Introduction: Smoked Ribs - Dry Rubbed

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Nothing says "Summer Cookout" like meats cooked low and slow in a good smoke. For this Instructable, I've used spareribs, trimmed by hand, dry-rubbed, and smoked in applewood. The results are tender, flavorful, and delicious.


  • Two large racks of spareribs
  • Selection of dry rubs (I used Amberger, Sassy, and Yucatan Pit Rub)
  • Applewood chips

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Step 1: Trim Ribs

If your ribs haven't already been trimmed, the excess fat and silverskin on the backs of the ribs needs to be trimmed off. This results in ribs that are more tender and with the proper "bite." Leaving the silverskin on makes the rib meat chewier and tougher.

Trim any excess fat from the ribs, then using a very sharp boning knife, work the blade under the silverskin along the backs of the rib bones. after slicing the silver skin open, run the knife along the back of the bone while gently pulling upward on the silverskin to remove it. See pictures for details.

It is also helpful at this point to cut the racks into halves or thirds in order to make them easier to work with and easier to fit in the smoker.

Step 2: Rub

Using ample amounts of your favorite rub (or rubs), gently pat and massage the rub into the ribs. Use an ample amount, as you will lose some during handling and smoking.

Seal the rib sections in large 2-gallon bags. Use commercial bags, since they are made from a heavier mill plastic and can handle heavy rib sections without tearing. Allow the ribs to season in a refrigerator overnight.

Step 3: Prep Chips

About an hour before smoking, soak the wood chips in a bowl filled with lukewarm water. Drain and squeeze out excess water then load into chip tray in smoker. Preheat smoker to 215-225 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 4: Wrap Ribs

Wrap the rib sections in food service foil. This is aluminum foil that is thicker and wider than regular aluminum foil to accommodate large hunks of meat. The goal isn't to completely seal the meat, but rather to aid in retaining moisture and make it easier to move the meat around. I typically will pack two rib sections together in each foil packet. These fit in the smoker better. It is also helpful to have a half steam table pan to carry the rib packets around in.

Smoke at 215-225 degrees until the internal temperature is at least 155 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to mop with BBQ sauce, do so at this point then leave in for 10-15 more minutes. Remove ribs from smoker, cover with foil for about 10 minutes to allow them to rest (this helps retain moisture and makes them tender and juicier).

Plate and enjoy!

Outdoor Cooking Challenge 2016

Runner Up in the
Outdoor Cooking Challenge 2016