Smoked Baby Back Ribs

Smoked baby back ribs are a goddamn delicious barbecue treat. This is real barbecue, the kind where shit is slow cooked and smoked for a long time. This is not grilling, this is real barbecue. If you don’t know the difference between grilling and barbecue, then bitch, you don’t know barbecue and its time to get schooled.

Smoked Baby Back Ribs Cooking Time

I generally cook my ribs for about two and one-half hours. This works great when the barbecue retains a temp at 250-ish degrees. I shoot for 225º when I barbecue ribs so sometimes it is necessary to give them a bit longer.

Smoked Baby Back Ribs Temp

When making smoked baby back ribs, you need to try to maintain a temperature range between 225º and 275º. 225º is the ideal low and slow temp for ribs, but when cooking with charcoal temperatures will often vary as you adjust the barbecue. With the Texas style offset barbecue, you adjust the temperature up by opening the vents and bring it back down by closing the vents.

Smoked Baby Back Ribs Too Dry

If the ribs come out too dry, then you probably overcooked them by smoking them too long.

Smoked Baby Back Ribs Too Tough

Tough ribs usually mean they are undercooked. Low and slow cooking is required for ribs. This method of cooking is needed because it breaks down the proteins and changes the structure and texture of the meat. If you cook the meat at too high of a temperature or do not cook it long enough. You will end up with tough ribs. Low and slow is the rule and remember, if you’re looking, you ain’t cooking. Don’t lift that lid, let it cook.

Smoked Baby Back Ribs Brine

Brining meat is a simple and effective way to do a few things. One, it flavors the meat with salt and other spices. Two, it tenderizes the meat. Three, it can keep the meat from drying out, which when you are slow cooking, can be crucial.

Smoked Baby Back Ribs Dry Rub Recipe

If you use brine on your baby back ribs, don’t use rub on them. It will be too much spice. Then again, dry rubs can be added several hours before cooking to make it more of a dry brine. It is said that keeping the rub on for several hours lets the spices soak into the meat and acts much like a wet brine.

The Recipe


Smoked Baby Back Ribs
Prep Time
2 hrs
Cook Time
2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time
4 hrs 30 mins

Smoking ribs with an offset smoker make for a freaking amazing dinner.

Course: Barbecue, Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 people
Author: Ann Sass
  • 1 rack baby back ribs
  • 2 tbsp pork rub
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  1. Remove the membrane from the ribs by placing one finger under the membrane in the middle of the ribs. Make sure you have gone all the way through to the other side to loosen the membrane.

    Remove the membrane from ribs.
  2. Starting from the middle pull the membrane up slightly and begin pulling it off to one side. It should come off in one sheet, try not to rip it.

    Pulling off the membrane from baby back ribs.
  3. Once the one side is off, pull the other side off. This will make your ribs infinitely more tender so don't skip this.

    Removing the membrane from baby back ribs.
  4. Add olive oil and rub in the spice rub. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to cook. You can prep the ribs in the morning for an afternoon or evening barbecue with no problem. 

    Preparing baby back ribs for smoking.
  5. Soak your wood chips at least 30 minutes before cooking begins.

    Soaking wood chips for smoked baby back ribs.
  6. Fire up the charcoal and bring the smoker up to at least 225º F but not more than 275º F. Add a pan of water to the smoker, this will assure you get that pretty red smoke ring on your meat.

    Preparing charcoal in an offset smoker.
  7. Smoke the meat for 2 1/2 hours or until done. I add barbecue sauce at about 2 hours and continue cooking so that it caramelizes.

    Smoking baby back ribs on an off set smoker.
  8. Let rest a few minutes and serve with coleslaw or your favorite side dish.

    Smokey baby back ribs.
Recipe Notes