This is the perfect time of year to put that electric smoker to work making smoked baby back ribs! They’re absolutely melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
Traeger pellet smokers are just itchin’ to get cooking, and this smoked baby back ribs recipe is absolutely legendary! An electric smoker with applewood, cherrywood, or mesquite will yield tender, fall off the bone pork baby back ribs!
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Why We Love Smoked Baby Back Ribs
There’s something about lovingly and carefully tended baby back ribs. 250°F might seem like low heat, but that’s the beauty of this recipe. Cook it low and slow for hours while you go about your day. Add the pineapple marinade and smoke another two hours. Coat with your favorite sauce (we used Carolina gold, one of our very favorites!), bring it to just the right smoke time for another hour, and prepare for a sweet, savory, edible work of art!
The time and effort is so worth it! We made these for a get together along with smoked pulled pork and smoked beef brisket, and the ribs literally disappeared from the tray as they were cut. They did not make it to the dinner serving! They’re THAT good.
Why Baby Back Ribs
Baby back pork ribs have ample amounts of fat on them and IN them, and when it comes to meat “fat carries flavor.” So, the best way to smoke these ribs is to carefully tend to them, and they will be the talk of the neighborhood all year long! This recipe covers everything needed to create a BBQ masterpiece!
Smoked Baby Backs Ribs Rub
Notice the sweet, sour, and savory ingredients in this rub? That’s what makes these ribs so incredibly tender and flavorful.
Garlic powder, chili powder, mustard powder, and more are complemented by a healthy dose of brown sugar that adds sweetness to the spice! Make an extra batch and save it for future smoking and grilling adventures!
How to Smoke Baby Back Ribs
Smoked baby back ribs temp should reach an internal temperature of 145°F. So, the best way to cook them is to preheat the smoker (we love our Weber Bullet Smoker for this recipe!) and make sure the charcoal or seasoned wood chips are ready to work their magic! Here’s an overview showing the basic smoking process for this recipe:
- Prepare ribs & rub the spice mixture all around the meat.
- Smoke ribs on the middle grill. Change out the charcoal or flavored wood chips every thirty minutes—unless they burn up sooner.
- Wrap ribs in aluminum foil. Pour the juice over the ribs & seal. Continue smoking according to recipe.
- Finally, take ribs out of the aluminum foil & coat with your fave BBQ sauce. Place them back in the smoker directly on the grill for another hour.
- They are done when the meat slips easily from the bone and the meat has reached 145°F on a digital thermometer. Let the meat rest before serving.
How Long to Smoke Baby Back Ribs?
The amount of time it takes to smoke baby back ribs might seem like a lot, but this recipe makes it all worth it! The total amount of time, with the preparation and the right smoker, is around 7 hours. But the result? Heavenly! And did we say earlier, legendary?
Tips for Leftovers
If it’s on or off the bone, keep leftover smoked baby back ribs in a sealed container in the fridge until you’re ready to use them again.
Even though BBQ ribs are great eaten cold, it’s also easy to reheat them in the microwave, a toaster oven, or in the oven on broil for a few minutes. Add a little salt and pepper and extra BBQ sauce and they’ll be ready to go!
Leftover baby back ribs are delicious served over mashed potato pancakes and with a side of baked beans! Or try it on toasted homemade bread or hamburger buns!
Smoked Baby Back Ribs
- 8-10 pounds baby back ribs 4 racks (about 2-2 ½ pounds each)
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 2 cups barbecue sauce Carolina gold, or your favorite sauce
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon paprika
- 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- In a small bowl, mix together Dry Rub ingredients and set aside.
- Remove membrane from the back of ribs. Rub ribs completely with Dry Rub. Let stand for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat smoker to 250°F.
- Place ribs on cooking grate in smoker. Open smoker door and put wood chunks on hot coals. Use hickory wood or oak wood for best results on this recipe, but any wood will work.
- Add wood chunks every 30 minutes, or as necessary, for the first 3 hours of smoking.
- Leave chamber open for 3-5 minutes every 30 minutes to increase smoke.
- After 3 hours of smoking, remove from the smoker and wrap each rack of ribs in heavy duty aluminum foil shaped like a boat. Pour ¼ of the pineapple juice into each of the foil boats and close the top.
- Place the covered ribs back in the smoker for an additional 2 hours at 250°F.
- Remove ribs from smoker and remove foil. Coat the ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce. (We love Carolina gold.)
- Place the ribs back in the smoker directly on the grill and cook for an additional hour.
- Ribs are done when the end bone easily removes from the rack when pulled with tongs. (Ribs should be 145°F using a thermometer.) Remove and let rest for 10 minutes.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.
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