Easy Smoked Ribs are tender, delicious, and mostly hands off. Even if you don’t have a smoker you can still have delicious ribs for your barbecue.
Yes. I can hear you. “I don’t have a smoker.” And that’s okay. You can still have easy smoked ribs for your outdoor party or family gathering. With just a few simple tools and some wood chips, you can smoke ribs on any grill.
Since I have an electric smoker that takes wood chips this is easy for me to do. For those with a charcoal grill or even a gas grill this might be a little difficult. But not impossible! It can be done! I smoked a brisket with my gas grill before we got the smoker. So, you can smoke ribs. Trust me.
Yes, it will take a little more effort, but do not dismay!
Just get a good grill thermometer first and foremost. You need to be able to control the temperature within the range of 200 to 225. The temperature is crucial for smoking. If it’s too high, they cook too fast. To low, they cook too slow. And since this is mostly a time-based method, you need to be able to keep the temperature consistent.
Next you’re going to need a smoker box.
It doesn’t have to be one of those official ones that are cast iron. To be honest, I used a couple of tin foil pans and some foil on top. I put the chips in the pan and poked holes in the foil I covered the pans with. Voila! Makeshift smoker box.
Aside from foil and a good rub, that’s all you really need. A thermometer and a way to create smoke via a smoker box or some tin foil pans. I used the loaf pans for my impromptu smoker box. They were the perfect size for my grill.
I used my gas grill the first time I smoked the brisket. I had the two burners on the far right and left on. The center was the offset heat area for the ribs. I fashioned two smoker “boxes” to put on the right and left side. I wasn’t sure one would circulate enough smoke, so I used two. They worked like a charm!
To soak or not to soak your wood chips.
Now there’s some debate about soaking the chips or not. I did not. The chips have to dry before they can begin to smoke. So it’s sort of counter productive to soak the chips if you’re looking for a good smoke. And to make easy smoked ribs, you’re going to need the smoke. So, don’t soak your chips.
I use the 2:2:1 method for smoking ribs.
What in the world does that mean? I hear you. That means I smoke for 2 hours making sure there is PLENTY of smoke for those 2 hours. I spritz the ribs halfway through to make sure they don’t dry out. Then I wrap them in foil and continue to smoke for another 2 hours. This ensures that that the ribs are super tender and fall off the bone.
For the last hour, remove the foil and baste the ribs. This is where you want a delicious barbecue sauce that is sticky and finger licking good. On of my recent faves is Curry Beast. I used it when I made grilled curry barbecue chicken. It does not have as much curry flavor as you think. It’s the perfect amount, IMHO.
Other than that, I’m partial to the Kansas City Gates & Sons sauces. It’s heavy on the celery seed. Which I think is delicious. It’s not as sweet as most sauces which I also love. Next would be the sweeter, more traditional KC sauces. Of course, all bets are off if I’m slow cooking a roast. That would be North Carolina style all the way!
Basting the ribs with sauce forms a lacquer.
See what I mean? That sauce is just lacquered on those ribs. It’s sticky and will take actual soap and water to come off. No hand wipes will work for these babies. So, when I say these are finger licking good, I mean it.
And these easy smoked ribs are total fall off the bone tender.
You can see how I tried to cut them, but they just weren’t having it. They were so tender it was easier to pull them apart then try to slice with a knife. Of course, it might have been the knife. I’m not the best with the sharpener and the other refuses to hear me when I say they’re dull again.
You can see a little pink from the smoke ring. I have yet to achieve that. It’s probably because I haven’t smoked something long enough to achieve that epic red ring. But not to worry because these ribs have plenty of smoky flavor.
So, you can see how deliciously easy smoked ribs are. If you’re using foil pans, make sure to be careful when you’re replacing the spent chips with new ones. We have a spare pan that we put them in that sits on the ceramic topped table to cool. You could pour water in there, but that just makes a mess when you go to toss them out. Unless you can compost them. There’s an idea. Since we do not compost I’m not sure if you can use those or not.
Just as an FYI, I used a cherry and mesquite wood combo. It had enough smoke with a little sweet that tasted delicious with these ribs. I also smoked some wings at the same time and I didn’t want them to be overpowered with smoke flavor. I’ll have to go over the differences in wood chips and their flavor another time!
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds pork ribs
- 1/2 cup barbecue rub
- 12 ounces apple juice
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. Using a knife, carefully lift up one piece in the corner. Using a paper towel, slowly pull the membrane from the back of the ribs.
- Rub the barbecue rub over the ribs coating as much as possible. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator at least 2 hours. Overnight is best.
- Remove the ribs from the fridge 1 hour before smoking.
- Preheat your smoker to 225. Or preheat your grill with medium low offset heat and place chips in a smoker box or aluminum pan.
- Place the apple juice in a spray bottle.
- Smoke the ribs, making sure there’s constant smoke for 2 hours. Spritz the ribs with the apple juice after smoking for 1 hour.
- Remove the ribs and wrap tightly in foil. Smoke an additional 2 hours.
- Unwrap the ribs and brush with barbecue sauce. Cook the ribs an additional hour basting with barbecue sauce every 20 minutes.
- Allow to rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 690Total Fat 48gSaturated Fat 14gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 21gCholesterol 166mgSodium 762mgCarbohydrates 30gFiber 1gSugar 25gProtein 35g
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