Most of the world’s pleasurable foods, whether hot or cold smoked like bacon all have one thing in common, they owe their distinguishing savor and character to smoke and their deliciousness is unmatched. Ever had some baby back rib cravings yet couldn’t figure out a way to make them? Here’s the answer to what you’re looking for.

Smoking foods is an art which requires some skill and expertise and we are going to see how long to smoke baby back ribs and have a finger-licking meal. Watch out!

Choose Your Ideal Smoker

How Long to Smoke Baby Back Ribs

Simple isn’t always easy and so is smoking. Care needs to be taken when selecting the ideal smoker to use, be it at home or at restaurant. Your smoker personality i.e. your target, number of people you’re cooking for and your experience will determine what kind of smoker to purchase.

Some smokers run on gas or electricity while others burn charcoal or wood, it all depends on you.

Did You Know Smoke Is A Flavor?

The chief fuel for smoking is wood. There are controversies as to which wood smoke goes with a meat-type. Truth is how you burn your wood is the real issue at hand, not which type of wood you burn. Hickory, apple, cherry and oak are good woods advised for smoking.

The amount of wood you’ll need depends on your smoker type. It’s worth noting that charcoal does not produce smoke, but heat alone, wood is needed for its smoke flavor.

Smoke masters burn wood throughout the entire smoking process yet others during the final cooking hours. But why? Meat gradually loses its ability to absorb smoke with time.

What Ingredients Are We Going To Use?

  • ½ cup of dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup of warmed honey
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Apple juice
  • Olive oil
  • Yellow mustard
  • BBQ sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fine pieces of baby back ribs.



We are going to make the baby back ribs so good, so lip-smacking, you won’t even believe they just came out of your smoker.

A distinctive rack of baby back rib may be able to feed two to three people. Let your guy at the butchery cut of a meaty rack for you, one with striped patches of white fat and avoid shiners. Trim off and leave just enough fat. We prefer the ribs fresh.

A thin skin membrane covers the bones of baby back ribs. Depending on how you want them, you can to choose to peel of the membrane or leave it whole. Some people like the membrane left on for the papery crackle upon grilling or smoking yet others feel it impedes the rub from dipping in the meat properly. It’s all up-to you.

On the eve prior to your rib smoking day, peel off the membrane from the back side of the ribs. Use a blunt knife to pierce one end of the membrane until it is loose long enough for your hands to grip, then slowly detach the membrane from the ribs using your index finger and thumb. To give it a firmer grip you can use paper towels. Wouldn’t you like your ribs tender? Don’t hesitate. Trim it off.

This is also the best time to apply rub as it works best overnight.

Mix some portion of the apple juice, olive oil, honey, the Worcestershire sauce and the mustard in a separate bowl and thinly slather it out on the upper and lower sides of the ribs. This acts as a good binding agent for the rub on the ribs.


You can season with the rub, preferably the Southern Style BBQ Bros Rubs from Amazon here and the Traeger Sauce here.

Before lighting up the smoker take out the ribs from the refrigerator an hour before, and let them adapt to room temperature for evenness during cooking.

225-250 degrees Fahrenheit is the advisable heat level to work with. Try to maintain it within the range for optimal results. The oven thermometer will ascertain this.

It’s Smoke and Grill Time! What to Do?

Bring your patience along as the ribs ought to take say 3-4 hours on average. Put the racks of ribs on the smoker, over the trickle pan, with the meat-side up. Ensure the charcoal is glowing not flaming. Alternatively, you may cover the ribs in foil, towards the end. The difference will be slight, but relative.


Remember the mixture of sauces we made above? Yes, put it in a spray can and spray it on the smoking ribs in intervals of thirty minutes, at the same time careful to regulate the temperatures. Keep your exhaust damper open as smoke accumulation could give them an unpleasant taste.

Take your aluminium foil sheets, fold up their sides to keep the liquid in place, and while at it you can sprinkle the sugar, honey and apple juice.

Cover the meat with another foil on top to keep all the liquid from leaking and to keep it moist, not soupy. The foiled pieces are ready to be grilled again, for another two hours and the syrup will cook to a sticky glaze.

Take off the foil from the ribs and smear the remaining syrup on both sides. Careful not to get burnt by the steam. Let them grill directly for thirty minutes and then you’re good to go!

You can serve the racks whole or slice into individual pieces, with extra syrup.

Personal preferences

We all have our preferences when it comes to food taste. Extended long hours of smoking under reduced temperatures as was done traditionally means better tenderness, but we don’t have 12 hours, we don’t have a whole day to wait to savor the ribs. With a well-blended syrup containing apple juice, the desired tenderness can be achieved in only six hours. Additional powders such as Paprika Chili, Garlic and Onion can be used to season as well.

Any questions regarding the smoking can be dropped in the comments section.


  • Project Smoke: Seven Steps to Smoked Food Nirvana, Plus 100 Irresistible Recipes by Steven Raichlen.
  • The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling by Methhead Goldwyn.