Smoked Pork Ribs Recipe
, by Steven Gray, 5 min reading time
, by Steven Gray, 5 min reading time
This smoked pork ribs recipe will guide you through the steps of creating tender, flavourful ribs that are sure to impress. Follow this recipe for a delicious and mouthwatering meal.
Next to the revered brisket, pork ribs stand tall on the menu of most barbecue restaurants, offering a smoky, sticky, and sweet delight that's best enjoyed without the need for utensils. When it comes to pork ribs, there are three main cuts to explore: spare ribs, baby back ribs, and the St. Louis cut. Although these cuts vary in shape and length, the fundamental principles for cooking them are quite similar.
Before we delve into this mouth-watering recipe, you can read our guide on how to smoke various meat cuts in a smoker.
The art of achieving delicious pork ribs lies in knowing when to remove them from the grill. The goal is to have the meat pull away from the bone with a touch of resistance, rather than falling off the bone. As pork rib meat is relatively thin, relying on a digital thermometer might not provide the most accurate reading. Instead, you'll need to hone your sense of touch. It takes a bit of practice, but the results are well worth it, not only for ribs but all your low and slow cuts.
The cooking time for pork ribs can vary depending on factors such as the type of ribs, the temperature of your smoker, and the specific cut. In general, here are some guidelines:
Whether to wrap the ribs and when is a contention among BBQ enthusiasts. In the United States, the 3-2-1 method is popular, which involves cooking the ribs for 3 hours, wrapping them for 2 with sauce, butter, and sugar, then unwrapping and cooking for an additional hour. However, in Australia, where ribs are generally thinner, cooking for 6 hours may overdo them.
An alternative approach, especially for home cooking, is to cook the ribs straight through. Around an hour before removing them from the grill, apply a light basting of a BBQ sauce and honey mixture to allow for a flavourful glaze. The choice between wrapped and unwrapped methods is a matter of personal preference, so feel free to experiment with both to find what works best for you.
Begin by carefully removing the silvery membrane from the underside of the ribs. This step is crucial because the membrane won't break during cooking, potentially resulting in a challenging and chewy texture.
Prepare your smoker, aiming for a consistent ambient temperature range between 225°F to 250°F (107°C to 121°C). Maintaining this temperature range is essential for achieving the best results.
Lightly brush the ribs with either mayonnaise or mustard. This adds a subtle flavour and provides a binding surface for the seasoning. Generously apply your preferred pork rub to ensure the ribs are coated evenly.
If you're using a charcoal smoker, add a couple of chunks of your chosen smoking wood. The wood you select can significantly impact the flavour of the ribs, so choose wisely. Common choices include hickory, apple, or cherry wood, each offering a unique smoky character.
Place the seasoned ribs in the smoker and allow them to smoke until a delightful bark forms on the meat's surface. This bark should showcase a dark reddish-brown coloration. The duration of this phase generally ranges from 4 to 6 hours, depending on the type of ribs you're cooking.
About an hour before you remove the ribs from the smoker, it's time to apply a light basting of a BBQ sauce and honey mixture. This step adds a delightful glaze and enhances the flavour of the ribs.
Continue cooking the ribs until they reach your preferred level of tenderness. Remember that the cooking time may vary depending on the type of ribs you're preparing. To assess readiness, employ the "bend test." When lifting one end of the rack with tongs, look for a substantial crack on the surface and ensure that the meat pulls away from the bone with a slight resistance. This indicates that your ribs are perfectly done.
Once your smoked pork ribs are ready, serve them to your eagerly awaiting guests. Be sure to have an abundance of napkins on hand to enjoy this finger-licking masterpiece fully.
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