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Smoked Bacon Wrapped Ribs

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I give you {insert drumroll here} — smoked bacon wrapped ribs!

This is a classic tale of “some say why but I say why not”. Unfortunately, this has been done before and I'm a little late to the party, but I had to try it and it's so good, I wanted you to try it too.

Just smoke the ribs using the 2-2-1 method with plenty of my original rub and then just before putting them back into the smoker for that last hour you'll cut them apart and wrap each little porky popsicle in a strip of bacon with another quick dash of my original rub.

Oh my goodness, people– oh my goodness!

Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4-5 hours
  • Smoker Temp: 225-240°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: N/A
  • Recommended Wood: Maple, Cherry, Hickory and Apple (a mix of all or any combination will work great)
What You’ll Need
  • 2 racks of baby back ribs*
  • Molasses
  • Jeff's Original Rub
  • Foil or foil pan
  • 1 lb of thin or original sliced bacon (count the slices.. 14-16 slices per pound is ideal thickness)
  • Toothpicks (optional)

*Spare ribs and/or St. Louis trimmed spare ribs will also work but the initial cook time on the smoker grates will need to be increased to 3 hours. These cuts may also require 2 pieces of bacon per rib.

Trim the Ribs

Rinse the ribs under cold water and remove any extra clumps of fat that you see.

Remove the Membrane

Remove the membrane or skin on the bone side of the ribs to give the smoke and seasonings better access to the meat. The membrane was already removed on my rack of baby backs but that's not usually the case.

You can slip a butter knife or even your finger under the edge of the membrane and then use a paper towel or even some catfish skinning pliers to pull it clean off.

Season the Ribs Properly

Whatever you do, do not use that salty stuff from your local grocery store.. you'll hate it, I'll feel like a failure for not teaching you better and it will be a miserable day for all.

Enter my very own original rub recipe which is low on salt and huge on flavor.

I often use mustard or some other condiment as a sticky base to help the rub to stick to the meat and not fall off. On these ribs, I decided to use molasses and it worked beautifully!

Lay down a good layer of molasses.. top and bottom.


Add a really good sprinkling of my original rub.

Note: Always do the bone side first then when you flip it over to do the top (meaty) side, it will stay in that position for the entire time you are cooking them and you won't disturb that nice layer of rub.

Leave them sitting for a few minutes and you'll see that they get a “wet” look. This tells you that the rub has pulled moisture from the molasses and the ribs and has become a nice paste.

The ribs are now ready for phase one in the smoker.


Set the ribs aside and go get that smoker to crankin'!

Get the Smoker Ready

Set up your smoker for cooking at about 225-240°F using indirect heat.

If your smoker has a water pan.. I highly recommend you use it to create a humid environment inside the smoker. This reduces the drying effect of heated air and serves to help you end up with meat that is more moist.

Once your smoker is ready to go.. let's start cooking some ribs!

Cook the Ribs: Part One

Place the ribs bone side down on the smoker grate.

It is also ok to use a  Bradley rack, Weber grill pan or even a cooling rack to make an easy job of holding the ribs while they cook.

Let the ribs smoke cook in this way for 2 hours without so much as a peek.

Cook the Ribs: Part Two

2 hours should have elapsed at this point and it's time to wrap the entire rack of baby back ribs in heavy duty foil.

Tear off a large sheet that's about 30-inces long and 18-inches wide.


Lay one rack of ribs right in the center of the foil.


Pull up the bottom side of the foil over the ribs then pull the top side down over the top of the ribs.


Now fold in the sides and make sure it's nice and tightly sealed.


You can do a double wrap if you like but it's usually not necessary with heavy duty foil. If you use the stuff from the dollar store, you may need 4 layers.

Note: Some folks add liquid to the foil but lately I have been omitting this step as I feel that it is not necessary. The ribs braise just fine in the foil with no additional liquid added. Also, the rub seems to stay intact better without the additional liquid.

Note: An easy alternative to wrapping in foil is to use a long narrow foil pan. Just lay the ribs down in the pan and cover tightly with foil.

Place the wrapped ribs back into the smoker for 2 hours. If you are using an electric, gas or charcoal smoker for this, you do not need to add wood during this time as it will not penetrate the foil and therefore is not necessary.

Can you use the oven for this step? Of course you can! Preheat it to 240°F and place the wrapped bundle right on the top oven rack as far from that lower heating element as possible. I do recommend that you place a pan under the ribs to catch any leaks– “Better safe than sorry”.

Wrap with Bacon

So the ribs have been cooking for 4 hours at this point– 2 hours directly on the smoker grate and 2 hours wrapped in foil and they should be plenty tender at this point. You can check them if you like and if they are not tender as you desire, let them keep going in the foil for another 30 minutes or so.


If you have the capability to do so, crank your smoker up to a very high heat setting. I used a pellet smoker for these and set it on 450°F.

Lay the ribs on a large cutting board with the bone side facing up. This will help you be able to see the bones so you can cut between them.


Separate the rack into it's 12 or 13 ribs.. (or however many are left after you sample 1 or 4).


