The 5 Best BBQ Smoked Ribs Recipes

Make your next BBQ dinner one to remember with these five amazing BBQ smoked ribs recipes compiled by our BBQ experts.

75% of Americans owns a grill or smoker BBQ. So it’s unsurprising that 80 million of you enjoyed the delicious taste of a BBQ in 2016.

But next time you fire up your smoker you might want to try something a little different. Smoked ribs are a surefire way to make the most of your smoker and impress your guests.

They’re also great because the perfect smoker – we wrote guide on what to look out for when buying a smoker over here – will do a lot of the work for you. But you can give your ribs an extra kick using one of these amazing BBQ smoked rib recipes.

Read on to find out more!

Using Your Smoker for Your Best BBQ Smoked Ribs Recipes

Before you flavor your ribs, it’s a good idea to set your smoker up. That way it’ll be the perfect temperature once your ribs are ready to go in!

Light around six to eight pieces of charcoal and wait for them to reach a full burn. Then you can add the firebox and set your smoker to preheat to the right temperature. You can keep the smoker stoked by adding more coal.

Most ribs cook well starting at 225°F. However, their cooking time will vary depending on their size.

Smaller racks will cook faster than larger racks. A meat thermometer will help you know when they’re done. 160°F is the safe internal temperature for eating pork and beef.

You won’t need any additional trays, just place your ribs straight on the grill in the cooking chamber. Some people like to put a metal pan of water at the end of the grill nearest to the firebox. This helps keep your meat moist while it’s smoking.

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A lot of people think that once the ribs are in that’s their job done. But there are a few things to keep an eye on the get the best possible flavor from your smoker.

Make sure you keep the fire stoked. Adding a few lumps of wood every half hour will keep the fires burning nicely. But you can tell a lot by the color of the smoke so let this guide you.

If your ribs aren’t wrapped, spray them with water every hour. This will also ensure that they don’t dry out.

For more tips on getting the best flavor from your smoker, check out our 9 top tips for smoking ribs!

Homemade BBQ Rub For Your Smoked Ribs

BBQ Smoked Ribs Recipes
Homemade Smoked Barbecue St. Louis Style Pork Ribs with Sauce.

A lot of people use store-bought rubs for their ribs, but making them from scratch is easy and delicious.

This simple recipe will leave room for you to taste to the amazing hickory smoke flavor. So you can use it as a basis for any hickory smoked BBQ ribs recipe.

To feed four people you will need:

  • 1 rack of pork ribs, either St Louis-style or baby back ribs
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of paprika
  • 2 tablespoons of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • ½ tablespoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1½ tablespoons of mustard powder
  • 1½ tablespoons of ground black pepper

Set aside the ribs and combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Make sure you mix them thoroughly for an even taste.

Lay the ribs on aluminum foil and cover other sides generously with the rub. You might want to remove the rib’s membrane to ensure all the flavor from the rub gets in.

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Place the ribs on the grate in the cooking chamber and make sure the end vents are open. Then you can close your cooking chamber and let your smoker work its magic!

Leave the ribs to smoke for three to five hours.

Once cooked remove the ribs and wrap them in aluminum foil. If you want to add any sauces or glazes do this before wrapping them. Then let them sit in the smoker for another 30 minutes.

After taking them out, let the ribs sit for 15 minutes. This allows the meat to settle and soak up any remaining sauce. Then they’re ready to eat!

Marinated BBQ Ribs

Marinating ribs is a great way to infuse them with extra flavor even before they’re cooking. For this recipe you will need:

  • 2 racks of baby back ribs
  • 3/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup of chicken brother
  • 1 cup of sugar – split in half
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons of cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 3 minced cloves of garlic
  • A dash of cayenne pepper

Mix together the broth, olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and half a cup of sugar in a jug.

Then remove the membrane from your ribs and place them in a baking dish. This should have sides high enough to hold the liquid. Pour two-thirds of your mixture over the ribs and flip them to make sure they’re thoroughly coated.

Refrigerate them overnight so they will soak up the marinade. Cover the remaining marinade and place it in your refrigerator.

Once your ribs have soaked in the marinade for at least 12 hours, drain this and discard it.

Now you’re ready to make your rub. Mix together the other half cup of sugar with the salt, paprika, chili powder, pepper, and garlic powder. Then use this to thoroughly coat both sides of your ribs.

