Using the generic "pork ribs" because baby backs are so enormous and meaty these days that there's really no difference in cooking them and spareribs. Never gotten less than rave reviews for these smoked ribs, and neither will you.


Recipe Summary

15 mins
5 hrs
8 hrs 40 mins
13 hrs 55 mins
6 servings


Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Remove silver skin from the back of each rack. Rub each rack with 1 teaspoon salt and let sit for 20 minutes.

  • Slather 3 tablespoons mustard on 1 rack, then shake 1/3 cup BBQ rub on top; rub in on all sides until evenly coated. Repeat on the second rack and refrigerate both racks, covered, 8 hours to overnight. Set aside remaining BBQ rub.

  • Remove ribs from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, 20 to 30 minutes. Spread the remaining 1/3 cup rub over the ribs.

  • Meanwhile, mix dry wood chips with charcoal in a smoker and preheat, according to manufacturer's instructions, until temperature is a steady 225 degrees F (107 degrees F).

  • Place a water pan on the smoker (or use the smoker's water tray, if it has one) and add water to the depth of the fill line. Place ribs in the smoker and close the lid.

  • Combine apple juice and beer in a spray bottle. Spritz ribs every hour, rotating each time you spray. Cook for 3 hours, then remove ribs and check temperature. Wrap ribs in aluminum foil, and return to the smoker.

  • Smoke until meat pulls away easily from the bone, 1 3/4 to 2 hours. Remove from the grill and check temperature; an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 170 to 180 degrees F (77 to 82 degrees C). The ribs will be very juicy but the outside will not be crispy.

  • Remove the foil and return ribs to the smoker. Cook until crispy, 15 to 30 minutes; an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 190 to 195 degrees F (88 to 91 degrees C). Remove from the grill and tent with foil to allow juices to resettle into the meat before slicing and serving.

Cook's Notes:

Do not soak the wood chunks. That creates steam. Steam does not have flavor. Use dry smoke only.

I use a rib rack in the smoker but it is not essential. Using foil helps to seal in the juices. Total cook time should be 45 to 50 minutes per pound.

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of BBQ rub. The actual amount of rub consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts

892 calories; protein 59.3g; carbohydrates 19.6g; fat 61.5g; cholesterol 240.2mg; sodium 8480.4mg. Full Nutrition