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Smoked Baby Back Ribs

There is probably nothing I love more than to bite into a sticky, smoky, perfectly cooked rack of ribs. Luckily for you smoked rib perfection is easily within your reach!

One thing I’ve learned over time is that ribs are dead simple to make. You need a good spice rub, a good sauce, some smoking wood and a grill you can easily set up to cook indirect with and the rest is easy!

Some people will swear that you need to use a certain commercial sauce or they may have some trick they saw on BBQ Pitmasters, but at the end of the day, this is all you need to know.

Pork Baby Back Ribs FB

Smoked Baby Back Ribs Recipe

Serves: 2 racks, enough to feed 4 adults (or 2 really hungry adults)

Prep time: 5 minutes to make the rub, 20 minutes to make the sauce, 15 minutes to remove the membrane from ribs and season with rub

Cook time: 3 – 4 hours


  • 2 racks of baby back ribs
  • Rib Rub
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • ¼ cup white sugar
    • ¼ cup paprika
    • 2 tbsp kosher salt
    • 2 tbsp garlic powder
    • 1 tbsp onion powder
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 1 tsp chili powder
    • 1 tsp cumin
  • Barbecue Sauce
    • 2 cups ketchup
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1/3 cup molasses
    • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1/3 cup yellow mustard
    • 1 tbsp kosher salt
    • 1 tbsp chili powder
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 1 small yellow onion finely chopped
    • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Apple Juice


Add all the dry ingredients for the rib rub into a bowl and whisk until combined. Break up any clumps of spice with your hands. The unused rub can be stored in an airtight container for months.

Dice onion and mince garlic. Heat olive oil over medium heat and saute onion and garlic for 3 – 4 minutes. Add remaining sauce ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard onion and garlic. The unused sauce can be stored in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Prep your ribs by flipping them over meat side down and sliding a butter knife under the membrane that is on the back. Loosen the membrane with the knife before using a paper towel to grab the membrane and rib it off in (hopefully) one smooth movement.

Dust each rack of ribs with approx. 2 tablespoons of the rib rub. You can immediately put your ribs on the grill or you can leave them in the refrigerator for as long as overnight. If placing in the refrigerator, rub rubs on a large roasting pan and cover with food wrap.

Prepare your grill for two-zone indirect heat. Aim for a temperature of 250°-275°F. Once the grill is preheated, add your smoking wood. My preferred wood to use for ribs is hickory and apple. Use either ½ cup of wood chips, or 1 fist sized wood chunk. If you think you would like a stronger flavor next time, feel free to use more wood.

Place ribs bone side down on the indirect side of your grill. After 2 hours remove your ribs from your grill and wrap them in a double layer of tinfoil. Add ¼ cup of apple juice to each rack of ribs and place them back on the indirect side of the grill meat side down.

After the ribs have cooked for an additional hour remove them from their tinfoil pouches and place them back on the grill. Once they have “tightened up”, give them a generous coating of barbecue sauce and leave on the grill for 15 – 20 minutes to allow the sauce to get tacky.

Remove your ribs from the grill and serve!