Pre-slicing Ribs Before Smoking Them

There's a standard way to make smoked pork ribs and, up until now, it did not include pre-slicing them. This is an amazing recipe/technique and I recommend you try it.
Course Entree
Cuisine Hot Smoking
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Servings 4 -6
Author Jeff Phillips

What You'll Need

  • 1-2 racks of baby backs , spare ribs or a mix of the two
  • Foil pans
  • Foil
  • Jeff’s barbecue sauce recipe
  • Jeff’s original rub recipe


Step 1: Rinse and Pat Dry

  1. Remove ribs from package and rinse well under cold water
  2. Pat dry with paper towels and lay on cutting board

Step 2: Remove Membrane

  1. If the ribs have a membrane (thick plastic-like skin on bone side), it’s a good idea to remove it if you can.

Step 3: Slice

  1. Baby backs: Use a very sharp knife and slice right between the bones.
  2. Spare ribs: For best results, trim these up St. Louis style. This just means you remove the brisket bone that runs along the leading edge and square them up a little by removing the extra pieces of meat on the ends. Then slice them up.

Step 5: Get the Smoker Going

  1. These will do well on any smoker or even a grill as long as you can maintain temperatures between 225-240°F using indirect heat.
  2. Make sure you have enough smoking wood for about 3-4 hours of smoke.
  3. If your smoker has a water pan, I recommend using it.
  4. Once the smoker is set up and holding the proper temperature, you can proceed with cooking the ribs.

Step 6: Smoke for 2 hours

  1. Smoke them for about 2 hours at 225-240°F.

Step 7: Add Rub and Braise in Foil

  1. Toss them into a foil pan. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of my original rub on them for the first layer of flavor.

  2. Cover the foil pan of rubbed ribs with foil. Make sure it’s tight around the edges to keep the steam inside.
  3. Leave them this way for 1 to 1.5 hours depending on how tender you want them.

  4. When this step is finished, simply remove the foil cover from the top of the pan.

Step 8: Add the Main Layer of Rub and Sauce

  1. Apply about 1 cup of my barbecue sauce all over the ribs.

  2. Toss the ribs around in the pan to make sure they are well coated with the sauce.
  3. Now sprinkle about 1/2 cup of rub all over the tops of the ribs then shake the pan lightly to coat.

Step 9: Finish Smoke Cooking

  1. With the top left uncovered, continue to cook the ribs for an additional 1.5 to 2 hours or until they are at the consistency that you want.

Step 10: Serve Up

  1. When they are done cooking, you can cover them with foil, and hold them on low heat for an hour or serve them right away.
  2. Dump into a serving container or let folks grab them right out of the pan.. your choice.