Skip to Content

How to Cook Ribs on a Traeger

Getting tasty results from cooking ribs on a Traeger grill is so easy; all you need is a wonderful rub, some sauce, and quality ribs. Well, that’s not exactly all, you also need to have the correct cooking instructions and all the helpful tips you can find for the best possible results.

If you’ve never tried grilling ribs on a Traeger grill, we’ve compiled this article for you. Our cooking instructions are failproof, and they are guaranteed to give you the best possible results with your recipe. Just make sure to pay close attention, and also mind the appropriate timing guidelines.

How To Cook Ribs On A Traeger

Ribs Nutrition Facts

How To Cook Ribs On A Traeger

Tips for Cooking Ribs on a Traeger

Pay attention to the following helpful tips and cooking guidelines for the best results when cooking ribs on a Traeger:

Necessary ingredients – You’ll be needing the following ingredients to cook ribs on a Traeger:

  • Ribs: For smoking, St. Louis style ribs are preferable, however, baby back ribs should also work fine for this recipe. St. Louis ribs are flavorful and cook quickly. Because baby back ribs tend to be meatier, they may take longer to reach a safe temperature.
  • Rub: Your ribs will benefit a lot from a dry rub. Some of the typical components of a good rub include the following: smoked paprika, black pepper, dark brown sugar, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne, kosher salt, Dijon mustard, honey, and apple cider.

Get rid of the silver skin – Remove the thin silver skin membrane of the bony side of your ribs if your butcher hasn’t already done so. You can easily do this by pushing the point of a screwdriver or butter knife underneath the membrane over a central bone. To gain a stronghold, use paper towels, then carefully peel the membrane off the ribs.

The thin membrane on the underside of the ribs must be peeled away to make the ribs tender. This membrane keeps the rub from penetrating the ribs, so it has to go!

Cook low and slow for the best results – It’s definitely possible to cook your ribs through a faster method, just like with pork loin or pork chops. However, keep in mind that they will not be thoroughly smoked, which is the whole point of cooking them on a Traeger. We believe that the best approach to cook ribs is to cook them low and slow with smoking. This method takes longer but results in a great flavor.

Ideal timing – Typically, the best way to achieve desirable results is to follow the 3-2-1 grilling method. With this method, there are three hours of smoking, two hours of liquid smoking, and one hour of grilling involved. This should amount to 6 hours in total.

Keep in mind that thicker ribs will require more time, so feel free to go a bit further than 3-2-1, perhaps 3-3-1, or even 3-4-1.

Cooking Time for Ribs on a Traeger

The ideal timing guidelines to follow when cooking ribs on a Traeger have been described in the table below:

Cooking procedure Cooking time
Cooking ribs on a Traeger 7 to 8 hours in total; 3 hours of smoking, 3 to 4 hours of cooking while coated in BBQ sauce; 1 extra hour of grilling afterward.
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
How To Cook Ribs On A Traeger

Traeger Smoked Ribs (6 Servings)

  • Author: Bobby


  • 2 racks of pork ribs, St Louis style or baby back pork ribs

For the Dry Rub:

For Cooking:

  • ½ cup of dark brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup of honey
  • ½ cup of Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup of apple cider


To make the dry rub:

  1. Combine all ingredients for the rub and set the mixture aside.
  2. Examine the ribs on the underside. If there is a thin coating of silver skin on the bony side of the ribs, scrape it away using the point of a butter knife (position it beneath the membrane, make sure to pierce the rib over a middle bone.) To gain a stronghold, use paper towels, then peel the membrane away.
  3. Combine the mustard and ¼ cup of apple cider in a small bowl (keep the remaining aside). Season the ribs with the rub after spreading the mixture in a thin layer on both sides.
  4. Preheat the smoker to 180 degrees Fahrenheit with the lid covered for 15 minutes.
  5. Smoke the ribs for 3 hours, making sure that the meat side faces up. Raise the grill’s heat to 225°F and place the ribs on a rimmed baking sheet.
  6. Remove 4 long strips of tin foil and Peach Butcher Paper from the package. Place a rack of ribs atop the butcher paper, then pull the sides of the paper up in order to keep the fluids contained.
  7. Half of the brown sugar should be sprinkled on the rack, followed by half of the honey, then ¾ of the reserved apple juice. To prevent leakage, place another sheet of paper on the top and crimp the edges tightly. Do the same with the remaining rib rack.
  8. Put the ribs back on the grill for another 3 to 4 hours of cooking.
  9. Set the ribs squarely on the grates of the grill, then let it cook for an additional 60 minutes.
  10. Serve the ribs as you please and enjoy your meal.

These Traeger’s ribs benefit a lot from the powerful dry rub on them, and from the amazing taste you’ll get, you’ll know that they have been smoked to perfection! Try them out for BBQs or picnics and you can be sure that your guests will love how easily they come off the bone!

The cooking instructions above will guide you to the best possible results. Also, make sure to take note of the timing guidelines. The 3-2-1 timing method for smoking ribs is loosely followed in this recipe. There are three hours of smoking, two hours of liquid smoking, and one extra hour of grilling. These smoked ribs should typically take a total of 6 hours to prepare! If you’re cooking thicker ribs, you may need to go a little further because they’ll need a longer cooking time, so rather than the 3-2-1 method, try 3-3-1 or maybe even 3-4-1.

If you need more inspiration on how to cook ribs on a Traeger, check out this video recipe we’ve recommended for you.