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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


  • 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

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

Step 2: Remove Membrane

  • 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

  • Baby backs: Use a very sharp knife and slice right between the bones.
  • 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

  • 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.
  • Make sure you have enough smoking wood for about 3-4 hours of smoke.
  • If your smoker has a water pan, I recommend using it.
  • Once the smoker is set up and holding the proper temperature, you can proceed with cooking the ribs.

Step 6: Smoke for 2 hours

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

Step 7: Add Rub and Braise in Foil

  • Toss them into a foil pan. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of my original rub on them for the first layer of flavor.
  • Cover the foil pan of rubbed ribs with foil. Make sure it’s tight around the edges to keep the steam inside.
  • Leave them this way for 1 to 1.5 hours depending on how tender you want them.
  • 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

  • Apply about 1 cup of my barbecue sauce all over the ribs.
  • Toss the ribs around in the pan to make sure they are well coated with the sauce.
  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.
  • Dump into a serving container or let folks grab them right out of the pan.. your choice.