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Tender Smoked Baby Back Ribs

5 from 33 votes
Published on 05/30/2024 by Umamiology
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These smoked baby back ribs are just fall-apart tender and incredibly juicy. The meat is so succulent and moist that they literally slide off the bone at the slightest tug and impart the richest and meatiest flavor you’ve ever had.

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Just imagine how good these warm, sticky & tender smoked baby back ribs are.

They’ve been smoked low and slow, to perfectly soften the tissue of meat, while retaining it’s delicious juices and moist texture.

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And the flavor from the rub, pairs perfectly with the melted taste of the soft rendered fat in every bite.

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Summer time barbecues don’t get any better than this – when you have a nice rack of smoked baby back ribs on the grill. Add to that, this delicious Lillie’s Q Gold Barbeque Sauce, and you might just have the best ribs you’ve ever tasted.

What Are Baby Back Ribs?

Baby back ribs refer to the smaller set of curved ribs that sit just above the loin area of the pig. They are shorter and more curved than spare ribs and tend to be a bit leaner but slightly more tender, due to the fact that this muscle of the pig gets less usage.

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It’s an incredibly succulent cut of pork – especially when it’s smoked in the proper way, as this recipe will show you!

Key Elements Of This Recipe

The Ingredients for Tender Smoked Baby Back Ribs

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The Equipment Needed

The Perfect Sauce For Smoked Baby Back Ribs

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There are many great barbecue sauces you can use for smoked baby back ribs. My homemade Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce is phenomenal!

But if you don’t have the time to make your own sauce from scratch, then this Lillie’s Q Gold Barbeque Sauce is quite possibly one of the best store-bought sauces for your baby back ribs.

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It’s tangy, sticky and has that rich mustard taste – it’s the perfect match for moist and tender pork ribs or any other smoked meats!

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How To Smoke Baby Back Ribs

Smoking baby back ribs come in 3 easy steps.

First, you prep the meat by removing any silver skin and binding it generously in the dry rub.

Then you smoke directly on your smoker grill for about 3 hours, basting every half hour.

And lastly you braise your baby back ribs by wrapping it in foil with butter and sauce until it becomes tender, soft and delicious.

Pro Tip: If you don’t have a smoker, you can follow these same steps with your oven and it’ll turn out great, but you just won’t have that smokey flavor.

How To Prepare Baby Back Ribs

Start by properly rinsing and patting dry your rack of ribs.

Then, flip the ribs upside down and check to see if the membrane / silver skin is still intact on the rack. If so, using a sharp paring knife, cut a slit on one end of the silver skin on the rack and then using a paper towel for grip, pull on the membrane until it all peels off. (It may take more than one motion).

Next, make your basting syrup by simmering honey, apple cider vinegar and brown sugar in a small sauce pan.

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Afterwards, flip the ribs back over and apply a generous amount of the basting syrup all over the rack (this will serve as our binder for now).

Next, it’s time to apply the dry rub.

In my opinion, my homemade ribs rub is the best dressing you can give your rack of ribs – but if you don’t have the time to make this special rub mix, then the next best option is to pick up a canister of Salt Lick Dry Rub.

Salt Lick is a world famous bbq joint down in Driftwood, Texas – and their amazing dry rub is available to be shipped almost anywhere in the US. Check out the Salt Lick Dry Rub, if you can’t make your own.

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Whatever dry rub you choose, simply shake (or sprinkle) the rub on top of your ribs from a height of at least 6 inches, so that the rub disperses evenly as possible, as it drops onto the meat.

Let it sit & dry brine for about 10 minutes to absorb the flavors in the rub.

How Long To Smoke Baby Back Ribs

Set your smoker to 200°F. (If you’re using a Traeger, you may want to turn on the super-smoke mode.)

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Once your smoker has reached its temperature, place the ribs directly on the grate of the smoker and let it smoke for about 3 hours – applying the basting syrup to the ribs every 30 minutes.

Braise Your Baby Back Ribs

Once 3 hours of the initial smoking period have elapsed, it’s time to braise your ribs for that extra tender texture.

Prepare a foil wrap by cutting off a large sheet of aluminum foil.

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Pull your ribs off of the smoker, give them a liberal basting with your barbecue sauce, top with your pads of butter & wrap them tightly in the aluminum foil.

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Return the foiled ribs back to the smoker and raise the temperature of your grill to 450°F. Smoke until the internal temperature of the ribs hit 205°F.

Putting It All Together

Once your ribs hit the right internal temperature, remove from the smoker, unwrap the foil, and baste once more liberally with your barbecue sauce.

