Smoked BBQ Ribs

Barbecue season has started. Well, who am I kidding, does it ever end? With that said, I often look for opportunities to involve my kids in the cooking experience. Now granted, I’m pretty much the dude who refuses help in the kitchen, often times asked by my wife, and rarely if any from my kids, but when it comes to the weekend, I get a chance to slow down just a bit, and cherish moments with my kids. This past weekend was no exception. My boys and I were watching a barbecue competition show late last week as we were winding down for bed, and I think we all said at the same time “Oh man that looks great”, and that let me to say, “Let me teach you what I know about barbecue this weekend, and you two can have a rib smoking competition.” They were excited to say the least, and I’ll admit, I was pretty darn excited as well.

Smoked BBQ Ribs Recipe

I’ve been tinkering with smoking for a handful of years now, and I think I have learned a lot. I’ve learned that spice, temperature, smoke, and time are all variables in the game of producing great barbecue, and that is all I wanted to teach the kids this time around. So as I prepared the ingredients, I gathered the boys, individually, and had them apply however much spice rub they wanted, and educating them as to how to remove the silver skin on the pork ribs. They were intrigued to say the least. Let’s get started with what I did, and let me just say, and I’m not kidding when I say this, they were probably hands down the best ribs I’ve eaten in some time.


  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Spanish paprika
  • 1 tbsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 racks of baby back ribs, trimmed, silver skin removed
  • 2 cups cherry wood chips, soaked for at least 4 hours
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce, optional
  • Smoker

Start by preparing your ribs. Once prepared, add all of your spices to a mixing bowl, and mix until everything is well incorporated.

Generously season both sides of the ribs, then place in a plastic, sealable back, and place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight.

When you are ready to get the smoker started, heat your charcoal. I use a drum smoker, and it has worked just fine for me over the years. I heat a chimney full of regular charcoal, cooking until they are nice and white hot. Dump these into the bottom of the smoker, and spread around. I add a bit more charcoal on the top. Add the drum portion of the smoker, then add the ribs to the grates. Cover.

How to smoke pork ribs

Take one handful of the cherry wood chips, about a cup full, and add them to the coals. Make sure all doors and covers are closed, then walk away. The smoke will begin to build, and slowly begin smoking the ribs.

After about two hours, flip the ribs over, and add the remaining soaked wood chips to the charcoal. Cover, and walk away.

After about two more hours, removed them from the smoker, onto a large casserole dish, and cover tightly with aluminum foil.

I let these sit out on the stove, covered, until the were cool enough to place in the refrigerator. Yes, we waited until the next day to make them as we had prior engagements with family. Feel free to place these in a 275 degree oven for another 2 hours, before saucing.

The following afternoon, we placed them in a 275 degree oven for about two hours. Then we removed the aluminum foil, and the boys each picked their favorite sauce. I educated them that they could use as much sauce or as little when painting their ribs. You could tell that they were thinking it through. Let me just say the ribs looked and smelled amazing. We were all excited. After saucing, we raised the heat to 325, and placed back in the oven for ten minutes, uncovered.

Smoked Ribs by kids

We flipped the ribs over, and sauced one more time, then back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

Each kid got their own serving plate, and as soon as we sliced through the ribs, let me just say, wow. I was a proud Dad, I really was. Not just because these looked and smelled great, but the boys were really excited as well. You could tell that they were proud of themselves. After we feasted, I had my son ride a few ribs up to the neighbor, who actually talked about how great they were today. That’s always a good sign. I hope you enjoy.

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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

One thought to “Smoked BBQ Ribs”

  1. I love your blog!! I have pinned so many of your recipes and have loved them all!! This is a fantastic idea! My kids really like to be in the kitchen and we are so having a rib cookoff!! Thanks for the great recipes and great ideas! Keep them coming!!

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