This easy smoked baby back ribs recipe is a deliciously smoked beef grill topped with mustard, BBQ sauce and BBQ sauce. They are delicious and couldn’t be easier to make!
Baby back ribs are one of the most popular grilled dishes. Any smoking enthusiast can probably take pride in preparing a perfectly cooked ribeye.
225°F is usually the rule of thumb for smoking meat, and the same goes for baby back ribs. But how long should we roast them?
The short answer is between 4 and 6 hours. After three hours you should see the meat starting to fall off the bone and the grill developing a nice grill color.
But before you rush to load your smoker, it’s important to remember that there are many variables that can affect how long your baby back ribs smoke.
In my guide today, I’m going to walk you through each of these so you’ll know exactly how long to roast them.
10 quick tips for better ripping
Although smoking ribs is relatively easy, there are many potential obstacles that you may encounter along the way. Here are 10 essential things YOU should consider at your next rib cooking contest!
Don’t go too big
The simple rule is: the larger the cut of meat, the longer it will take to cook. As a guide, I’d recommend buying a rack that weighs around 2.5 pounds, but it can be larger if your grill will accommodate it.
Just be prepared to check the doneness with a toothpick during the process. To do this, insert a toothpick into the meat. If it slides in without resistance, then your costs are done and they’ll likely be wonderfully tender.
If they haven’t reached that stage yet, just let them roast longer.
Use aluminum foil
Using aluminum foil divides a lot of people, and I see the pros and cons on both sides of the debate.
Using aluminum foil can help protect meat from unwanted smoky or charred flavor, can help recycle meat juices that carry more flavor, and can speed up the cooking process.
The main downside is that the iconic grill beef that can develop on the surface of the meat isn’t noticeable when the meat is wrapped in foil. This will tenderize the meat and keep it nice color (instead of turning too dark or black).
I personally like to be somewhere in the middle. I do the first hour or two without foil, and then halfway through I wrap the ribs in foil and brush them with some BBQ sauce. This will help cook the meat slower, add a layer of crust, and also help keep it from drying out.
In total this takes about 4 hours.
Learn how to smoke ribs on a gas grill
How tender do you want your ribs?
While many of us always want meat to be as tender as possible, sometimes this is a matter of personal taste.
When it comes to ribs in particular, many people want them to be tender and “boneless.” This is a melt-in-the-mouth consistency, with the meat falling off the bone as you begin to eat it.
However, the standard in many barbecue competitions is bite. This means that a given bite of meat will separate the meat cleanly from the bone while leaving the remaining meat on the bone intact.
Don’t listen to the BBQ content experts, though: whatever your preference is totally fine. If you like them more tender, until they “fell off the bone”, you need to cook them for another 30-45 minutes.
Watch out for the smoke
Ribs are a delicate cut of meat that doesn’t have the same meat volume as other cuts. This means that the meat cannot withstand the same exposure to smoke as, for example, brisket.
Rather you lightly affect it with smoke than gobble it up. Here aluminum foil can be your friend.
Don’t forget the sauce
Sauce is sometimes discussed with other meats, but ribs without a good BBQ sauce just aren’t ribs.
If you wish to add sauce, simply add it during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking and allow it to “soak” into the meat.
If you heat the sauce too much, it will wilt and caramelize too much, causing the sugar to burn and cake.
To add sauce, remove ribs from smoker and open foil lid. Use a brush to generously brush the sauce directly onto the top layer. Return to the smoker to allow the sauce to settle.
Hold at 225°F
There’s a bit of debate about the best temperature for smoking ribs, some higher for browning and others lower for that tender texture.
The problem with higher temperatures is that they stress and dry out the meat and burn the BBQ ribs or any sauces you’ve put on. I’m not saying tender ribs can’t be achieved, but it does take a great deal of skill.
As for lower temperatures, the lower you go, the more time you add. It can be a real test of patience when it hits 5 hours and you still don’t have cooked ribs.
This can also prove to be problematic as your fire will start producing dirty smoke as your fire becomes more and more deprived of oxygen.
225°F (or 110°C) is a great balance between the two while also ensuring you can achieve that perfect “bite” or “fall off” tenderness.
Remove the membrane
As you cook your ribs, you’ll notice a thin layer of shiny membrane covering the underside of the bones. This isn’t harmful in and of itself, but it can make the ribs very tough and tough when cooked.
Thank you, it is very easy to remove the membrane from the ribs .
At one end of the ribs, slide a table knife between the membrane and the grate to separate them. Slowly tear the membrane off the ribs.
Don’t forget seasoning
The key to any good barbecue is a good massage. Everyone has their own preferences, but here’s an easy dressing recipe to get you started.
Whatever dressing you choose, generously add it to both sides of the dressing.
After seasoning the ribs, cover them with a thin layer of mustard as well. This will help inject a little more flavor and make it a little more tender.
Marinade, marinade, marinade
Not to be outdone with seasoning, a good marinade is a great way to dress up ribs.
Once you’ve seasoned the ribs, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap, then place them in the refrigerator overnight. This allows the spices and mustard to really soak into the meat.
Once your smoker has heated up, unwrap the ribs and season again with dressing and mustard.
Choose the right wood
One of my favorite things about smoking is combining beautiful meat with the right wood.
The combination of a fruity wood with ribs is recommended . Something like cherry wood or apple wood works great without overpowering the meat.
We don’t want to overwhelm the meat, so just throw some wood chips into the smoker.
How to smoke baby back ribs
Baby back ribs are one of the most iconic smoked recipes you can make and they couldn’t be easier to make.
Here’s my in-depth guide to cooking the perfect roast, plus a printed recipe to follow as you cook. geniuses! You will need:
- 1 loin baby ribs
- 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- BBQ rub
- Barbecue Sauce
Start by preheating your smoker to 110°C. This often serves as a popular temperature for smoking meat , and smoking ribs is no different.
The first important step here is removing the membrane from the back or bottom of the frame. There are some people who prefer to leave this on, but in my opinion it becomes a non-pourable layer of fat that only lasts as long as it’s roasted. You can remove it yourself at home or have your butcher do it for you.
Then continue your massage immediately. Lots of people have barbecue sauces that they stay loyal to, but if you don’t have one, I encourage you to try Nice Dry Rib Gravy Recipes.
Start by layering a layer of mustard on the trellis, then move on to the dressing. Don’t be shy about applying your massage. Apply a very generous layer, making sure it adheres to the mustard.
Your ribs are now ready to grill! Place them in your preheated smoker and stick a meat thermometer into the meat between the rib bones.
If you don’t have a thermometer, check out my guide to meat thermometers . It is very important that we can accurately get the internal temperature of the fins so we know when they will reach our target of 195°F.
After about 3 hours your ribs should be around the 170°F mark. At this point, remove the ribs from the smoker and wrap in foil. This will help the ribs cook in their own juices when they are done.
Place the wrapped ribs back in the smoker, replace the thermometer, and cook for another hour.
During this time, the internal temperature of the meat should reach our target temperature of 195°F.
Remove ribs from smoker and unwrap foil. Coat the top of the ribs with BBQ sauce.
Return the ribs to the smoker and cook until the meat temperature returns to 195°F.
Once we have reached the desired temperature, remove the ribs from the smoker and leave them for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving.