Smoked baby back ribs

Smoked baby back ribs

After years of making baby back ribs, this simple recipe has stood the test of time and methods, and it's also the easiest. Now that I use a Treager for most of my smoking, it's even easier keeping a constant temperature. I don't do any wrapping or flipping or spritzing. I've tried, but I'm looking for simple and consistent, and this brings both.

  • Active Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Inactive Prep time: 1 hour
  • Cook time: 5-6 hours (approximately)


  • One rack of baby back ribs, membrane on the back removed
  • 1/2 cup Kaydub Rub
  • Mustard or Oil or Water to help hold rub


  • Remove ribs from fridge an hour before putting it on the smoker, remove the layer of membrane from the back of the ribs, if present.
  • Lightly coat outside of both sides with yellow mustard or oil or water
  • Sprinkle rub over both sides of ribs
  • Let ribs sit at room temperature for the rest of the hour with rub on them
  • You can use a meat thermometer for an estimated temp, the bones will distort the actual temp, but you can still use it as a guide. A wireless one is ideal for the long smoke.
  • If using a Treager:
  • Set temp to 180°F, super smoke
  • Put ribs (meat side up) on once pre-heated
  • Leave on smoker for 2 hours
  • If not using a Treager start here:
  • Increase temp to 225°F (or if you want less smoke on the ribs in the Treager, you can start at 225°F, but if using a less automated smoker, or one that provides sufficient initial smoke, just go with 225°F the whole cook)
  • Cook for a total of 4 to 6 hours, until ribs are about 203°-205°F
  • Optional: You can spritz the ribs every 30-60 minutes with some apple juice, or apple cider vinegar, or other preferred spritz if you really want to. I don't find it adds enough flavor or improves the texture to justify the extra work.
  • The foolproof way to know they're done is the "bounce test". Pick up the ribs about half way down with tongs and bounce them. If the surface cracks, they're ready!
  • Optionally, you can put on a thin layer of BBQ sauce at this point, and either put them skin side down on a HOT grill, or put them under the broiler in the oven (my preference) to caramelize the sauce. Watch carefully so it doesn't burn.