Go Back
loin back ribs recipe

Baby Back Ribs Recipe

Print Pin
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baby back ribs
Cook Time: 3 hours
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes


  • Smoker
  • Charcoal briquettes
  • Charcoal chimney starter and firelighter
  • Butter knife, spoon and/or tablespoon/teaspoon
  • A container to store ribs overnight
  • Sharp knife
  • Grinder and/or pestle and mortar
  • Small saucepan
  • Basting brush
  • Butcher paper
  • Cherry wood chunks


  • 1 rack Baby back ribs

Dry Rub

  • 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp Zanzibar black peppercorns


  • 1 Cup Sticky Fingers Carolina Sweet Barbecue Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Yes, Dear Red Sauce


  • Remove the baby back ribs from the vacuum packaging and discard it in the trash.
    1 rack Baby back ribs
  • Don't rinse the meat in the sink. Pat dry with paper towels.
  • Remove the membrane using a butter knife to lift and a spoon to further lift the membrane until you reach the other side. Then use your paper towel to grip and rip the membrane away from the bones.
  • Use a grinder or pestle and mortar to create a coarse grind for your kosher salt and peppercorns. I only use 1 Tablespoon of Kosher salt and 1 Tablespoon of Zanzibar black peppercorns for both the meat-side and bone-side of the ribs.
    1 Tbsp Kosher salt, 1 Tbsp Zanzibar black peppercorns
  • Put the ribs in a storage container or on a serving tray covered with saran wrap. Put in the refrigerator overnight to dry-brine.

Smoking the Baby Back Ribs

  • Take the baby back ribs out of the refrigerator and allow them to come up in temperature.
  • I use my Pit Barrel Cooker with charcoal briquettes to smoke pork ribs. Start with a half basket of unlit charcoal and then use your charcoal chimney to light 10-15 briquettes. Once the lit charcoal has ashed over, put the lit charcoal on the unlit charcoal. Put the basket in the pit barrel cooker with the basket towards the back of the barrel, leaving a gap between the intake damper and the basket.
  • Allow the smoker to come up in temperature and for the coals to ignite. During this process you might see a lot of white smoke. This will dissipate as the heat builds. Wait until there is thin blue smoke.
  • Once the smoker puts out thin blue smoke. Add two hardwood chunks of your favorite hardwood. I prefer to use cherry wood for it's sweet smoke.
  • With the ribs, identify which side is thinnest and count 2 ribs towards the center. With your meat hook, put it between the 2nd and 3rd rib bone.
  • Bring the ribs outside and hang from the rebar. Again, ensure that the ribs hang over the gap you created between the intake damper and the charcoal basket.
  • After one hour of smoking, spritz the surface of the ribs with water. Put back on the smoker. At this point, every 30 minutes you should be spritzing with water until you reach a desired color. This process took me another hour.
  • At this point you can wrap the ribs. I prefer to use butcher paper in order to preserve the bark as much as possible. Lay out two sheets of butcher paper and overlap them in the center. Spritz the paper with water and put the ribs meat-side down on the paper. Put grill grates on the PBC. Put the ribs back on the smoker meat side down (facing the fire).
  • After 30 minutes start to check doneness. I usually use the twist/tear method with a center bone to see if the meat is pulling away from the bone. However, using a temperature probe to poke between the bones works best. If it feels like you're sliding through hot butter, they're done. The finish temperature is usually between 195 - 205F. This process took another hour for a total cook time of 3 hours.
  • Bring inside to rest for 15 minutes.

Saucing the Ribs

  • In a small/medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of Sticky Fingers Carolina Sweet and 1/4 cup of Yes, Dear vinegar sauce.
    1 Cup Sticky Fingers Carolina Sweet Barbecue Sauce, 1/4 Cup Yes, Dear Red Sauce
  • Once the sauce has incorporated and is up in temperature, pour some sauce over the surface of the ribs and use a basting brush to spread it out evenly.


While this recipe uses the Pit Barrel Cooker, this process is essentially the same across all charcoal smokers. The only difference is that the PBC doesn't have to monitor a temperature due to how the convection works. If you're using a Weber kettle or similar smoker, you should maintain between 225 - 250F.