How Long To Smoke The Ribs? 

Well, perfectly smoked ribs (whether beef or pork) are a savory delight for anyone because they will turn out excellently delicious if you consider the right way to smoke them. 

For making toothsome smoked ribs, choose the ingredients carefully as they play a vital role in providing you with a soft, juicy, and tender piece of meat. 

Ribs are easy to smoke if they are correctly seasoned, and they will take just a few hours to become completely tender and heavenly delicious. 

A smoked rib is a delight in itself, though if you don’t like to serve it alone, you can top it with sauces and herbs to enhance its texture & flavor and fill it with several side dishes. 

I have some smoked ribs-related questions to answer in this article, like how to smoke the ribs? How long does it take to smoke the ribs? How will you know the ribs are done? What side dishes can you serve with smoked ribs? 

Besides, I will share some essential tips that you should follow while smoking the ribs and the best wood for smoking ribs. 

What are the ingredients to make the best-smoked ribs?

Undoubtedly, the addition of spices and herbs always enhances food’s beauty. That’sThat’s why you should be very careful about selecting ingredients while making any recipe at home. 

Well, for having delicious smoked ribs, the best ingredients that you can use are as follow; 

  • Ribs (beef or pork)

For seasoning 

Kohsar salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Cayenne pepper

Packed dark brown sugar

Smoked paprika

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Dijon mustard

Barbeque sauce

Wood chips (any wood chips that you like to use)

The recipe that you can use to smoke ribs

For smoking 

Here is the recipe that you can use to smoke ribs;

Cut off the membrane.

  • First of all, clear the membrane on the ribs with the help of a paper towel. Try again with the paper towel if it doesn’t come off once. The removal of the membrane will help in smoking the ribs perfectly. 
  • If you see excessive fat on the ribs, use a sharp knife and trim the fats. Wash the ribs and pat them to dry. 


  • Mix all the spices like black pepper, paprika, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, etc., in a bowl and leave it for a few minutes. 

Soak the wood chips 

  • Take the wood chips, whether you are using fruit woods or oak, in a small bowl and soak it in water for at least one hour or overnight. 

Season the ribs

  • Take a brush and put mustard on the ribs. After brushing, sprinkle all the spices on it and rub gently. 

Smoke the ribs

  • After perfectly seasoning the ribs, place the soaked wood chips in the smoker along with the ribs and cover the lid. Smoke the ribs for almost 4 hours until they turn orange-red. 
  • Now wrap the ribs with aluminum foil and smoke for another 2 hours because if you continue to smoke unwrapped ribs, they will become bitter and tasteless. 

Add barbeque sauce

  • After smoking the ribs, place them over the heated grill and add barbeque sauce or any other sauce to increase the flavors and texture. 


  • Once you have done cooking, leave the ribs for a few minutes to reabsorb the juice. Cut the slice of meat and serve it. 

How long to smoke ribs? 

The thoroughly cooked tender and juicy ribs need 6 ½ hours. First of all, smoke the ribs for 4 ½ hours until it turns orange-red. 

 Then wrap the ribs with heavy-duty aluminum foils and smoke for another 2 hours to ensure the softness and evenly cooking of the ribs. 

What side dishes can you serve to make ribs? 

You can eat smoked ribs alone because they have different spices and flavors that make them toothsome. Though if you want to make it more flavorful, you can serve many dishes with smoked ribs, such as;

  • Coleslaw
  • Baked beans
  • Fried green tomatoes
  • Corn fritters
  • Sweet & spicy cornbread
  • Macaroni & cheese casserole 
  • Potato salad
  • Corn with basil butter

What tips should you follow while smoking the ribs? 

A few essential tips that you must consider while making juicy, soft, tender, and flavourful smoked ribs are as follows; 

  • Do not use frozen ribs for smoking.
  • Buy fresh ribs that have pink color and marbling. 
  • Before smoking the ribs, remove the membrane for perfect flavor.
  • Wrap the ribs while smoking because they will become bitter if over smoked.
  • Use bbq sauce or any other sauce for more delicious ribs. 
  • Use the best wood to smoke the ribs, such as alder or hickory.
  • Once you have done, leave the ribs for reabsorbing the juices and adding moisture to them. 

Which wood is best for smoking the ribs? 

The best woods that you can use for smoking ribs are Adler, mesquite, oak, and hickory as well as you can use fruit woods such as woods of apple, pecan, cherry, and maple because these woods have a sweet fruity flavor. 

Interestingly, when you use these woods for smoking ribs, it enhances the flavor and aroma of ribs and makes them more appealing and delectable. 

You should remember that do not over-smoke the ribs because it will make them bitter. 

How to smoke ribs in an electric smoker? 

To smoke ribs in an electric smoker, all you have to do is; 

  • Remove the membrane. 
  • Season the ribs with spices and herbs.
  • Preheat the electric smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Smoke the ribs for 20-30 minutes.
  • Apply bbq sauce for more flavors.
  • Leave the ribs to reabsorb juice and serve. 

How to store the smoked ribs? 

If stored correctly in the fridge, the smoked ribs can last for 3-5 days. For keeping the ribs, wrap them in aluminum foil and put them in an airtight container or resealable freezer bag. Please place them in the refrigerator. 

Though if you want to experience the best flavor and aroma, eat the freshly prepared ribs as soon as possible. 

How to reheat the smoked ribs? 

If you have leftovers of smoked ribs in your refrigerator and decide to have them for dinner, you can serve them by reheating. 

For reheating; 

  • Wrap the foil on the ribs. 
  • Please place them in the smoker and heat. 
  • Remove the foil and apply barbeque sauce. 
  • Serve the ribs with toppings. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the nutritional value of eating smoked ribs? 

Smoked ribs are a highly nutritious food item because rib meat contains high amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, sodium, cholesterol, and calories. 

So people suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes, or those struggling hard to lose weight should avoid smoked ribs. 

What is the best temperature for smoking the ribs?

The appropriate temperature for smoking ribs is between 175-180 degrees Fahrenheit and above 200 degrees Fahrenheit. 

For a deliciously soft, tender, and flavourful meal, smoke the ribs at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 5-6 hours. 

What dipping sauces and toppings should you serve with ribs? 

The dipping sauces and topping that you can serve with smoked ribs are as follows; 

  • Dippings

Soy ginger sauce

Peanut sauce

Creamy pineapple lime sauce

Honey mustard sauce

Apricot dijon sauce

  • Toppings

Caramelized onions

Slices of vegetables

Mustard sauce



Properly cooked or smoked ribs are excellent dishes to serve at family gatherings or official dinner parties. This super delicious food item is loaded with flavors and spices that you can’t resist. 

For making this delicious food item, you need a perfect recipe, a good choice of ingredients, an ideal temperature, and a lot of care while smoking. Moreover, avoid over smoking the ribs; otherwise, they will turn bitter and tasteless. 

Lastly, to enhance the flavors, aroma, and beauty of smoked ribs, you can add different toppings, dipping sauces, and side dishes. 

About Carissa Taylor

Carissa is the founder and creator of the Gliving. With an emphasis on healthy eating and living, Carissa's recipes and food photography have been featured in various publications including the Food Network Blog, Huffington Post, TODAY Food, and more.