I love smoked baby back ribs! They are rich, meaty and such an easy grilling recipe to master. If you’ve never had smoked ribs made in a Traeger grill or other pellet griller you’re missing out! Read on for this unbelievably good BBQ rib recipe that will become a summer BBQ favourite. Believe me, there are never leftovers when you make this tasty but easy grilling recipe.
Use beef or pork ribs depending which you prefer. Either way this is going to be your new summer BBQ favourite for sure!
What You Need for Smoked Baby Back Ribs
As you might expect, this recipe calls for a variety of seasonings. Apple juice, BBQ sauce, marmalade, sugar, and honey add sweetness to the ribs. Mustard, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, garlic, onion, oregano, paprika, chilli powder, and cayenne spice things up.
Some of the wet ingredients are brushed over the ribs before cooking them. The dry ones are used as a dry rub.
How to Make Pitmaster Quality Smoked Baby Back Ribs
Whether you are familiar with smoked ribs made in a Traeger grill or new to smoking, this is an easy grilling recipe.
Let the ribs come to room temperature and remove the membrane from the back if it’s still on there. You will need to preheat the smoker for about 15 minutes. It only needs to be 180 degrees F since slow-cooking is key to perfect fall-apart ribs!
Whisk some of the apple juice with the BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce and mustard. This mixture can be brushed all over the ribs. The next step in this BBQ rib recipe is to combine the dry ingredients. Rub this mixture into the ribs. You can already see how good this smoked baby back ribs recipe is going to get!
The ribs are then smoked on the grill grates for 3 hours. Yes they smell incredible while cooking!
Next you can add honey, sugar and marmalade to the ribs and wrap them in foil, adding the remaining apple juice too. After another couple of hours in the smoker (a little hotter this time at 225 degrees F) the ribs are nearly done. Add BBQ sauce on top and smoke for one more hour.
Let them rest for 15 minutes, since these pellet grilled smoked baby back ribs are going to be really hot. I like to serve fresh cilantro with these smoked ribs made in a Traeger grill or other pellet grill. The herby flavour contrasts with the sweet, sticky sauce. You can serve this summer BBQ favourite with whatever sides you prefer.
Smoked Ribs vs Grilled Ribs
Grilling is cooking something fast and hot over a fire while smoking means cooking something low and slow using smoke. There is also BBQ which means low and slow too. Ribs can be part-baked or smoked and finished off on the grill to crisp them up.
Alternatively they can be smoked for hours. There are also oven baked ribs recipes. For this summer BBQ favourite though, I’d choose the smoker every time! Pellet grilled ribs are always a BIG hit!
Which Ribs are Best to Smoke?
If you’re using pork you can choose from spare ribs and baby back ribs. Spare ribs are bigger and meatier.
A rack of baby back ribs is shorter than spare ribs and tapers at one end. It’s up to you which you choose. Either will work when making a BBQ rib recipe. Spare ribs are maybe better if you’re feeding a crowd. These smoked baby back ribs will go fast….so buy lots!
Do you prefer to use beef? Don’t choose back ribs if so. They barely have any meat on. Choose chuck ribs or plate ribs – either of those would work great.
How Does Smoking Meat Work?
If you’re looking for easy grilling recipe ideas or wondering which BBQ rib recipe to make, you might consider pellet grill smoking. Not everyone has a pellet smoker or a smoking attachment with their grill. But it’s a great investment if you love to cook outdoors in the summer.
When you smoke meat you cook it using the smoke from very hot woodchips aka pellet chips. Choose from mesquite, hickory, cherry, apple, or another type. Each kind of wood adds a different flavour to the finished meat. In addition to these smoked baby back ribs, you can find many other recipes using a smoker on my blog.
You can make smoked baby back ribs at a lower temperature than oven baking or even barbecue. Anything from 125 to about 175 degrees F is typical for smoking. Much hotter and you risk burning the outside of your meat before it’s cooked through. This will also stop the smoke flavours from getting deeper into the meat.
If you’re confident with grilling, smoking is the next cooking method to try your hand at. You will soon be addicted to pellet grilling like I am!
What is a Traeger Grill?
This brand of grill is wonderful for making smoked baby back ribs. Traeger grills are versatile and can smoke as well as grill.
Some top of the range models even have ‘WiFire’ technology so you can keep an eye on your BBQ rib recipe and change the temperature using your phone!
If you like these pellet grilled smoked baby back ribs, you might also like Smoked Cheddar Bacon Stuffed Burgers, Delicious Mesquite Smoked Dry Rub Brisket, Healthy Homemade Smoked Beef Jerky or Smoked Beer Can Chicken with Mexican BBQ Sauce.
Smoke Baby Back Ribs Recipe
Smoked Baby Back Ribs | Summer BBQ Favourite
- 2 Racks beef ribs
- 1/2 Cup apple juice
- 1/2 Cup bbq sauce
- 2 Tbsp. orange marmalade
- 1/2 Cup yellow mustard
- 1/4 Cup honey
- 1 Tbsp. worcestershire
- 1/2 Cup brown sugar
- 1 Tsp. cumin
- 1 Tsp. garlic powder
- 1 Tsp. onion powder
- 1 Tsp. oregano
- 2 Tsp. paprika
- 1 Tsp. white pepper
- 1 Tsp. ancho chili powder
- 1/2 Tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 bunch cilantro
- Let ribs come to room temp. Preheat the smoker to 180* for 15 minutes
- Add mustard, worcheshire, and ¼ cup of apple juice to a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside remaining apple juice. Brush mustard mixture onto both sides of the ribs
- In a small bowl, combine cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, paprika, white pepper, chili powder, and cayenne pepper seasoning. Give it a quick stir, then rub seasoning onto both sides of the ribs.
- Place ribs directly on grill grates and smoke for 3 hours. Remove from the smoker and raise the temp to 225*
- Add ribs to a foil lined baking pan. Sprinkle ½ of the honey, orange marmalade, and brown sugar onto the first rack of ribs, cover with a sheet of foil, then top with the second rack of ribs. Repeat adding honey, marmalade, and brown sugar. Pour remaining apple juice into the pan and place back into the smoker for 2 hours.
- Remove ribs from foil and pan. Brush both sides with your favourite BBQ sauce and return to the smoker directly atop the grill grates. Smoke for an additional hour.
- Let ribs rest for 15 minutes. Slice and garnish with fresh cilantro.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
I guarantee you will have no leftovers when you make these pellet grill smoked baby back ribs because they are a summer BBQ favourite. This easy grilling recipe will be one you use lots for smoked ribs made with a Traeger grill or other pellet griller. Bookmark this delicious BBQ rib recipe for your next summer get-together.
If you are looking for a tasty side dish try this Canadian Poutine – Smothered Fries with Cheese Curds, Bacon and Gravy with these ribs.