques! We offer a 30-day money back guarantee on all our Meadow Creek barbeque equipment (except the Ultimate Catererssorry, too much risk). Please realize that we (Yoders Smoky Mountain Barbecue) are a dealer for Meadow Creek. This promise applies only if you buy from us. If for any reason you are not happy with your unit, you may return the cooker to us within 30 days of the delivery or pickup date, and we will refund the purchase price minus the shipping and handling. You are responsible to pay the return shipping.
What did you think of the videos? Meadow Creek makes some amazing smokers, pig roasters, chicken cookers, and grills. All this equipment is made in the Amish Community of Lancaster County, PA. The talented craftsmen at Meadow Creek hand-make each unit. They seriously go the extra mile to make sure youre smoked pink. What really puts the sauce on the brisket is all the revolutionary features and options that make barbecue fun and easy, and even a money-machine, if BBQ is your business.
Integrity: Meadow Creek cookers are made in a culture of Godly ethicshonesty, diligence, and fairness. Whether its a Shoo-fly pie or a barbecue smoker, you will be treated right.
Stainless Steel Grates: Every Meadow Creek barbecue cooker comes standard with non-rusting stainless steel grates. This eliminates the hassle of scrubbing rust and the danger of possible rust contamination on your meat.