These Beginner Dry Rub Smoked Pork Ribs are easy grilled ribs perfect for first-time grillers and experienced grillers alike! It’s a simplified recipe that takes no time to prep and results in fall-off-the-bone-tender and flavorful pork!
Let’s talk about these sexy pork ribs. This recipe is the perfect outside grilling and entertaining recipe for the season! I simplified it so you can use pre-made ribs and sauces if you want, but still have the best damned finger-licking barbecue on the block.
Whether you’re a grilling pro or newbie, this recipe is one that will have everyone thinking you’re an expert!
What you need to make this recipe
- Pork Ribs – I use baby backs or St. Louis style.
- Spice Blend – use the spice blend of your choice. I like to use something with a bit of sweetness and a bit of spiciness for a classic hit.
- Salt – only if needed to add more flavor to the spice blend.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – used to spritz the ribs throughout the cooking process so it doesn’t dry out.
Barbecue Sauce – this is optional, but I like to use BBQ sauce at the end to baste the ribs and add more flavor.
How to make dry rub smoked pork ribs
First, prep your ribs by patting them dry and removing the membrane along the back of the ribs, if it hasn’t already been trimmed.
Rub the ribs in a heavy coating of the spice mixture, then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for one hour.
Preheat your grill for indirect heat and arrange a small aluminum pan with a bit of water in it off on the side of the grill over the grate. When the grill is ready, arrange the ribs over indirect heat, cover, and cook for 45 minutes.
Spritz the ribs with a light coating of the vinegar, close the grill again, and continue to cook, spritzing as needed, for 3 hours.
After the ribs are done cooking, base the ribs in sauce and fire over high heat to get a nice sear. Remove quickly, rest for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.
What temperature do you cook pork ribs in a smoker?
You’ll want to set the grill to maintain a heat of around 225-250ºF. This is the perfect temperature to allow it time to become ultra-tender without drying out.
How long should you smoke pork ribs?
You will smoke the pork ribs for an initial 3 hours, low and slow. After that, you’ll take a couple of minutes to sear the pork ribs over high heat to give it that nice crust.
I recommend using a meat thermometer to verify that the internal temperature is a minimum of 145ºF before serving!
Tips, tricks, and notes for this recipe
- Cook on indirect heat. Indirect heat is perfect for the low and slow cooking process to get super tender meat. If you cook on direct heat, the pork will quickly dry out and burn.
- Sear quickly. Fire the pork ribs over high heat to get the sear but move them off quickly. If you leave them on too long, the sugars in the sauce will caramelize and burn very fast.
- Let it rest. After the pork ribs are done cooking, let them rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing into them to allow the juices to redistribute into the meat. If you cut them too soon, the moisture will just seep out and you’ll end up with dry meat.
- Add flavor to the pork by wrapping wood chips in foil and placing them over the direct heat. This gives that flavor of real wood smoke when you’re using a gas grill.
You can slice the pork off the bone and serve it next to any of your favorite side dishes! Try it with roasted brussels sprouts, Summer scallop and crab pasta, beef tallow furikake fries, or mashed potatoes!
How to store
Leftover smoked pork will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.
To reheat, thaw in the fridge if frozen, then microwave or warm on the stove until heated through.
More grilled ribs recipes you’ll love
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Beginner Dry Rub Smoked Ribs
- 4 lbs pork ribs about 2 racks of baby backs or St. Louis Style
- 1 cup spice blend of choice use something with a hint of heat and a hint of sweet for a classic hit
- Additional salt if needed for the blend
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups barbecue sauce if desired
Prep the ribs
- Prep your ribs by removing from the packages, patting dry and arranging on a clean flat work surface.4 lbs pork ribs
- Work carefully to remove the membrane along the back of the ribs, if it hasn't already been trimmed for you.
- Rub the ribs in a heavy coating of the spice mixture, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for one hour.1 cup spice blend of choice
- Preheat your grill for indirect heat by lighting the burner on one side to high, and the others to low. Set the grill to maintain a heat around 225/250 degrees F.
- Arrange a small aluminum pan with a bit of water in it off on to the side of the grill over the grate.
- When the grill is ready, arrange the ribs, bone side down (or in a rib rack) over the indirect heat.
- Close the lid and let grill for 45 minutes.
- Spritz the ribs quickly with a light coasting of the apple cider vinegar and close the grill again.1 cup apple cider vinegar
- Allow the ribs to continue cooking, spritzing as you feel needed, for a total of 3 hours.
Sauce the ribs
- Remove the ribs from the grill and arrange on a large bakign sheet. Brush the ribs with barbece sauce2 cups barbecue sauce
- Increase the medium-high and fire off the ribs over high heat to get a nice sear – but move quick – as any sugars in that sauce will caramelize quickly and burn!
Rest & Serve
- Rest the ribs for 5 minutes before slicing between the bone and meat to serve.