We officially know how to make the best smoked ribs.
Barbecue is a true art. We’ve enjoyed chasing the best food around the world and had our fair share of bbq along the way.
From finding the best barbecue in Kansas City and tasting the best that Texas has to offer at the Texas Monthly BBQ Fest, we’re pretty well-versed on good ‘cue. Living in Austin, Texas, we won’t even attempt making brisket at home. We leave that meat to the masters. Pork ribs on the other hand, are definitely a meat we’ve had success making at home.
When smoking ribs, we’ve come to love the tried-and-true method of 3 2 1 ribs. This method of smoking ribs takes 6 hours of smoking time and we’ve found they always turn out great.3 hours of smoke, 2 hours steaming in foil, and 1 hour cooking sauced. They are the BEST smoked ribs.
We received a shipment of beautiful baby back ribs from Omaha Steaks this month and knew that smoking ribs was the way to go.
The ribs come packaged and sealed as half-racks, which is really helpful so it doesn’t take up an entire shelf of your fridge. The ribs are trimmed to perfection, which means there was only a thin membrane left to remove on the ribs during the prep stage. They are tender and delicious!
The ribs were the perfect main dish when we hosted a grill-out with our neighbor and her new boyfriend. We drenched the baby back ribs with some BBQ sauce that we brought back from Kansas City’s top barbecue restaurant. It was a perfect double date! For other group date ideas, you can check out our new date night database here or from the main menu of our site.
Let’s get cookin’!
Picking Your Smoked Ribs Rub
You’ll want to find your choice of a smoked ribs rub to put on the meat before you pop them on the smoker. We usually opt for a sweet and savory rub. Consider mixing together brown sugar with smoky paprika and add in a bit of Cayenne for gentle heat. This time, we used Omaha Steaks’ Sweet Smoky Applewood Rub.
Hot tip - Check their site for deals, sometimes you can even add this rub on to your Omaha Steaks order for under a buck!
We use a Traeger Grill when we’re making these pellet grill ribs and their guidebook for the electric smoker comes with a description of 3 2 1 ribs that we’ve adapted for this recipe.
How to Smoke Ribs using the 3 2 1 Method
Start by revving up your smoker. If you use an electric pellet grill, turn your smoker to the smoke setting for 5 minutes.
Head back to the kitchen to remove the membrane from the underside of your ribs. This is a thin, silvery layer on top of the meat and bone. Slide a butter knife under the membrane to loosen the layer, then using your hands, pull the membrane until it is removed. If your butcher has already removed the membrane from the ribs, omit this step.
Next, generously pat your dry rub onto the baby back ribs on both sides. Place the ribs directly on the smoker, meat side up for three hours. Mix together ⅓ cup of yellow mustard, ¼ cup of apple juice, and 1 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce. Baste the ribs with this mixture every hour during the three hour smoking process.
After smoking the ribs for three hours, remove the ribs from the smoker and turn the heat to 225 degrees F. Place the ribs on a long sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Sprinkle the ribs with ¼ cup of brown sugar across all the racks. Top the rib racks with a drizzle of ⅓ cup of honey and then add ¼ cup of apple juice on the top.
Seal the aluminum foil pouch so no liquids can escape. Pop these aluminum foil packs of ribs onto the smoker for two more hours. After the two hours are complete, remove the ribs from the foil, glaze them with your favorite BBQ sauce, and return them to the smoker (still at 225 degrees F) for another 30-60 minutes.
Remove the baby back ribs from the grill, let them rest for a few minutes, and enjoy these amazing smoked ribs using the 3 2 1 method. They’ll be perfectly smokey and tender!
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This recipe was created in sponsorship with Omaha Steaks, thank you for supporting brands that we love!