Ribs can be a tricky one. Ribs are one of the few meats where you do not use the thermometer, so theres nothing telling you when the meat is ready to be pulled off. Just make sure to keep it low and slow, and you should be eating mouth watering ribs in no time!
First, we’ll set our Traeger Smoker to 225 degrees. once it hits 225, i like to switch to the smoke setting for 5 minutes to get an extra burst of smoke for when i toss the ribs on. Once the temp starts to dip below 220, I set it back to 225.
Take your ribs, and apply a line of mustard across the middle of the ribs. Follow by rubbing the mustard across the ribs, so a thin layer is coating the meat. this will help the dry rub bind to the meat. Once again, I’m a big fan of Code 3 Spices, but any pork rub should work pretty well. be very generous when applying the rub, as this is what creates the bark later in the process.
After applying the rub, apply a layer of bbq sauce with a cooking brush before tossing on the smoker (I prefer Code 3 Spices patriot sauce, but any bbq sauce will do). Don’t worry, even with adding some sauce now, your ribs will still have that nice bark you’ve come to expect from lengthy sessions on the smoker.
Make sure you smoke it low and slow, keeping it around 225 degrees, for about 7 hours. I like following the 3-3-1 rule- Smoke 3 hours, braise and wrap for 3 hours, then smoke one hour unwrapped. If you like your ribs a little saucier, you can apply more bbq sauce at this step. I like my ribs Texas style, so I don’t add sauce after the initial brushing.
Once the first 3 hours are almost up, its time to decide what youre going to wrap the ribs with. Make sure they are double wrapped in tin foil, so the heat and steam cannot escape. To give the ribs some sweetness without using too much sauce, I like putting a light drizzle of maple syrup, a sprinkle of brown sugar, and 2 squares of butter (per rack of ribs). The brown sugar mixes with the developing bark and forms a nice crystalization.
After 3 hours wrapped, unwrap and toss them back on the smoker for one more hour. Then you can finally pull them off, let rest for around half an hour, and enjoy your beautifully smoked ribs!
Scroll down for some photos of our latest smoked side ribs!