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Set them to smoke in your cooking chamber. Remember that baby back ribs will cook quicker than other cuts.

Once they’re cooked through remove them and cover them in the remaining marinade. Then wrap them and leave them to smoke for a further 30 minutes.

Sweet BBQ Smoked Pork Rib Recipe

Pork tastes amazing with anything sweet, and this recipe maximizes on that. It even uses a little smoking trick for added flavor!

You need:

  • Baby back pork ribs
  • 2 tablespoons of ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 1 cup of apple juice
  • 1/4 cup of salt
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar (in addition to the tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce
  • Apple, grape, pear, and cherry chips

First, you’ll need your rub. Combine the salt, white sugar, black pepper, and white pepper. Also add the onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, tablespoons of brown sugar, and cumin to the bowl.

Use this rub to generously cover your ribs all over. Then wrap them in plastic and put them in the refrigerator. This acts like a mini, dry marinade.

After 30 minutes unwrap them and put them int your cooking chamber. Add the chips to your smoker pan and bring the heat up to 270°F. Then let your ribs smoke for 1 hour.

While they’re smoking make a glaze using the apple juice, BBQ sauce, and remaining brown sugar. After your ribs have been smoking for an hour, brush them with the sauce. Repeat this every half an hour to forty-five minutes until they’re cooked.

This should take about three to four hours. You can tell when they’re cooked because the meat won’t be pink anymore. It will also start to shrink back from the bone.

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Once they’re cooked remove them and put them in a tight aluminum foil wrap. Leave them to rest for 15 minutes before eating them.

Spicy BBQ Smoked Ribs

Sweetness is great but if you’re looking for spice this is the recipe for you! And this generous serving is great if you’re having lots of people over. It feeds 15 to 20.

You will need:

  • 6 racks of pork baby back ribs
  • 2 cups of BBQ sauce
  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup of brown mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • 6 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 five-ounce cans of chipotle peppers
  • 2 can of Dr. Pepper (yes, really!)

Create a marinade in a saucepan using the brown sugar, BBQ sauce, Dr. Pepper and garlic. Then add the mustard, chipotles, and vinegar.

Let this come to a boil and then reduce the heat so it simmers and thickens. This usually takes about 20 minutes. Let it cool and put half in the refrigerator to use later.

Use the remaining half of marinade to cover the ribs. You want them to be properly covered all over to give them the fullest flavor. Then wrap them and refrigerate them.

After 8 hours they’re ready to smoke! Pop them in your cooking chamber for 3 to 4 hours.

With this many ribs, you might not be able to fit them all in at once. Whatever you do, don’t double stack the ribs. Doing this will slow down the cooking time and might leave you with an uneven smoke.

Instead, you could relay them or cook some in advance. Or, if you have a friend with a smoker get them all going at once!

30 minutes before you take them out brush them with the remaining marinade. Then let them cook for another 30 minutes before you rest them.

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Sweet, Spicy and Smokey Beef Ribs

Smoking isn’t just a great way to cook pork. You can improve on any beef rib recipe by using your smoker to slow cook it. This one is a crowd pleaser that means you don’t have to choose between sweetness and spice!

You’ll need:

  • 2 racks beef back ribs
  • 1 cup of orange juice
  • 1/3 cup of freshly chopped pineapple
  • 2/3 cup of freshly chopped cherries
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 a jalapeno pepper (chopped up)
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • A dash of salt and pepper
  • A handful of cilantro

To speed this one up you can start by getting the ribs on the smoker. This recipe is all about the glazing so you only need to season them with a bit of salt and pepper. But do make sure you cover them on both sides.

Then heat your smoker to 300°F and let the ribs smoke for 3 to 4 hours.

While they’re cooking you can make your glazing sauce. Combine the rest of your ingredients in a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer.

After 15 minutes remove the sauce from the heat and blend it in a blender. Return the blended sauce to the heat and let it simmer for another 10 to 20 minutes. During this time it should thicken to become like BBQ sauce.

Once your ribs are fully cooked lather them with half a cup of this sauce then return them to the smoker. After 10 minutes, remove them. You can serve them up straight away with the rest of your sauce.

Now You’re Ready to Smoke!

Any of these BBQ smoked rib recipes is sure to impress your guests. Or try them out to spice up your Sunday afternoon family BBQ.

And for more amazing BBQ ideas, check out our recipes!

The 5 Best BBQ Smoked Ribs Recipes

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