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Slice along the segments of the ribs and garnish with a little bit of fresh cracked pepper (optional) and serve with a cup of your barbecue sauce.

What To Serve With Baby Back Ribs

These are some excellent sides that go perfectly with your tender smoked baby back ribs. (Click on them to go to their recipes.)

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Tender Smoked Baby Back Ribs

5 from 33 votes
These smoked baby back ribs are just fall-apart tender and incredibly juicy. The meat is so succulent and moist that they literally slide off the bone at the slightest tug and impart the richest and meatiest flavor you've ever had.
Author: Umamiology
Servings: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 50 minutes
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Equipment

Ingredients 

Basting Syrup

Instructions 

How To Smoke Baby Back Ribs

  • Smoking baby back ribs come in 3 easy steps.
  • First, you prep the meat by removing any silver skin and binding it generously in the dry rub.
  • Then you smoke directly on your smoker grill for about 3 hours, basting every half hour.
  • And lastly you braise your baby back ribs by wrapping it in foil with butter and sauce until it becomes tender, soft and delicious.

How To Prepare Baby Back Ribs

  • Start by properly rinsing and patting dry your rack of ribs.
  • Then, flip the ribs upside down and check to see if the membrane / silver skin is still intact on the rack. If so, using a sharp paring knife, cut a slit on one end of the silver skin on the rack and then using a paper towel for grip, pull on the membrane until it all peels off. (It may take more than one motion).
  • Next, make your basting syrup by simmering honey, apple cider vinegar and brown sugar in a small sauce pan.
  • Afterwards, flip the ribs back over and apply a generous amount of the basting syrup all over the rack (this will serve as our binder for now).
  • Next, it's time to apply the dry rub.
  • In my opinion, my homemade ribs rub is the best dressing you can give your rack of ribs – but if you don't have the time to make this special rub mix, then the next best option is to pick up a canister of Salt Lick Dry Rub.
  • Salt Lick is a world famous bbq joint down in Driftwood, Texas – and their amazing dry rub is available to be shipped almost anywhere in the US. Check out the Salt Lick Dry Rub, if you can't make your own.
  • Whatever dry rub you choose, simply shake (or sprinkle) the rub on top of your ribs from a height of at least 6 inches, so that the rub disperses evenly as possible, as it drops onto the meat.
  • Let it sit & dry brine for about 10 minutes to absorb the flavors in the rub.

How Long To Smoke Baby Back Ribs

  • Set your smoker to 200°F. (If you're using a Traeger, you may want to turn on the super-smoke mode.)
  • Once your smoker has reached its temperature, place the ribs directly on the grate of the smoker and let it smoke for about 3 hours – applying the basting syrup to the ribs every 30 minutes.

Braise Your Baby Back Ribs

  • Once 3 hours of the initial smoking period have elapsed, it's time to braise your ribs for that extra tender texture.
  • Prepare a foil wrap by cutting off a large sheet of aluminum foil.
  • Pull your ribs off of the smoker, give them a liberal basting with your barbecue sauce, top with your pads of butter & wrap them tightly in the aluminum foil.
  • Return the foiled ribs back to the smoker and raise the temperature of your grill to 450°F. Smoke until the internal temperature of the ribs hit 205°F.

Putting It All Together

  • Once your ribs hit the right internal temperature, remove from the smoker, unwrap the foil, and baste once more liberally with your barbecue sauce.
  • Slice along the segments of the ribs and garnish with a little bit of fresh cracked pepper (optional) and serve with a cup of your barbecue sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 484kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 28gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 100mgSodium: 709mgPotassium: 501mgFiber: 1gSugar: 35gVitamin A: 183IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 68mgIron: 2mg

*Nutritional information is just an estimate derived by an online calculation tool.

FAQ

How long does it take to smoke baby back ribs?

You want to smoke baby back ribs directly on your smoker grill (200°F) for about 3 hours, basting every half hour with sauce or a basting liquid. Then, you’ll want to braise you baby back ribs by wrapping it in foil with butter and returning it to the smoker, until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 205°F.

What is the best barbecue sauce for baby back ribs?

There are many great barbecue sauces you can use for smoked baby back ribs. My homemade Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce is phenomenal! But if you don’t have the time to make your own sauce from scratch, then this Lillie’s Q Gold Barbeque Sauce is quite possibly one of the best store-bought sauces for your baby back ribs.

When are baby back ribs done smoking?

Baby back ribs are done smoking when the internal temperature of the meat reaches 205°F.

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