Perfect Temperature To Smoke

To smoke meat like a pro, the most important question you need to know about is, “At what temp to smoke ribs?” If you like the BBQ, mentioned the 3-2-1 method in this article for smoking ribs is going to put a feather to a cap. You are absolutely going to love the fruitful recipe for tender, flavorful, delicious smoked ribs.

Ribs are a noticeable part of the BBQ competition circuit. Spare ribs are muscular and large to attend while baby back ribs bring you to the world of cute, tender, and short pieces. Spare pork ribs are better to win the BBQ marathon, where baby back ribs are best to conquer the hearts and stomachs of acquaintances at a friend or a family dinner.

Spare ribs are collagen-rich cuts of meat that renders encrusted juicy bark when slowly smoked. The incredible bark and meat ratio in ribs is nowhere else to find. Whether it is ribs slabs, dry-rubbed spicy racks of ribs, or riblets with sauces and coleslaw, the 3-2-1 recipe is going to do wonders. Spare pork ribs turn out great when smoked well, but they get very nasty if you do it improperly. So, ignite your smoker and be the star of the BBQ competition circuit.

Criteria for Choosing Ribs

As mentioned earlier, you can get two types of pork ribs from the market. Both of these ribs get smoked at different temperatures at different times. Two types of ribs available at any grocery store are:

1- Spare Ribs: Spare ribs start from the back and spread to the sides and the front. Pork spare ribs contain both cartilage and bones. These ribs get the name of St. Louis ribs when getting their cartilage removed. St. Louis Rib Cuts are meatier than baby cuts and take a while longer to get smoked.

2- Baby Back Ribs: Baby back ribs come from the back and are directly attached to the spine of the pork. These ribs are less meaty than spare ones. Less meat requires less time to cook, so these get smoked earlier.

what temp to smoke ribs

Prep The Ribs

The first step to smoke is to prepare ribs for smoking. Prepping ribs includes removing the excess fat as well as the membrane on the bone side. The bone side of the ribs has a shiny silver lining along with it. Some butchers remove it, but others do not. You can smoke your rib without removing the membrane, but it will be less tender and tasty this way. If your butcher has not removed it, here is how you can do it on your own.

You need a sharp knife to cut it and a paper towel to hold it. The shiny silver membrane is slippery and gets out of hand. Use a sharp knife and start with one end to it. Hold the membrane with a paper towel and start cutting it off. Try to get the big flap, and be careful you may not cut the ribs meat along with it. Turn over the rib and cut extra fat from this side. Now ribs are ready to season.

Seasoning The Ribs

It is necessary to apply the rub to ribs about 12 – 24 hours before smoking it. Apply the rub and let it get infused into the ribs. Seasoning the ribs not only adds flavor to it but also strengthens the meat flavor. Before applying the rub, moisturize pork ribs with mustard oil or olive oil. You can use any oil like olive; it depends on your choice. Oil lets the rub stick really well to the ribs, and a good crust can form.

Cooking the Ribs

Cooking and smoking ribs comes with different recipes and methods. Some people do not want crispy and crusty ribs, so they first smoke their pork ribs for many hours and then wrap them in the foil to lock in the smoke and moisture. Others do like it soggy and, they add BBQ sauces at the last hour of smoking. BBQ sauce burns quickly, so it needs you to be highly attentive and careful.

3-2-1 Rib Method

Each digit refers to the number of hours it takes in different stages. For the first 3 hours, you lock the smoky flavor in the meat. You steam the meat in the next 2 hours to keep it moist. In the last 1 hour, apply any favorite BBQ sauce of yours and let it glaze. Follow up the following instructions to get the best end product with the temp to smoke ribs.

  • Get your spare ribs out of the refrigerator about half an hour before or more. Ribs at room temperature smoke well, while cold ones are a waste of coal fuel and take longer to cook.
  • Preheat the smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit or so. Smoke the ribs and maintain the temperature between 225 degrees to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush the ribs with glaze and let it smoke for 3 hours.
  • During these three hours, you better keep moisturizing the ribs with some liquid in a spray bottle. Usually, it is 1/4 oil and 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar. You can use equal parts water and vinegar or any other liquids for more sweetening. Start spraying the ribs after the first 45 minutes, and after that shorten the interval to 30 minutes.
  • By that time, ribs will start to poke out about 1/4 inches, which tells that now is the time to wrap the ribs and lock in the moisture. Spread an aluminum foil, place the ribs over it. Add sugar, butter chunks, and apple cider vinegar. Wrap the ribs tightly and let them steam for the next two hours.
  • After two hours, remove the foil and, you will see the bones get more exposed. Brush your favorite BBQ sauce to add more flavors but do not add too much. Put it on the rack directly and let it smoke for an hour.

If you are thinking about which wood type is best for smoking ribs, Check out another article, best wood for smoking ribs, and get to know which one is good for you.