How to Smoke Pork Ribs Recipe for Best Summer BBQ Ever! | @bestrecipebox

Smoked Pork Ribs

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, BBQ-Grilling
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 4 People per slab
We definitely prefer to use lump charcoal instead of briquettes. Lump charcoal alone will provide a nice smokey flavor, however briquettes, even competition smoking briquettes seem a little flat on the smoke flavor. If using briquettes we highly recommend to also use smoking wood chips. Either harvest your own from fruit or other good smoking wood (ie. apple or stone fruit trimmings, hickory, pecan wood) or buy smoking chips. You can use either St. Louis-style Ribs or Baby Back ribs. The St. Louis will take an hour or two longer because of the bigger bones.

BBQ sauce is optional. Use your favorite sauce at the end of smoking the pork ribs. Here's a homemade sauce we love. 



  • 1 slab St. Louis Cut Pork Ribs or 1 slab Baby Back Ribs
  • Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
  • fresh cracked Black Pepper
  • your favorite BBQ sauce , optional

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  1. Rinse the ribs and if needed, remove the membrane from the underside of the ribs. Here's a link for instruction on how to remove the membrane. Season the ribs liberally with salt and pepper. If using sauce, don't add the sauce yet. You'll sauce them towards the end of smoking.
  2. Light charcoal  (a chimney is our favorite method). If using a side smoker box, place the lit charcoal next to the side vent door (furthest from the grill), then stack the unlit charcoal going towards the grill (not on top of the already lit charcoal). Start with the vents open just a little bit.
  3. Place the ribs in the smoker and close door. After about 15 minutes, check the smokers temperature. You'll want to keep the temperature between 225°F-275°F.  Adjust the vents as needed (less air to cool the temperature, more to increase the heat).
  4. While smoking occasionally adjust the vents to keep the cooking temperature between 225°F-275°F. If using briquettes *see head note, two or three times during the smoking, add a handful of wood cuttings or chips on top of the lit charcoal. (Don't do this too much or else the meat will be overly smoky. Once every hour to hour and half is usually perfect).
  5. *If using sauce-see step 6. Cook for 3-4 hours for baby back ribs, 5-6 hours for St. Louis cut ribs. The ribs should be tender, but not quite falling off the bone. It is nice for them to have a little bite to the meat.
  6. Cooking ribs with a sauce, two options depending on your setup and preference. Option 1: Cook the sauce on the ribs in the smoker over the last 45 minutes or so. Option 2: Cook the ribs completely, sauce the ribs (individually after being cut or the whole  slab-doesn't matter which way) and then quickly sear the coated ribs over direct heat (directly over coals or directly over a gas grill on medium-high). Option 2 gives a better crust and is great if you are cooking the ribs ahead of time and then want to re-heat them before serving. Option 1 is nice if you are serving straight from the smoker.

Recipe Video