This 3-2-1 method is great for wanting to learn how to smoke BBQ ribs for someone who is just brand new to smoking. Smoking any type of meat isn't as intimidating as grilling can be. The thing you got to remember about smoking is that smoking is low and slow. You don't have to worry about when to flip your choice of meat or whether to use indirect heat or direct heat. Pretty easy peasy.
All you have to do is figure out what type of wood pellets/chips to use, what type of meat you want to smoke, and how you want to flavor that meat. Let the smoker do the rest. I have a Traeger Smoker and their wood chips are called pellets.
Smoking Ribs for Beginners 3-2-1 Method
You will master smoking bbq ribs everytime with this simple method for a smoker and it's really easy.
3 hours on the smoker: Place the seasoned spare ribs bone side down in the smoker and close it. The ribs left on the will absorb all the smoke flavor in these 3 hours. 225 degrees is a good starting temp.
2 hours wrapped in foil: Take the ribs off the smoker and wrap them in foil. This is when you can brush the ribs with apple juice or spray the ribs with apple cider vinegar if you want.
Remove the foil and add the BBQ sauce then place it back on the smoker for 1 hour. Can you see how this is an easy method for smoking ribs the first time?
Once you got all the above method figured out, this is when you can really start to experiment with flavors and seasoning combos. Just think of all the rib recipes you can make using this method.
Make sure to have plenty of paper towels cause BBQ ribs are a messy food.
Set your smoker to a low temp of 225 degrees. Rub your pork ribs with the seasoning and let it sit out for 30 minutes to soak in the flavor.
When your smoker is ready set your meat on one of the racks inside your smoker and close the lid. Do not open the smoker as this will let out all the heat.
What type of wood chips should I use?
There are so many different types of wood chips to use for smoking and that's kind of the fun part. I have a Traeger Smoker and I love getting to pick out different types of pellet chips at the hardware store where I live. Traeger smokers are pellet smokers and use pellet chips.
Some of the wood chips work well with certain types of protein. Wood chips can range from Mild to Strong. I'm not going to go too much into detail about all the different types of wood chips out there but if you want to read up on that there's a lot of info. My favorite types of wood chips are maple, cherry, apple, and mesquite.
What type of Rub should I put on my Ribs?
If you want to make your own rub by all means go for it. I used a combo of equal parts paprika, brown sugar, cumin, and garlic powder. I chose to leave mine salt free because there is plenty of salt in the meat itself and BBQ sauce. If you're looking to buy a good BBQ Rub I've seen pit masters on Youtube use Blues Hog Dry Rub. Check your local hardware stores and see if they don't have any Rubs to try out mine has a whole section dedicated to seasonings and sauces right next to the grilling department. Rub and season your meat really well. This is layer one of the flavor.
Seasonings to try: black pepper, onion powder, smoked paprika, kosher salt, or oregano. Mix these together in a small bowl.
What kind of BBQ Sauce should I use?
This is kind of similar to the Rub. The sky is the limit out there and there are so many good store bought BBQ sauces. I really like Stubbs's Hickory BBQ sauce. I'm not a BBQ Pit master or anything so that is what I choose to use.
How to make BBQ Pork Ribs?
Once you got all the above figured out. Set your smoker to a low temp of 225 degrees. Rub your pork ribs with the seasoning and let it sit out for 30 minutes to soak in the flavor. When your smoker is ready set your meat on one of the racks inside your smoker and close the lid. Do not open the smoker as this will let out all the heat. Just make sure to keep on watching the smoker and make sure there is enough wood chips in there. Cook the ribs for 3 ½ hours. Open the smoker up and slather on the BBQ sauce of choice to your ribs. Close the lid for 10 minutes. Flip the meat and slather the other side with BBQ sauce. Enjoy!
What if I don't have a smoker?
You can use an oven to cook ribs. Set the temperature of your oven to 300 degrees. Bake 2 ½ to 3 hours for spareribs or 1 ½ to 2 hours for baby back ribs. Halfway through cooking, cover the ribs with aluminum foil to protect them from drying out. Brush with barbecue sauce.
More Great Recipes to Try:
- Air Fryer Onion Rings
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- Zero Point Cabbage Soup
- Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks
- French Fries in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Pickle Chips
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Smoking BBQ Ribs for Beginners
- Cook Time: 6 hrs
- Total Time: 6 hrs
- Yield: 4 1x
For the rub
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of cumin
- 1 tablespoon of paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 cup of BBQ sauce of choice
- 1 rack of Pork Ribs
- 3 hours on the smoker: Place the seasoned spare ribs bone side down in the smoker and close it. The ribs left on the will absorb all the smoke flavor in these 3 hours. 225 degrees is a good starting temp.
- 2 hours wrapped in foil: Take the ribs off the smoker and wrap them in foil. This is when you can brush the ribs with apple juice or spray the ribs with apple cider vinegar if you want.
- Remove the foil and add the BBQ sauce then place it back on the smoker for 1 hour. Can you see how this is an easy method for smoking ribs the first time?
Smart points can vary depending on the number of ounces you eat.
3 oz of pork ribs is 6 smart points.
- Category: easy
- Method: smoker
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: bbq smoked ribs for beginners
Craig Brown says
I was looking for a good recipe for ribs, but at first glance, you impressed me and I fell in love with this recipe as I went down. I'm going to make this great recipe with Pit Bass Smoker.
Thanks for this awesome recipe, Cheer
Green Mountain Grills are awesome!
Brendan Shelton says
I really like that you talked about how the dry rub that you use is like the first and most important layer of the flavor. My family is meeting up this fall for a reunion and we want to try smoking a few meals. We need to find a good pellet smoker that is pretty easy to learn how to use because we are new to this.