how to cook pork ribs in a bbq smoker

Are you ready to take your grilling game up a notch? There’s no better way to do it than by learning how to cook pork ribs in a bbq smoker. If you’re looking for juicy, succulent ribs that will have everyone coming back for seconds, then this is the guide for you. We’ll show you exactly what steps are needed from prepping and setting up the smoker all the way through finishing touches so that when dinner time comes around, those tasty morsels of meat will be waiting on your plate. Let’s get started and learn how to cook pork ribs in a bbq smoker.

Table of Contents:

Preparing the Ribs

Trimming the Ribs:

Before you can begin to cook your ribs, they must be trimmed. Start by removing any excess fat or gristle from the ribs with a sharp knife. This will help ensure that your ribs are cooked evenly and that no unpleasant flavours linger in the finished product.


Once you have trimmed your ribs, it’s time to season them. A good rib rub should include salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and other spices of your choice. Rub this mixture into both sides of each rack of ribs until fully coated before moving on to marinating.


marinated meat

Marinating is an important step for adding flavour and tenderising the meat before cooking. You can use store-bought marinades or make one yourself using oil (olive or vegetable), vinegar (apple cider works well) and herbs such as rosemary or thyme. Let the racks sit in the marinade for at least two hours before cooking – overnight is even better.

Finishing Touches:

Finally, once you’ve seasoned and marinated your ribs it’s time to add some finishing touches. If desired, brush each side with barbecue sauce just before placing them on the smoker; this will give them a nice glaze when done cooking. Additionally, feel free to sprinkle extra seasoning over the top if desired for added flavour.

Once the ribs have been prepped, it’s time to get the smoker ready for cooking.

Setting Up the Smoker

a man cooking the barbecue outdoors

To produce mouthwatering ribs, the smoker must be properly set up. The first thing to consider when setting up your smoker is what type of wood chips you’ll be using. Different types of wood will give different flavours to your meat, so it’s important to choose wisely. Popular options include hickory, mesquite, applewood and cherrywood.

Once you have chosen the type of wood chips that best suits your taste preferences, it’s time to adjust the temperature on your smoker. Most smokers should be set between 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal cooking results. It may take some trial and error before you find the perfect temperature for smoking ribs but once you do, make sure to write down or remember this setting as it can help ensure consistent results each time you smoke ribs in the future.

It’s also important not to overload your smoker with too much fuel or too many wood chips at once as this can cause an uneven cook which can lead to tough or dry ribs instead of tender and juicy ones. Start by adding just enough fuel (charcoal) and wood chips (1/2 cup per hour) until the desired smoke level has been achieved then add more if needed later on during the cooking process.

Finally, don’t forget about airflow. Make sure there are no obstructions blocking air from entering into the bottom vents while allowing smoke out through the top vent; this helps regulate heat inside the chamber which ultimately leads to better-tasting food every time.

After setting up and preparing the smoker, it is time to commence the cooking process for the ribs. Follow these instructions for perfect results every time.

Cooking the Ribs

Cooking the ribs is an art form, and getting it just right can be tricky. But with a few simple tips, you’ll be able to get perfect results every time.

grilling the meat

First of all, you need to know how long to cook the ribs for. Generally speaking, baby back ribs should be cooked at 225°F (107°C) for around four hours while spareribs should take closer to five hours at the same temperature. It’s important that your smoker stays consistent throughout this period so make sure you keep an eye on it and adjust as necessary.

Once your smoker is set up correctly and your timer is ticking away, there are a few other things you can do to ensure perfectly cooked ribs each time:

• Add some wood chips or chunks for extra flavour – hickory or mesquite work well here;

• Mop or spray the ribs with apple juice during cooking;

• Cover them in foil after two hours if they look like they’re drying out too much;

• Turn them over halfway through cooking so both sides are evenly exposed;

Finally, when it comes time to serve up those delicious-looking racks of meaty goodness, resist the temptation to dive straight in. Letting them rest for 10 minutes will help lock in all that juicy flavour before serving. Enjoy.

Cooking the ribs in a BBQ smoker is an easy and delicious way to enjoy succulent pork ribs. Now, let’s move on to the finishing touches that will make these ribs truly irresistible.

Finishing Touches

When it comes to finishing off your smoked pork ribs, there are a few key things you should keep in mind. The first is when to add BBQ sauce or other glazes. Generally speaking, the best time to apply these sauces is about 10 minutes before the end of cooking time. This will allow them to caramelise and form a delicious crust on the outside of your ribs without burning them.

Another important factor for achieving that perfect finish is temperature control. You want your smoker’s internal temperature to remain consistent throughout the entire cook process so that you can ensure even cooking and avoid overcooking or undercooking any areas of your ribs.

Finally, don’t forget about the sides. A great way to round out a meal featuring smoked pork ribs is with some classic side dishes such as coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans or macaroni and cheese – all of which pair perfectly with this smoky dish.

FAQs in Relation to How to Cook Pork Ribs in a Bbq Smoker

How long does it take to smoke BBQ pork ribs?

Smoking BBQ pork ribs is a process that requires patience and attention to detail. Generally, it takes about 4-5 hours of smoking time at 225°F for the ribs to be cooked through. This includes prepping the ribs with a dry rub or marinade, setting up your smoker, and maintaining an even temperature throughout the cooking process. Once you’ve reached an internal temperature of 195°F in the thickest part of the rib, they’re ready to eat. With proper preparation and technique, you can enjoy delicious smoked pork ribs in just over four hours.

How long does it take to smoke ribs at 225 degrees?

Smoking ribs at 225 degrees typically take between 3-4 hours. The exact time will depend on the size of the ribs and how much smoke flavour you are looking for. Generally, smaller ribs take less time to cook than larger ones. It is important to check the internal temperature of your ribs with a meat thermometer; when they reach an internal temperature of 195°F, they are done cooking. Be sure to monitor your smoker’s temperature throughout the smoking process as well, as maintaining consistent heat is key for successfully smoked meats.

What is the 3 2 1 rule for smoking ribs?

The 3 2 1 rule for smoking ribs is a popular method of cooking ribs that ensures they are cooked perfectly every time. The rule involves smoking the ribs for three hours, wrapping them in foil and adding liquid (such as apple juice or beer) to the foil before cooking them for two more hours. Finally, remove the foil and cook the ribs uncovered for one hour until they reach your desired level of doneness. This technique helps ensure that your ribs are tender and juicy with just enough smokiness to give them flavour without being overpowering.

What is the best way to smoke BBQ ribs?

Smoking BBQ ribs is an art form that requires patience and skill. To get the best results, you should use a charcoal smoker with indirect heat. Start by preheating your smoker to 225°F (107°C). Once it’s up to temperature, add your favourite wood chips for flavour. Place the ribs on the grill grate away from direct heat and close the lid. Smoke for 3-4 hours or until tender when pierced with a fork. Finally, brush with barbecue sauce and finish cooking over direct heat for 5 minutes per side before serving.


Cooking pork ribs in a bbq smoker is an art form, and with the right preparation and technique you can create delicious results. With these steps about how to cook pork ribs in a bbq smoker as your guide, you should be able to master the process of cooking pork ribs in a bbq smoker like a pro. So fire up that smoker and get ready for some mouth-watering barbecue – it’s time to cook those pork ribs.

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