Mike’s Smoked BBQ Baby-Back Ribs

Smoked babyback ribs

This is a recipe based on the 3-2-1 smoker preparation method. I cannot take credit for it, and have spent many hours perfecting it based on time-tested techniques posted by others.
A dry rub is applied to choice baby back ribs which are smoked for three hours, then basted and braised for two hours, then basted and heated for an additional hour at a constant temperature.  An electric smoker takes the guesswork and hassle out of the preparation.

The result is amazing. Serve with grilled corn, baked beans and coleslaw on the side.



2 full racks Swift-Premium® Baby Back Ribs
BBQ spice rub (may I suggest my own handcrafted blend)
Apple juice
BBQ sauce
Hickory chips for smoking



Cut each full rack of ribs in half and then remove the membrane from the concave side. Use a paper towel to help grip the membrane – slowly pull it off like a decal.
It is important to do this so the rub will penetrate the meat.

Generously shake your choice of BBQ rub on both sides of the ribs. Gently press so the rub sticks to the meat.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 12-24 hours.

The next day, prepare an electric smoker by adding two cups of apple juice to the drip tray. Seal the door and preheat to 225°F. Wipe a small amount of peanut oil or nonstick cooking spray on the smoker grates so the ribs don’t stick. When the smoker is preheated, place the ribs on the smoker grates and seal the door. Add one cup of hickory wood chips to the chip loader the first three hours of smoking. No peeking! You lose heat every time the door is opened.

Rotate the smoking grates so the ribs closest to the top of the smoker box are placed near the bottom and the bottom grate is placed at the top after the first hour.

Remove the ribs from the rack and baste generously with your choice of BBQ sauce. Two of my personal favorites are Stubb’s and Famous Dave’s. Place in a covered enameled baking pan with two cups of apple juice.
Cover tightly and cook in the smoker (NO SMOKE) for two additional hours. Rotate the ribs in the pan after the fourth hour.

Remove the ribs from the covered baking pan and baste again with BBQ sauce. Bake directly on the smoker grates for one additional hour, until tender, with NO SMOKE.
The meat should easily pull apart when the rib bones are bent at an angle. You’ll also want to ensure the meat has receded slightly from the ends of the rib bones. The bones should have a nice char on the ends. Cover and keep warm until ready in a serving dish.

The smoker should be set at 225°F for the duration of the cooking process. Total cooking time: 6 hours.

Serves 4-6

Mike's babyback rib rub

BBQ hickory wood chips

BBQ hickory smoke


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