How to Smoke Baby Back Ribs
Smoking baby back ribs is a long-winded, full-day-by-the-barbecue project. To prepare for it, you’ll need to assemble a long-billed cap, folding chairs and your favorite podcasts and people — a couple of friends willing to brave the heat, praise the smoking meat and bring you cold beverages (read: beer). It will be a hard (read: relaxing and fun) day in the sun, but your dedication will be rewarded!
Here we use the 2:2:1 method: Basically, you smoke the ribs for 2 hours, wrap them in heavy aluminum foil and cook them for another 2 hours, and then finish them unwrapped for 1 hour. You’ll want to keep the smoker at 250 F throughout the whole process.
After cooking in smoke and low heat for several hours, the ribs emerge fork-tender, chewy and intensely flavorful. All that smoke, spice and tangy-sweet barbecue sauce permeates the meat right down to the bone. We love how crispy the ribs get in the smoker, too. In part, that’s because we slather them in barbecue sauce while they’re cooking (rather than after), so it bakes on to the ribs. Side benefit: these ribs are a little less messy than most, which is great because you’re going to want to gnaw the meat off the bone.
Tip: Take the number of servings this recipe yields with a grain of salt and just go ahead and make a double batch of ribs. In the L&B Test Kitchen, our tasters gobbled up every single rib — no Minnesota nice here. Would a rack per person be too much? No.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 hours
2 racks of baby back ribs
6 tablespoons L&B Signature BBQ Seasoning
Spray bottle with apple cider vinegar
1 bottle L&B Twin Cities Original Grilling Sauce
- Heat the smoker to 250 F.
- If necessary, remove the membrane from the back of the rib racks, and pat the ribs dry with a paper towel.
- Liberally sprinkle the seasoning rub on both sides of the ribs and work it into the meat with your hands until they are completely covered.
- Place a foil pan on the grate of the smoker and fill ½ way with water. The water will keep the smoker hydrated and the meat juicy.
- Place the ribs on the grate of the smoker, meaty side up, and cook for two hours, spraying with apple cider vinegar at the top of each hour.
- Remove the ribs from the smoker and slather them liberally with barbecue sauce on both sides.
- Wrap the ribs in a double layer of heavy foil and cook them for another two hours.
- After two hours, remove the ribs from the smoker, unwrap them, brush on some more barbecue sauce and cook them for one more hour, or until the internal temperature reaches 195-205 F.
- Transfer the ribs to a platter and allow them to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.