Best smoked pork ribs

Here’s how you can whip up the best smoked pork ribs like a pro

Chewy, tender, meaty, and flavoursome. These are all great ways to describe what pork ribs can taste like when smoked perfectly.

Whether you’re preparing the ribs completely inside a smoker or finishing it off on the grill for some crispy texture, there are a number of ways that you can cook the best smoked pork ribs you’ve ever had.

Before you stick those beautiful pork ribs in a smoker, you need to follow certain steps if you want to get the most flavour out of your ribs. 

Prepare your smoker

If you think you can just pop those ribs in the smoker and call it day—think again. 

The smoker needs to be prepped for a few hours to get to the right temperature for your ribs to be transformed into the best smoked pork ribs you’ve ever tasted.

Set up your smoker at least 6 hours before you start cooking and set the temperature to 225 oF (110 oC). If you’re planning on slathering your ribs with a scrumptious sauce during the cookout, you need a strong smoke source at the beginning and at the end of your cook.

You can start to cook your ribs once your smoker has reached the right temperature.

Prepare the ribs

While getting your smoker up to temperature is important, selecting the right ribs is just as important to get perfectly cooked juicy ribs. After all, the ribs are the star of the show.

Select a rack of ribs that has equal thickness throughout or it will not cook evenly. There’s no such thing as the perfect rack of ribs but just be sure to select something that is even on all sides to get the best cook. 

Prepare the ribs by trimming excess fat and the membranes. If left, the membranes can block the smoke from reaching the meat and create a tough exterior that’s tough to eat. 

Smother the seasoning and rub

You can’t make the best smoked pork ribs without the right ingredients. Selecting the right rub is your best bet at locking in those flavours. 

Whether you want a sweet or spicy flavour, make sure that you cover the entire rack of ribs with a thick layer seasoning and rub. 

Chances are that some of the rub will fall off so don’t be alarmed if it happens—the thick layer of rub can balance it out.

Cook those ribs!

It’s time to place the ribs on the smoker and start letting it absorb those smoky flavours. 

Here’s a pro tip: don’t stretch out the ribs when you put them on the smoker,as it will make the meat tough. Instead, gently push it together from either end.

Wrap the ribs

When you’re cooking the ribs, follow the 3-2-1 method: smoke the ribs for 3 hours while it’s unwrapped, 2 hours wrapped, and for the last hour, smoke the ribs unwrapped.

Keep in mind that on average, a full rack of ribs will take about 6 hours to cook.

Finish with some sauce

There are two ways you can go about finishing the ribs with sauce.

If you want a crispy exterior, remove the ribs from high heat, apply the sauce, and put it back in the smoker so that the flavour can be absorbed. Make sure to not leave it in the smoker for too long after you’ve applied the sauce, as it can soften up the exterior.

If you’re not crisping the exterior, on the other hand, you can just apply the sauce at the end.

Rest, cut, and serve the best smoked pork ribs

After you’ve taken it off the smoker, make sure your pork rests before you cut into it. This helps the juices inside absorb back into the meat without getting out.

You should let the meat rest for about 10 minutes before you cut into it and serve.

Try out these tips the next time you’re planning to smoke ribs and be prepared for a flavour explosion like no other!