Hands Down. The Best Smoked Ribs Ever.

BBQ Smoked Ribs

This recipe is tough to beat. I have tried several variations and in my opinion, this method tops all of the rest.

It does take a fair amount of time to prepare but, when cooking food this good, it will be time well spent.

Start by preparing the dry rib rub below: Dry Rib Rub

  • 1/2 cup onion powder
  • 1/2 cup garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt

After the rub is ready, cut three full rib racks into serving size portions of two or three bone segments. Evenly coat the rib segments with the dry rub. Wrap and seal the coated ribs and refrigerate over night. I usually use gallon sizer freezer bags with a zipper seal.

When it is time to begin the smoking process, light your Camp Chef Smoke Vault, fill the water tray and fill the wood chip tray. Apple wood is a good complement to this recipe, though Hickory is a good substitute as well. Heat the smoker up to about 175 degrees. Place the rib segments evenly across the smoker racks. At this point, I use the 3-2-1 method. This represents the number of hours for each step.

3. Smoke the ribs for 3 hours adding wood chips as needed to allow the meat to soak up plenty of that smokey flavor.

2. Remove ribs from smoker and place rib segments on sections of aluminum foil in groups of two or three. Spritz each group of ribs with a significant amount of apple cider. Wrap rib segments in the aluminum foil and place back in the smoker for 2 hours. This will steam the ribs in the sweet apple juice, creating a very tender and tasty meat. Do not add more wood chips at this point because it will have no effect due to the ribs being wrapped in foil.

1. Remove ribs from smoker again and unwrap the aluminum foil. Baste each rib segment in your favorite BBQ sauce. I am partial to “Sweet Baby Ray’s” Original BBQ sauce flavor. Place the unwrapped ribs back in the smoker directly on the rack. Smoke for one final hour with some additional wood chips.

You Are Done!!

There are a couple of tips for using this method. First, keep the temperature as consistent as possible. The meat will be much more tender if there are not significant fluctuations in heat during the process. Second, make sure the meat is done. I use pork ribs and take the meat to about 160 degrees. Pork must be carefully cooked to ensure that it is finished. Finally, make more than you think you will need. Just trust me on this one. Enjoy!!