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Smoked Pork Country Style Ribs on a Stick

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If you haven’t discovered smoked pork country style ribs yet then you are in for a real treat!

Full disclosure: these are just a pork butt that’s been sliced up to look like ribs but they are delicious, quick and easy to cook, extremely versatile and they don’t cost a lot– all of the wonderful things that make a great meal!

I love purchasing these in their boneless format and cutting them up for threading onto skewers and that’s exactly what we are doing in this recipe tutorial.

I can hardly wait so let’s get started.

Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Smoker Temp: 240°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: 185-190°F
  • Recommended Wood: Pecan, Cherry, or Maple
What You’ll Need

Did you know? You can also order the FORMULAS which allow you to make Jeff’s rubs and barbecue sauce at home using your own ingredients! Order the Recipes

About Pork Country Style Ribs

Pork country style ribs are long strips of pork cut from the pork butt (Boston butt). Sometimes the bone is removed first and they are called boneless pork country style ribs.

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You do have to be careful as I have found these cut from pork loin and that’s a completely different piece of meat and must be cooked differently. If you look at the meat from a pork loin versus the meat from a pork butt, you will  notice that it looks different in texture, marbling and even color. Compare the pork country style ribs with a pork butt while you are in the store and make sure that they are the same. You can also ask the butcher or meat person behind the counter what they are cut from to make sure.

Optionally, you can purchase a pork butt and ask the butcher to debone it and cut it into 1.5 x 1.5 inch strips for you. Most stores will do this at no extra charge for the asking.

What to do if they are cut from a pork loin: Pork loin is much leaner and while it will work, it should only be cooked to a final temperature of 145°F to ensure it is juicy and delicious. Everything else remains the same.

Step 1: Cut Into Pieces

Instead of just merely cutting these into pieces, I take a little time to cut out the large chunks of fat first. There’s plenty of fat marbling within the meat so you don’t really need the large areas of fat. This is optional but I do recommend it.

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Cut the meat into pieces that are about 1 inch square  or whatever size you like as long as you try to keep them fairly consistent in thickness.

Step 2: Season the Meat

Place all of the meat into a bag for seasoning with Jeff’s original rub .

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I used about ½ bottle of the rub. If you make it yourself via the formulas, start with about ½ cup.

You can always add more if it looks like it needs it.

Knead, roll, and shake the bag to make sure all of the meat gets rub on it then set the bag in the fridge for at least 2 hours to marinate. Overnight is even better if you plan ahead.

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Step 3: Thread Onto Skewers

There is no need to soak the skewers in water if you are cooking these at normal smoking temperatures but if you are planning to cook these on the grill or over direct heat for an extended period of time, then I  recommend placing the skewers in a pan of water for about 30 minutes to reduce the chance of them catching fire.

Thread 5 or 6 pieces of meat onto each 12-inch skewer and lay them on a pan with a rack or Weber grill pan as you complete them.

Once all of the meat has been used up, set the skewers aside while you get the smoker ready.

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Step 4: Set Up the Smoker

For pellet smokers: start it up in the lowest setting with the lid open then once the flame is roaring (you’ll be able to hear it) close the lid and set it to 225°F (107°C) or whatever temperature you are wanting to cook at.

Read some tips on smoking with a pellet grill

If you are using a traditional smoker or even an electric, gas or charcoal/wood smoker, that’ll work too. Just set it up to cook at about 225°F (107°C) with indirect heat and if your smoker came with a water pan, fill it up.

Tip: In cold weather, I recommend filling it up with really hot water to help heat up the smoker faster.

Step 5: Smoke the Meat

Place the pan or rack of skewers on the grate or you can just place the skewers directly on the grate and close the lid. Keep the smoke flowing the entire time if possible and maintain around 225°F (107°C) for best results.

You can also cook these hotter if you prefer and they’ll get done a little faster.

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You can expect these to take about 2 hours and 10 minutes to reach 190°F (88°C).

Note: Every smoker cooks just a little different and heat flows differently depending on how your smoker is shaped and how the air flows in and out but the cook time estimation should not vary much from smoker to smoker. Even so, smoking meat is not an exact science and, for this reason, cook time is always an estimation and the food is not done until it reaches a certain temperature and/or level of tenderness.

Use an instant read thermometer such as the Thermapen ONE so you’ll know exactly when they are perfectly done.

Once they reach their final temperature, they can be eaten as is or you can take them a step further which I’ll explain in the next section.

Step 6: Sauce and Sear (optional but very good)

Brush on a little of my barbecue sauce  and get a sear on them to bring out some of that “grilled” flavor to go with the smoke.

Searing can be done over a hot grill, on a hot griddle or you can even place them under the broiler on your home oven for a minute or two.

Give them some high heat but watch them closely to make sure the sauce/meat doesn’t burn. Turn them a time or two to make sure all sides get seared nicely.