Decent smoke ring ;-)


Wrap each rib in a piece of stretched bacon. You have probably heard me talk about stretching bacon before.. I like to stretch bacon before using it to wrap things to make it go further.

If you stretch a 10-inch piece of bacon, it will end up being 16 inches or more long and this will wrap several times around the meaty part of the rib.

Some folks use a toothpick to hold the bacon in place, I don't. Use your own discretion on this. The bacon tends to stick to itself and this works just fine for me.


Place the bacon wrapped ribs back on the smoker grate or you can use one of the racks I mentioned above to make it a little easier.

Give them another quick dusting of Jeff's original rub  and they are ready to be crisped up.

Cook the Ribs: Part Three

This stage is primarily to cook the bacon so the best way to do this is 450°F for about 15-20 minutes. You can put them back in the smoker if you have the ability to crank it up. Pellet smokers and Ceramic cookers will do great with this recipe.

Some other smokers such as propane and even some electric smokers will have the ability to be cranked up some. The higher the heat, the quicker the bacon will get done.

Horizontal offset smokers often have higher heat on the firebox side so placing the ribs on that end for this final step should do the trick.

It may be easier for some to use the oven for this step but make sure to lay the ribs on a cooling rack or similar with a pan underneath to catch the bacon drippings.

The grill will also work great but keep a close eye and turn the ribs as needed so as to not burn the bacon.

Eat All the Ribs and Tell Everyone They Were Stolen

Just kidding.. obviously that wouldn't be the “right” thing to do but if that thought doesn't cross through your mind then you don't love ribs as much as I do!


Take the bacon wrapped baby back ribs into the house and watch the natives go through them like they haven't eaten in weeks.

5 from 4 votes

Smoked, Bacon Wrapped Baby Back Ribs

You would think that not too many things could improve the taste of perfectly seasoned and smoked 2-2-1 baby back ribs.. I give you smoked bacon wrapped ribs!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time4 hours 20 minutes
Total Time4 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 2 racks of baby back ribs
  • Molasses
  • Jeff's Original Rub
  • Foil or foil pan
  • 1 lb of thin or original sliced bacon (count the slices.. 14-16 slices per pound is ideal thickness)
  • Toothpicks (optional)


  • Rinse the ribs with cold water.
  • Remove the membrane using a paper towel for better grip.
  • Apply a good coat of molasses to the bone side of the ribs.
  • Sprinkle Jeff's original rub over the layer of molasses and let them sit until they begin to look "wet".
  • Flip the rack of ribs over and repeat the molasses and rub on the meaty side of the ribs.
  • Place the ribs on the smoker grate and smoke cook them for 2 hours at 225°F using indirect heat.
  • Use cherry, hickory, maple and apple for smoke. A mix or any combination of these woods will work great.
  • Wrap the rack of ribs in heavy duty foil and put it back on the smoker grate to cook another 2 hours.
  • Place the ribs on the cutting board bone side up and cut them apart so you end up with 12-13 ribs.
  • Wrap each rib in a piece of stretched bacon. Secure with a toothpick if you need to.
  • Place the ribs on a cookie sheet and put them into an oven preheated to 450°F for 15-20 minutes or until the bacon is done.
  • You can also perform the last step in the smoker or grill and especially if you are able to increase the heat enough to cook the bacon to a crisp finish.
  • Serve the bacon wrapped ribs immediately.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I tried the bacon wrapped ribs and they were delicious. The bacon was crispy and the ribs were moist and tender. I added some of your sauce on some of them and it added yet another layer of deliciousness. I will definitely do these again.

  2. When would you say to put the BBQ Sauce on? When you pull the ribs and put them in the foil?

    1. Richard, I prefer to sauce the ribs last thing. For these, you’ll cut them up, wrap them in bacon then give them some high heat to cook and crisp the bacon. Once the bacon is done, give the ribs a good saucing and about 10-15 more minutes to let the sauce “set” and you’ll be good to go.

  3. I love the sound of anything bacon wrapped and this recipe will be one I must try. 1 ?, can I wrap them in butchers paper for the 2nd part or must it be foil? I’ll be doing them in my off-set Smoker so I’ll do the third part over the firebox.

    Also, wanted to say that I received my sampler trio of Rubs and Sauce today and can’t wait to give them a try.

    Thank you

  4. 5 stars
    Making this recipe now. I have been a huge fan of Jeff’s recipes and have his book and Rub and Sauce recipes. Taught me a lot about smoking and everyone loves what I make..

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe is a new level of awesome. Try it with honey instead of molasses. I’m still using your rub for just about everything, so I got my money worth, but recipes like this make it a bargain. This is simply amazing.

  6. 5 stars
    Do the ribs need to be turned over while cooking in the bacon wrap? I assume that the grill setup remains the same, except for the temperature?

    1. If the heat is indirect or you are far enough away from the heat, no turning is necessary. If you are using direct heat as in directly over a flame or really close to the heating element then you will need to turn them to get even cooking on all sides.