Smoked pork ribs recipe-Ribs on the smoker

Smoked Pork Ribs Recipe – It’s As Easy as 3-2-1

Today we are going to make some Delicious Smoked ribs. We are going to go over a simple Smoked Pork Ribs recipe. That is great for beginners and one that a lot of people who have been smoking for years stick to.

The 3-2-1 ribs are easy to get right and will give you fall-off bone ribs that many love. This is for backyard Barbecue, not competition style.

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Rack of cooked ribs. Smoked Pork Ribs recipe

Before you ask how long to smoke pork ribs. All I can say is. If you have not smoked ribs before, this is a great place to start. Once you have cooked ribs in the 3-2-1 method a few times, it is easy to adjust if it not what you are looking for (If you prefer your meat chewier). The 3-2-1 method converts to 6 hours of cooking.

Basic Run Down

  • What we are going to be doing is seasoning the ribs.
  • Cooking for 3 hours
  • Wrapping the ribs cooking for 2 hours
  • Then saucing the ribs cooking for 1 hour
  • Resting the ribs for 10-15 mins

The whole cook will be at 225° F

Prepping The Ribs

We are going to keep this simple. Normally I would trim off any parts of the rib that are too thin or leftover from when it was trimmed at the butcher (where it connects to the backbone) so forth. A lot will depend on what type of ribs you are using.

Smoked Pork Ribs Recipe. Trimming the ribs

For this cook, we are not going to do any trimming, though. We are going to keep it simple. I did trim off a few big clumps of fat. Mainly cause they were loose and kind of hanging on the meat by a thread, one might say.

The first thing I do is take a couple of paper towels and pat the ribs dry. To get off any excess moisture. Then if you need, flip it over ( you want to have the bone side facing up for the next part).

Rack of ribs laying face down

In this step, we are going to remove the membrane. It is a simple task.

If you grab a butter knife and kind of pry it under the membrane to get it started, it makes it a lot easier.

starting to pry off membrane with butter knife

If the membrane starts to rip, don’t worry, you can still pull it off in pieces; it just takes a while longer.

Smoked pork ribs reciepe pulling off the membrane

Next, with the backside up, we are going to put on a binding agent (not required; it just helps the spice stick better). I like to use regular Yellow Mustard ( You can use what you like. Some people like to use stuff like olive oil as well). Don’t worry the mustard taste will not bleed through when all is done.

We Need Some Spice

Start by applying some mustard on the ribs. You don’t have to drown it but put on enough so you can rub it around evenly. Once this is done, it’s time to put on some seasoning. Use your favorite pork rub (BBQ rub); just apply it as evenly as you can.

back side of seasoned rack of ribs

Next, flip the ribs so the backside (the side where you can see the ribs is facing down). And follow the same procedure. Apply the mustard evenly as you can. Remember, you are not trying to drown it.

Ribs covered in Mustard

Then apply your seasoning.

seasoned rack of ribs

Now What I usually do is place it in the fridge for an hour or 2. This will give the spices more time to work into the meat. Depending on how you are smoking your ribs.

You can decide when to pull them from the fridge. I usually time it so the ribs can sit out 15 mins before placing them in the smoker. We are going to be cooking these at 225° F.

About Time To Start Smoking

You do not have to let the ribs sit in the spices. If you are in a hurry, you can just place the ribs in the smoker once done seasoning. (just make sure you have your smoker getting up to temp while you are prepping the ribs)

I am using a Pellet Smoker to smoke these; some people may be using an electric smoker, a charcoal or gas grill, or even an offset smoker, so you will need to time it to your timetable of getting up to temp. It usually takes My Pellet Smoker 15-20 mins to get up to temp.

I will pull the ribs out of the fridge and let them sit while my smoker is getting up to temp.

Today we are using the Pit Boss Competition blend. I switch between Apple, Cherry, and Competition Blend.

Starting The 3-Hour cook

Most of the hard work is done. Now that our Smoker is up to temp (225° F), I place our ribs in the smoker. Set a timer for 3 hours and let them cook.

Ribs on the grill after 3 hours

(Beep, beep)

Oh, the timer just went off. Let’s go grab those ribs and grab them off the grill.

Time to Wrap and Cook for 2 Hours

Now it’s time to wrap the ribs and let them simmer in their juices. For this, you will need.

  • Tinfoil
  • Butter or margarine, whatever you prefer
  • Brown sugar
  • Apple juice ( Apple vinegar, Apple Cider works well too) People use all kinds of substitutes beer, pop, and so forth.

I normally bring the ribs back into the house for this step, but you can do it outside as well if you are set up for it and prefer to keep the mess outside.

ribs after smoking 3 hours

Now you want to grab some tin foil and roll it out. Make sure it long enough so you can wrap the ribs. If you don’t have tin foil wide enough, use two sheets and split it.

Next, we want to place 2-3 tbsp of butter on tin foil and about 1/4 cup brown sugar.

tin foil with brown sugar and butter

Place the ribs face down (bone side up), centering as best as possible.

