Great Barbeque Ribs are Easy With These Steps

This page provides the answers for super success with your backyard barbeque ribs! Smoked pork barbeque ribs are always the stars of any barbeque event.

But don’t forget about beef ribs because they have the great satisfying flavor of smoked beef.

It’s the measure of a good backyard barbeque chef to turn out great ribs and it the easiest of the meat choices for the new cook.

A point of emphasis…never boil your ribs! As I stated on the “About Us” page we used to boil ribs before grilling…I think about now and I get the shivers.

Boiling makes ribs more tender but it leeches the flavor from the meat. If you have been guilty of this don’t worry.

By following these steps you will have a 100% improvement in the taste and texture of your ribs. The steps apply to both spare ribs and baby back variety.

Spare Ribs versus Baby Back Ribs

Spare ribs are cut from the side rib cage and are longer, meatier, and take a little longer to cook. Baby back ribs are cut from the top of the rib cage near the tenderloin along the back and are also a very tasty choice and the preference of many.

Pay attention now…here are the steps to great barbeque pork ribs.

  • Clean the ribs and pat dry.
  • Remove the membrane or “fell” from the bone side of the rib rack.

Leaving the membrane would prevent the full absorption of smoke and rub into the meat.

  • Prep the surface of the ribs yellow mustard, olive oil, or mayonnaise.

This “wet” preparation will allow your dry rub to “stick” to the meat better. This also creates a thicker “bark” or “crust” on the meat. The only caution here is if you have a strong flavored rub the thicker application may be a turn off to some people.

  • Sprinkle dry rub on both sides of the ribs.

Lightly sprinkle the ribs making sure that you cover the entire surface.

This is the first point where you can be creative. The dry rub is your key spice ingredient. You can tailor the taste to your hearts desire.

If you want hot and spicy use some combination of chili powder, garlic salt, cumin, and cayenne.

Sweeten the rub with sugar (Turbano, Brown, Honey powder). If you prefer savory then use thyme, sage, juniper seeds.

There are many barbeque rib rub recipes available. Try as many as you can. It’s great for developing your own rub recipe.

Marinate for at least 2 hours (ideally, you should marinate them overnight).

  • Put your ribs in the smoker.

The smoker temperature should be approximately 230 degrees and maintained in a plus or minus 5 degree range. Cooking time for the ribs is approximately 4 hours.

If you are using lump charcoal make sure that you have soaked your wood chunks of choice for at least an hour before tossing them on the coals.

Get a good smoky fire going. At the 3 hour point wrap the ribs in foil. I like to add a quarter cup of apple juice to the foil at this point with a little of the rub mixed in.

Be sure to put the meat side down when in the wrapped foil. Cook the ribs another 1-2 hours.

The ribs are getting close to being done when you start to see the meat pull away from the bone. Test for doneness by pulling or twisting on the bone.

If you get a slight resistance to twisting the bone the ribs are done and your have nailed down getting ribs just right. If the meat falls off of the bone the ribs are overdone.


  • Mop with a thin marinade during the cooking process. (Optional)

A favorite mop is apple juice enhanced with a little spice rub.

Personally I don’t like to do this because you have to open the lid of the smoker. It takes at least 10-15 minutes for the smoker to recover the proper cooking temperature thereby slowing cooking time.

  • If you want to sauce the ribs while cooking then mop on your sauce in the last 20-30 minutes.

Watch the ribs very closely and don’t let them burn. The sauced ribs should have a nice glaze to the meat.

Try These Rib Recipes!


Great Barbeque Ribs Memphis Style

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