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Delicious homemade smoked ribs are easier to make than you think, especially using the popular 3-2-1 method.  Fall of the bone tender, and lip-smackingly good, these ribs are FABULOUS!! #ribs #pork #bbq #smoked #smoking #grilling #easyrecipe
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4.81 from 26 votes

How to Smoke Pork Ribs

Using the popular 3-2-1 method for smoking ribs is incredibly easy!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: ribs recipe, smoked ribs
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 1184kcal


  • 2 racks baby back ribs , membrane removed
  • 1/3 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • generous amount of your favorite dry rub
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 6 Tbsp bourbon , divided (or more apple juice)
  • 1 cup your favorite bbq sauce


  • Lay out 4 large sheets of aluminum foil and set aside. Fill hopper of smoker with wood pellets, I usually use hickory, but pecan or cherry would work as well.
  • Remove membrane from back of ribs. Slide a butter knife into the bone-side of the rack of ribs and make a small slit.  Grab the membrane and pull it off.  Use a paper towel to get a better grip on it.
  • Combine mustard, apple juice and Worcestershire sauce. Brush over ribs on both sides.  Season ribs with dry rub on both sides. Be generous.
  • Start smoker on the smoke setting for 5-10 minutes. Increase heat to 225 F degrees.  Smoke the ribs, meaty side up, for 3 hours.
  • Leave smoker on at 225 F degrees and place ribs on foil sheets.  Sprinkle rack of ribs on both sides with half of brown sugar and honey, then top with 2 Tbsp of butter. Pour in 3 Tbsp bourbon. Repeat with remaining rack of ribs and remaining brown sugar, honey, butter and bourbon.  
  • Add another foil sheet on top of the ribs and crimp to seal tightly.  Return foil packs of ribs to grill and cook for 2 hours.
  • Carefully remove ribs from foil, and brush ribs with bbq sauce.  Place ribs back on grill grate and grill for 1 hour.  Slice and enjoy!



  • Set up grill so there is a hot area and a not hot area of the grill grates.   Soak wood chips for about an hour. 
  • Fill 3 aluminum foil pouches with wood chips, seal and poke a few holes in it to allow the smoke to come out.  Each time you open the grill door to tend to the ribs (at the beginning, after 3 hours, and after 2 hours), change out the pouches for a fresh one.
  • Start grill on HIGH, place 1 pouch of wood chips over the heat until you see smoke coming through the pouches’ holes.  Lower heat and keep temperature around 225 F degrees.  Place ribs on the not hot side of the grill and cook as directed in above recipe.
  • Preheat oven to 225 F degrees.  Follow recipe as written, except add a teaspoon or so of liquid smoke (found in the spice aisle of most grocery stores) to the mustard mixture you brush on the ribs before adding the rub.


Calories: 1184kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 88g | Fat: 62g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 355mg | Sodium: 1033mg | Potassium: 1638mg | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 390IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 144mg | Iron: 4.7mg