Finger Lickin' Christmas Ribs

A sticky must-have-paper-towels version of our annual smoked Christmas ribs taken up a few notches by dry brining them before adding the rub on the outside.
Course Entree
Cuisine Hot Smoking
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Servings 6
Author Jeff Phillips

What You'll Need

  • 2 or more racks of pork baby back ribs
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • Jeff's original rub
  • Jeff's original barbecue sauce


  1. Remove the membrane using a sharp knife, your fingers, the end of a spoon, etc. to get under the membrane. Grasp the membrane with a paper towel for better grip or you can use catfish pliers.
  2. Place the ribs boney side up on the table or cutting board.
  3. Sprinkle about 1 tsp of kosher salt evenly on the boney side of the ribs.
  4. Place the ribs in the fridge for 2 hours.
  5. Remove the ribs from the fridge, flip them over to meaty side up and sprinkle a tsp of kosher salt evenly on the meaty (top) side of the ribs.
  6. Place the ribs back into the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight is okay.
  7. There is no need to rinse the ribs after this dry brining process.
  8. Season the outside of the ribs generously with my original rub on the top meaty side of the ribs.
  9. Let the ribs sit there just a few minutes until they get that "wet" look. This is the rub mixing with the natural juices in the meat.
  10. Set up your smoker for cooking at about 230°F if possible. Be sure to use a tried and true thermometer to make sure that your smoker is running at the temperature that it says it is.
  11. Once your smoker is heated up and ready to smoke, it’s time to get those ribs on the grate.
  12. Place the ribs bone side down if possible.
  13. Let the ribs cook at about 230°F and with smoke for 2 hours.
  14. At the end of 2 hours, wrap the ribs with foil.
  15. Do this carefully so as to not tear the foil. If you do happen to tear it, just double wrap it with another piece.
  16. Place the wrapped ribs back into the 230°F smoker and you can even stack them all together if you need to.
  17. Let them cook in this wrapped state for about 2 hours.
  18. With a total of 4 hours past, you now want to unwrap them again.
  19. They will be very soft on the outside and very tender on the inside, and this last step is to firm up the outside just a little before serving them.
  20. Remove the foil and place them back into the 230°F smoker for 1 hour.
  21. Paint the ribs with sauce several times over the course of this last hour to make them nice and sticky.
  22. Slice up the ribs and serve them