Hickory Smoked/Bbq Baby Back Ribs

Total Time
4hrs 30mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 4 hrs

The ultimate smoked baby back ribs at home. Just as good as any smoke house that you'll go to. An amazing recipe that was adapted from a cooks illustrated article.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Combine the salt, sugar and water in a large plastic container or non-reactive stock pot.
  2. Place ribs in brine and refrigerate for one hour.
  3. Meanwhile, combine all rub ingredients except sugar and grind into a green thick liquid with a food processor, blender or immersion blender.
  4. Remove ribs from the brine (after the hour) and pat dry with paper towels.
  5. Brush or rub green liquid over both sides of the ribs, sprinkle with sugar and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
  6. Place in refrigerator for a minimum of one hour, but preferably 4 hours, you can go overnight for a really flavorful treat.
  7. Wood/Charcoal method: Soak 2 large chunks of hickory in water. Light about 40-50 coals or you may also use an equal amount of dry hickory chunks for an intense smoke flavor.
  8. Do not use lighter fluid, a fire starter chimney is the best method.
  9. Once coals are covered with a gray ash push them over to one side put the soaked hickory chunks on the coals and replace the grate, form a pan with some heavy aluminum foil large enough for the rib, put it on the cool side of the grill, place the ribs in the"pan" add about 1 cup of water and put the cover on the grill with the holes over the meat.
  10. Turn the meat 180 degrees and over every 30 minutes.
  11. Add some more coals/wood in about 2 hours.
  12. Smoke ribs for a total of 4 hours.
  13. Gas Grill: I don't recommend this as it can leave a very slight chemical gas taste to the meat, but it does work.
  14. It's the same basic technique as the charcoal method, light the grill and turn off half (or 2/3rds) of the burners, use soaked hickory chips in a throw away aluminum pan on top of the hot side of the grill.
  15. For either method the temp inside the grill should be around 275°F with a total cooking time of 4 hours.
  16. Serve with your favorite bbq sauce. Se like recipe#26794, Lee Lee's Famous Barbecue Sauce for Ribs w/ Preserves.
  17. Brush some on the meat for the last 5-10 minutes of the cooking process if desired.


Most Helpful

Ok I must admit I like the flavor but as constructive critisim I think we both could work on getting the brine flavor a little deeper in the ribs... Maybe a little more time? I brine and smoke a turkey for Thanksgiving and I brine it for almost 40 hours, I think that maybe a bit much for ribs but additional time I think would help. The flavor was great and moist but closer to the bone the flavors were light. Thanks for the start... I will modify and continue using it.

Mr. D September 06, 2011

This is a great method to cook ribs! It left them tender, juicy, and delicious, with the smoke flavor penetrating the meat. I replaced the smoking chips throughout the process to ensure a good flavor. Cooking the entire process with low heat in smoke is a superior method and you have a fabulous recipe that produces ribs to die for! Thanks, Steve!

Sue Lau July 05, 2002

I had never heard of Brining ribs before so I had to try this one. The ribs came out just perfectly! Rich wonderful flavor. I used my Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker for these...about 260 degrees for 4 hours turning only once in the process so as to keep the temperature constant. Used dry Hickory Chunks over Briquetts. I made a Bar-B-Que sauce but no one used it! The meat was too good to drown out with sauce.

paul_11710697 July 01, 2010

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