Next place 2-3 tbsp of butter and 1/4 cup brown sugar on the ribs in the same manner; just this time, you’re placing it directly on the ribs ( They should be bone side up).

Gently start to wrap the ribs pull the tin foil up to where it looks kind of like a cup. I then pour 3/4-1 cup of apple juice(use what you prefer) directly on the ribs and wrap tightly.

It is suggested to double wrap. The bones like to puncture the tin foil sometimes. Double wrapping will help prevent this.

tin foil wrapped around ribs

Place the ribs back on Smoker. We are going to set the timer for 2 hours this time. We are still cooking at 225° F

Smelling Good It’s Time to Sauce

(Beep, Beep)

Oh, the timer went off. It took long enough; the ribs are smelling amazing, and I am already hungry.

Go grab the ribs From the smoker, it’s time to unwrap them and time to start saucing. Be careful when removing from tin foil. The ribs will be really tender and can tear really easily.

Ribs on a rack

The rib meat should be retracting from the bones by now.

We are going to coat both sides with your favorite BBQ sauce. We want to sauce the bottom first (Side where you can see the bones). Once you have a nice coating of sauce, flip it over and repeat.

puttin BBQ sauce on ribs

Now that you got a nice coating of sauce on the ribs. Put them back on the smoker. (remember to be careful. They can rip fall apart real easy)

Ribs on a grill

Now we let the sauce cook in for 1 hour (I will normally check after 30 mins, and if ribs are looking a little dry, I will put another coating of sauce on the top.)

Hour Is Up…

Oh, the ribs are done time to get them off the Smoker.

The Internal temp should be around 190° F for those that like to check. I have heard 185°-200° F

Cooked ribs on rack and backing sheet

Did you save the tin foil from before? I hope so. Now we need to tent the ribs with tin foil while the rest.

Place the tin foil over the ribs. You don’t have to be tight. We need to let the ribs rest for 15 mins or so. The tin foil will help keep in the heat. Letting your ribs rest for 15 min or so will give the juices and heat time to redistribute evenly. Giving you some very tender ribs.

Time To Cut The Ribs And Eat.

After you have rested your ribs, cut them up (can re sauce if you like really saucy ribs). It’s time to serve.

If you have any question or comments would love to hear them.


Smoked pork ribs recipe-Ribs on the smoker

Smoked Pork Ribs Recipe – Easy as 3-2-1

This is a easy recipe that anyone can do to fall off the bone ribs
Prep Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Resting time 15 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 762 kcal


  • Smoker


  • 1 Rack of pork rubs
  • 1 ½ cup yellow mustard
  • 1 ½ cup Brown sugar
  • 1 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 ½ cup Favorite pork rub
  • 1 roll Tin foil
  • 1 6 tbsp Butter
  • 1 bottle Your favorite BBQ sauce


  • Trim any excess fat from ribs
    Smoked Pork Ribs Recipe-trimming off extra fat
  • Remove the membrane
    Smoked pork ribs recipe pulling off the membrane
  • Apply thin layer of Mustard
    Smoked pork ribs recipe-Apply coating of mustard
  • Apply Favorite pork dry rub
    Smoked pork ribs recipe-Apply coating of dry rub
  • Let sit in refrigerator for 2 hours. Pull out about 15 mins before ready to put on smoker
    Smoked pork ribs recipe-Ribs after sitting for 2 hours with dry rub
  • Start the first part of the cook. Put on smoker for 3 hours at 225° F
    Smoked pork ribs recipe-Ribs on the Smoker
  • At 3 hours it's time to wrap the ribs. Pull them off the smoker
    Smoked pork ribs recipe-ribs after smoking 3 hours
  • Grab your tin foil and roll it out so it long enough to fold over the ribs.Place few dabs of butter and 1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar on tin foil
    Smoked pork ribs recipe-tin foil with brown sugar and butter
  • Place ribs face down on tin foil over the butter and brown sugar. Then add a few more dabs of butter and another 1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar over the back side of the ribs. then pull up the sides of tin foil to make a bowl shape.Add 3/4- 1 cup apple juice over the top of the ribs and finish wrapping the ribs. It is a good idea to double wrap the ribs in tin foil
    Smoked pork ribs recipe-tin foil wrapped over ribs
  • Put back on the smoker for 2 hours
  • After 2 hours . pull the ribs off the smoker and apply your favorite BBQ sauce to both sides of the ribs.
    Smoked pork ribs recipe-applying BBQ sauce to ribs
  • Place back on smoker for 1 hour
    Smoked pork ribs recipe-Ribs on the smoker
  • After an hour bring in tent with tin foil and let rest for 15 mins
    Smoked pork ribs recipe-Ribs under tin foil
  • After 15 mins of resting. Cut and eat..
    Smoked pork ribs recipe-cutting ribs


Be careful when handling the ribs. After the first 3 hour cook they will be hot and start getting tender. So be careful not to rip them or burn yourself.
Keyword Smoked pork ribs reciepe

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