Tips to Create the Perfect Smoked Ribs



SMOKING:  When smoking meats such as ribs, the smoking wood you use should be used in moderation, just like salt.  Too much smoke will overpower your meat. A fruit wood such as apple or cherry is a good choice. You won’t run as much of a risk of overpowering the meat or making it bitter. Pick your wood for your meat.

Ribs on the smoker

COOKING TIME:  For cooking times longer than 2 hours, most meat will benefit from wrapping in foil. For example, a pork rib that will take 4 to 5 hours to cook should be wrapped after 2 ½ hours.  This will help tenderize the meat, and maintain the moisture. It wont be dry.

FLAVOR FOR THE MEAT:  Season the ribs with Swimmin’ in Smoke’s Radical Rib rub before cooking. Feel free to add a couple of tablespoons of apple juice, grape juice, or even cola to add some flavor and to help achieve that beautiful tenderness you are looking for in the perfect rib. (and, despite what you may have heard, “fall of the bone” ribs are overcooked. Look for a rib with a bite that pulls cleanly from the bone and doesn’t take all of the meat with it!). Also remember that yellow mustard is your friend!  A light coat of mustard will help tenderize as well as adding some flavor- but you won’t get the “mustard” taste.


SAUCE: If you want to add sauce, only add it during the last few minutes of cooking and allow it to “set” on the meat.  Sauce your ribs and put them back on the cooker for around 10 minutes. Too much heat or adding sauce too quickly will over caramelize the sauce and add that burnt sugar flavor.

20130527_175553My Ribs on the grill

GRILL: Almost any grill can be made into and indirect smoker for longer cooking times.  For a charcoal grill, simply build your fire to one side of the grill and cook on the other.  Placing a small pan with water or apple juice underneath your food will also help with this effect. Or use a smoker.

Charcoal on 1 side of grill 20150118_165026

TEMPERATURE: For most rib recipes, 250 degrees is a great temperature for smoking.  At this temperature, a St. Louis cut rib will cook in approximately 5 hours, wrapping it after 2 ½ hours, and you will have that juicy, tender perfection your looking to serve! Remember, there are many ways to cook ribs, this is just some tips that I have


Have you ever wondered where the ribs come from? What is the diference bettween baby backs and spare ribs?


Degree of Doneness for BEEF

Cooking times and temperatures vary with the method of preparation used, the size and shape of the Beef cut and the desired degree of doneness.

To ensure food safety in cooking hamburgers, a temperature of 160° F is recommended, or until the middle is no longer pink and the juices run clear.

Very Rare

125–130 °F


130-135 °F

Medium Rare

135–140 °F


140–150 °F


150–160 °F

Very Well Done

160+ °

Test roasts for doneness using a meat thermometer placed so the tip is in the center of the roast, not touching bone or resting in fat. Remove the meat from the oven when the thermometer registers 5-10° F lower than the desired doneness, as the temperature will rise after it comes out of the oven. A quick-read thermometer can also be used in roasts and is often used in testing steaks for doneness.