How to smoke pork ribs
Looking for a delicious pork ribs recipe? Try our smoked baby back pork ribs. American style pork ribs may take some time to cook, but they are well worth the wait. What you are left with is succulent, juicy meat fit for a celebration. This recipe is designed for a kettle or charcoal barbeque but can be adapted for gas barbeques with a smoking box.
SERVES 2-3 | 5.25HRS COOKING | PLUS 1 HOUR RESTING
2 x racks of pork ribs
2 tsp olive oil
Meatsmith spice rub
4 Tablespoons Fancy Hanks BBQ sauce
Prepare a kettle BBQ or smoker for indirect heat. To do this, light a chimney full of charcoal. When red hot, pour into the BBQ on one side, on top of a chimney full of unlit charcoal.
Adjust the Bottom dampers to 1/4 open and the top damper to ¾ open
Place an aluminium tray 3/4 full of hot water on the side of the grate opposite the coals.
Place the grill grate on top and replace the lid.
Leave for 20 minutes or so to stabilise the temperature at 120C.
Coat the pork ribs in a thin, even layer of olive oil – this is to help the rub stick.
Season on both sides with salt
Coat the pork ribs on all sides with an even layer of spice rub, using your hands to gently rub it in.
Throw a handful of smoking chips onto the hot coals. Place the pork ribs on the indirect side of the grill grate, opposite the hot coals and over the top of the water tray. Replace the lid, and smoke for 30 minutes.
Throw another handful of smoking chips onto the hot coals. Replace the lid, and smoke for a further 2.5 hours, topping up the coals as necessary.
At this point remove the pork ribs from the smoker.
Place the pork ribs on a large sheet of butchers paper or aluminium foil.
Using a pastry brush, brush each rack of short ribs with 1 Tablespoon BBQ sauce.
Wrap the pork ribs in the butchers paper or foil to create a tight parcel.
Place the parcel back on the smoker, and continue to cook for 1.5 hours.
At this point, remove the parcels from the smoker. Unwrap the pork ribs, and brush each rack with a further 1 tablespoon of BBQ sauce.
Place the ribs back on the smoker, and continue to cook for a final 45 minutes to set the sauce on the ribs.
Remove from the smoker. Using a sharp knife, carve the ribs into pieces between the bones.
Serve immediately, with extra sauce on the side.
IMAGE CREDIT: Delicious Magazine
How to cook pork ribs
There are a variety of ways to cook pork ribs including grilling on the barbeque, braising in a slow cooker or roasting ribs in the oven. Smoking or slow-roasting your ribs is one of the most popular ways to cook them as it results in delicious, fall off the bone meat. Pork ribs are a versatile cut of meat that benefit from many savoury flavour combinations.
How to cook pork ribs in the oven fast
This is a technique that is excellent for anyone short on time. Slow cooked ribs are delicious, but there are times when you won't have 6 hours spare to cook them. There are a few tricks you can employ to speed up the cooking time. It is possible to speed up the cooking process by wrapping pork ribs in aluminium foil. Roast your seasoned and wrapped pork ribs at 200°C for an hour. You will be left with succulent meat that will just need a quick sear on the BBQ to crisp them up.
How to cook pork ribs on BBQ
Grilling your pork ribs gives them a delicious smoky flavour and a tender texture. As with any barbeque, it is important to preheat it first. Once the grill is hot, reduce the heat to medium, add the ribs bone side down onto a grill rack and cook slowly over indirect heat. Cover the bbq with a lid and cook away for an hour and a half to two hours, making sure to regularly baste the meat in the last 15 minutes of cooking time.
Pork ribs marinade
To impart extra flavour into your meat, marinating it beforehand is a wonderful way to do so. A classic marinade for ribs is to use a smoky BBQ sauce made from tomato sauce, garlic, mustard, chilli and brown sugar. We also enjoy a honey soy glaze for ribs using from honey, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, rice wine vinegar, and fresh chillies.
How long do you cook pork ribs for?
A safe cooking temperature for pork is 65°C, but it is important to cook pork ribs for longer, allowing for the meat to melt, becoming tender and juicy. We recommend taking the internal temperature up to 90-95°C for delicious tasting ribs. It is important to use a meat thermometer for accuracy when cooking pork ribs. It can generally take between 5-7 hours of cooking thick spare ribs before they're ready as a rough guide.
There are some useful tricks that will help you work out when the meat is ready, including:
- Use a wooden skewer or a toothpick - press it between two bones into the meat and if you get little resistance then your ribs should be tender and juicy inside.
- Twist a bone: pick one in the middle of the rack and carefully try to wiggle it. If it slides out or moves easily, then your ribs will be ready
- Bend your ribs: carefully pull two parallel bones in opposite directions and if your meat starts to easily break apart then it is a sign that the ribs are ready.
How long to smoke pork ribs?
You can follow our recipe above if you're interested in smoking ribs. We recommend smoking pork ribs for about 5 hours and 15 minutes to ensure juicy, delicious meat. Another popular way to cook them is the 3-2-1 method of smoking pork ribs, meaning 3 hours unwrapped on the smoker, 2 hours wrapped tightly in butcher's paper on the smoker, and then the final 1 hour unwrapped on the smoker.
What to have with pork ribs?
Preparing a delicious dinner of ribs calls for equally tasty sides. Our top picks include:
- Smoked corn on the cob for a real American style dinner
- Creamy potato salad
- Baked beans or green bean salad
- Classic mac and cheese
- Beer battered fries
- Mashed potatoes