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Step 7: Serve to Your Guests

I used these as an entree but they also make great appetizers. The cool thing about putting meat on a stick is that you don’t need a plate or silverware. You just grab them and start eating right off the stick.

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Enjoy these and if you come up with any modifications, let me know in the comments below what you did.

Did you know? You can also order the FORMULAS which allow you to make Jeff’s rubs and barbecue sauce at home using your own ingredients! Order the Recipes

Print

Smoked Pork Country Style Ribs on a Stick

These boneless pork country style ribs are cut up, seasoned overnight, threaded onto a stick and smoked for one of the most delicious meals you’ll eat this year.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Appetizer, Entree
  • Cuisine: Barbecue

Ingredients

Units Scale

Instructions

  1. Separate meat from large clumps of fat
  2. Cut meat into pieces of consistent size. I recommend about 1 x 1 inch.
  3. Place meat into a bag and pour ½ cup of Jeff’s original rub over the meat.
  4. Roll, knead, and shake the bag to coat the meat with the rub.
  5. Place the bag of seasoned meat into the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight to let the flavor absorb better.
  6. Thread the meat onto skewers. I recommend 4-6 pieces per skewer depending on how large the pieces are.
  7. Setup smoker for cooking indirect at about 225°F (107°C). If the smoker uses a water pan, fill it up. Use pecan, cherry and/or maple for wood smoke.
  8. Place the meat on the grate and smoke cook for about 2 hours and 10 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 190°F (88°C).
  9. Brush with barbecue sauce and place the skewers over a hot grill or under the oven broiler for a minute or two per side to get a good sear on them.
  10. Serve to your guests.

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14 Comments

  1. I added some pork accompanying fruit and veggies between the meat. Pineapple, Pear, Apple, Bell Pepper, Onion, and Squash. Make sure the thickness of the adds is consistent.

  2. I have found these to be hard to get done on a consistent level because some of the cubes do not have enough fat to render so they are dry.

    1. JT, I haven’t noticed this when I make them but there are definitely parts of the pork butt that’s more fatty than others.

      Make sure the country style ribs you are getting is cut from the pork butt. I have seen these cut from pork loin a few times and those are extremely lean and need to be cooked differently than the ones cut from pork butt. I almost wonder if it’s possible you got some that had both loin and butt mixed together. I can’t imagine this happening but anything is possible.

  3. Hi Jeff. Long time reader/subscriber. Just moved to a condo and grilling/smoking not allowed per the local fire dept rules. I love your recipes. Is there any way I can make inside in the oven? Perhaps with liquid smoke or something? Even if unable to smoke, can you add a comment about how to make your recipes inside? Thanks and happy new year! John

    1. John, if you have a good hood vent, you can use an indoor/stovetop smoker. These put out less smoke and usually the hood vent can easily take care of the small amount of smoke they produce. Cameron makes the most well-known stovetop units but I love the one made by Nordic Ware.

      I have written about these in my books but I really need to create some articles about this on the website. I will make that happen very soon!

  4. I am currently smoking these in a MES. Currently at a little over 2 hours, and a 40 minute stall at 160 degrees or so has finally ended. Even though they are small pieces of meat, there is still a stall.

  5. These out really good… My family loved them. My only suggestion is that if your using a gas smoker don’t use smoke the whole time.. They taste like you’ve been smoking cigarettes all day…

  6. Looks like another great recipe that I am going to have to try.

    My only comment would be I wish you put a link in the email that would come directly to the post like this. Maybe it’s there and I don’t realize it.

    1. Terry,

      In every email, if you click on the large image at the top, it will bring you to the accompanying recipe post on this website. Let me know if you need further help with this.

  7. I’m wondering if it would be good to add a small amount of apple juice or perhaps a small amount of mustard/Worcestershire (like 2 TBSP or so) to the bag prior to adding the rub, especially if the pork is relatively dry?

  8. I followed this recipe to the T…..Tossed the meat in my BGE with all the instruments to monitor …these bites only took about 40 mins to cook! If I left in for 2 hours at 240 degrees…would have been beef jerky bites! Recommend the lower temps at 225 and definitely watch the temps…the bites was still a bit dry so….these things cook quick!!! be careful! Sauce is delicious by the way

  9. I prepared these 3 ways, dry brine with Jeff’s Rub, Stubbs Pork marinade, and an adapted jerky marninade.
    I wrapped all the dry-brined chuncks with bacon and a few skewers of the other two marinated batches. The baccon wrapped bites were the family favorite. Bacon for the win!

  10. Just got your recipe for pork finger ribs on a stick. I have grilled these before, so I am eager to try your recipe. One suggestion – wrap them in bacon, as I do the whole grilled finger ribs. What could go wrong. It’s bacon!