How to Smoke Ribs

How to Smoke Ribs

How to Smoke Ribs


There are many ways to smoke ribs making them succulent, sweet tasty and full with a natural smoky flavor. This method uses a water smoker which not only delivers the richness of smoke but cleans up easily after the process.


Water smokers are available in electric, gas or charcoal, and all work well. Charcoal smokers have two pans - one for charcoal and one for liquid which creates the moist, hot smoke needed for cooking.


Food Safety

Food safety is of primary concern when smoking any meats. The "danger zone" is the temperature range between 40 and 140 degrees F. When uncured meat remains in this range for more than 2 hours the growth of bacteria increases to a dangerous level. When meat is smoked, the environment is robbed of most if its oxygen. If this is combined with temperatures in the danger zone, the growth of the bacteria that causes botulism is increased. Use an oven thermometer to monitor your smoker or grill's internal temperature.


Rib Rubs
Seasoning ribs before hand enhances the flavor when the ribs are finally cooked. The best Dry Rub Rib mixture will allow the meat to marinate evenly throughout the ribs. Using Jake's Tri-Tip, Steak and Rib Rub is the best all natural dry rib rub available today. The seasoning blends naturally with the juices of the meat deepening the flavor. Shake Jake's Tri-Tip, Steak and Rib Rub on generously then let the meat "marinate" in the rub for several hours to a day or so before smoking.


Option for water smoking include wine, juices or even beer. Whatever liquid or liquid combination you choose to smoke with, first soak your wood chips in this liquid. Depending on the flavor you want, you can vary the type of chips used. Alder, Mesquite and hickory are three of the most popular. Soak the wood chips for no less that 1 hour. After soaking the chips, use the same liquid which will be poured in the water pan and used for the smoking process.


After setting your wood chips to soak it's time to start building a fire. One of the best ways is to use a chimney starter and a good quality charcoal. After the coals were well lit, dump them into the charcoal pan adding more as needed.


Once the fire was going along nicely set the water pan in place along with the smoker's cylindrical body. Remove the wood chips from the soaking liquid then add the liquid to the water pan filling to the recommended level.


Place the lower rack inside then the lid on the smoker and monitor the internal temperature until it reaches 225° F to 275° F. Some smokers have built in temperature indicators, if not use an oven thermometer to determine temperature.


Once you have the right heat, quickly place the seasoned ribs on the lower grill racks, then the upper, and replace the cover. Add soaked wood chips to the charcoal through the side door of the smoker. Adding the meat quickly will help restore the cooking temperature more quickly. Each time the door is opened the unit can take up to 10 minutes to return to the desired cooking temperature. 


Add charcoal every hour, as necessary, to maintain 225° F to 275° F. Keep an eye on the liquid level to insure it doesn't boil out. Replenish the liquid as necessary. Place a handful or so of wood chips on the coals every hour or so. Be sure not to over smoke the meat. It takes a few times but you'll get the right ratios for good flavor soon enough. Heat and liquid are critical to maintaining the hot smoke.


Hints: The ribs are technically done when they reach an internal temperature that's out of the danger zone, but for smoky flavor you'll want to cook them much longer. Three hours is usually the minimum amount of time ribs should spend in the smoker, but some recipes call for much longer.


Add barbecue sauce after removing the ribs from the smoking process.


Things to avoid are smoking on windy days or in areas where the smoke will drift causing irritation to neighbors or family members.


One key issue that can't be repeated enough is heat management. Keep the doors closed unless absolutely necessary. Remember, open doors mean heat loss which means longer cooking periods which can also make meat tough. Manage heat to improve the overall end result.


If you follow all these steps your ribs should turn our perfectly, just remove, cut, and serve.


 Learn more about Memphis and Memphis Style Barbecue, Barbecue Sauce and

 Learn more about Dry Spice Rubs known as Dry Rubs

 Learn more on our Barbecue Cooking Blog,

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 Jake's Famous Foods, LLC
 Address :
 14252 Culver Drive Suite A-214,
 Irvine,  California -  92604  USA.
 Tel : 949-208-6185
 Fax : 775-264-4389