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How Long to Cook Ribs in Smoker

To many people, nothing says summer like a rack of barbecued pork ribs, coated in the rub, drenched in sauce, and smoked to utter perfection. The meat turns out soft and juicy from the cooking process, and it’s difficult to resist, especially if it’s smoked by a pro. Well, not a pro exactly; in truth, with smoked rib recipes, all you have to do is follow the proper cooking directions and timing recommendations to make a masterpiece.

This article has provided a number of helpful tips and guidelines to guide you to excellent results, so make sure to pay close attention. Also, take particular note of the timing guidelines since they are crucial to achieving tasty ribs at the end of your cooking.

Prepared smoked ribs in serving dish.

Ribs Nutrition Facts

How Long To Cook Ribs In Smoker

Tips for Cooking Ribs in Smoker

The following tips, guidelines, recommendations, and suggestions have been compiled to ensure that you get desirable results when cooking ribs in a smoker:

Prepare the ribs properly – It’s critical to properly prepare the ribs before you begin cooking. On the back (bony side) of the ribs, there is a thin, glossy membrane that needs to be removed. Scrape up the side of the membrane with a knife, then carefully take it off the entire rib rack using a paper towel or your fingers.

It’s possible that this membrane will tear during the process, so keep working on it until it’s completely gone. Your cooked ribs will end up more tender and absorb the depth of smoky flavor from the grill if the membrane is removed.

Dry rubs are beneficial – A dry rub typically consists of salt, dry spices, and occasionally sugar. It should properly complement your preferred barbecue sauce and adds a lot of richness to your ribs. There are several variations available in food stores, but creating yours is also very simple.

When you do decide on the contents of your dry rub, apply it generously to all sides of the ribs (don’t leave out the back area) at least one hour before you cook them. It’s even possible to leave it on overnight for even more flavor.

Use the 3-2-1 smoking method – In recent years, this method of smoking pork ribs has received a lot of favor among home cooks, thanks to its consistent results in producing incredibly soft and delicious ribs every time. This is how to do it:

  • Begin by smoking the seasoned ribs for 3 hours over low heat with strong smoke.
  • Following the first 3-hour smoke, baste the ribs with your preferred liquid (apple cider is a good choice, add ¼ cup of dark brown sugar, as well as 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter). Afterward, simmer the ribs for another 2 hours at 225 to 250 degrees. Look for significant withdrawal of the flesh from the bones after the braising phase. At least ¼ to ½ inch of the bones should be revealed at the end of the ribs.
  • Finally, baste the ribs with your preferred BBQ sauce, then put them back on the grill for another hour at least (maybe plus 30 minutes extra) to finish the cooking and let the sauce set in.

You’ll be pleasantly shocked at the results you’ll get from cooking your ribs this way, and your family will definitely enjoy eating it all up

Cooking Time for Ribs in a Smoker

Follow the timing guidelines in the table below to get the best out of your cooking with smoked rib recipes:

Cooking procedureCooking time
Cooking baby back ribs in the smoker6 hours in total:


3 hours at 180 – 200 degrees Fahrenheit,

2 hours (wrapped in foil) at 225 degrees Fahrenheit and

1 hour (uncovered and coated in sauce) at 225 degrees Fahrenheit

Yield: 3 servings

Perfect Fall Off the Bone Ribs

Prepared smoked ribs in serving dish.


  • 1 rack of baby back ribs
  • 2 tablespoons of pork rub
  • 1 cup of apple cider (apple juice or beer also works)
  • ¼ cup of dark brown sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of salted butter
  • ½ cup of BBQ sauce


  1. Remove the membrane from the rear of the ribs first.
  2. Beginning with the bone side, season both surfaces of the ribs liberally with the sweet rub.
  3. Make sure your smoker is set up for indirect smoking. The temperature should be between 180 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and the smoker should produce a thin blue smoke. Close the cover on the smoker and add the seasoned ribs. Allow 3 hours for them to smoke.
  4. Place a huge piece of aluminum foil on a large work surface and tear it apart. To prevent the bones from tearing through the foil, place the rib's bone side up on the foil. Sprinkle the ribs with brown sugar, then top with the butter, which should have been cut into little pads, before pouring in the apple cider.
  5. To make an airtight closure, tightly pinch the foil together. Return the ribs to the grill and raise the temperature as near to 225 degrees as possible. Allow the ribs to braise in the foil for 2 hours.
  6. Take the ribs off the grill with care and set them on a big work surface. Use tongs to take the ribs from the foil packet (do this with care since there's hot steam) and lay the ribs back on the grill, with the bony side facing down. Throw away the foil and any leftover cooking liquid.
  7. Use your preferred BBQ sauce to brush the ribs, cover the grill, and then cook the ribs for an extra hour at 225 degrees until they get sufficiently done to your liking and the sauce is set with a sticky quality.
  8. Serve the ribs hot with any delicious sides of your choosing, or eat them as is; they’re delicious either way.

This smoked rib recipe is super delicious and satisfying. Cooking ribs using the 3-2-1 method is a foolproof way to achieve tender ribs that fall off the bone. This entire recipe was cooked completely in a total duration of 6 hours and 5 minutes, including a prep time of 5 minutes.

Never forget that ribs benefit from being smoked in lower temperatures over a long period of time. If you’d like more recipe ideas for smoked pork ribs, then we suggest that you check out this video recipe.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 635Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 127mgSodium: 853mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 1gSugar: 44gProtein: 27g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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