Skip to Content

Smoked Baby Back Ribs Photo Tutorial

Last year, Dewey decided that he wanted to get a smoker for our place at the lake. He and I are both bbq lovers and until recently, we had very limited options for bbq here. We bought a Rec Tec smoker and had it shipped to Montana. We popped over the border to grab it and bring it back into Canada (Rec Tec won’t ship it directly to us). It was a bit of a pain but we have LOVED it ever since. Recently, I even learned how to make smoked baby back ribs on it.

Until then, using the smoker was Dewey’s “job”. Now that I’ve tried it, though, I will be using our smoker more often. It was so easy and cooking a great dinner didn’t heat up the house. Definitely a winner for summer entertaining. I’ve taken pictures all the way through the process. If you want to skip all that and just see the instructions, skip to the bottom for the recipe card. Once you get the hang of using the smoker, you have to try smoked brisket, Crispy Smoked Chicken Wings, or Smoked Prime Rib. You can also make Smoked Corn on the Cob or baked beans in the smoker. All are my favorites!

Smoked Baby Back Ribs Photo Tutorial

Ribs in package on baking sheet

Gather all your supplies. You’ll need your ribs. I made 2 racks for 4 people. You will also need oil, rub, paper towels, a basting brush, a knife and a cookie sheet. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees. We are going to use the 3 – 2 – 1 method for our ribs.

Remove the Membrane

Cut open your packaging and turn your ribs bone side up on your cookie sheet. You will want to remove the membrane from the bone side of the ribs. These ribs already have it removed but there is still a bit as I’m showing in the pic above.

Honestly, I never did this until I watched a few videos on smoking/bbqing. It will hurt NOTHING if you skip this step. If you do want to remove the membrane, grab it with a dry paper towel and back over the part that hasn’t been removed. It should peel right back.

Add Dry Rub

Adding dry rub to ribs

Next, brush a small bit of oil over all surfaces of the ribs. I do this one side at a time. Once they are oiled, sprinkle your rub on. It’s good to know the spice level of the rub you are using. If it is very peppery (like the one I am using is) be careful to not add too much. You can make your ribs too spicy by adding too much rub. Cover the entire rib surface. I find it easier to pour the rub in my hands and then tap it onto the sides of the ribs.

Flip your ribs over and repeat the oil and rub process on the other side.

Smoked baby back ribs covered in dry rub

Add the Ribs to the Smoker

Take your cookie sheet with ribs out to your grill. Place rib side down on the grill.

Baby Back Ribs on the smoker

Close your smoker and set your timer for 3 hours.

Spritzer with juice and foil

Wrap and Continue Smoking

After 3 hours, you will need to gather your foiling supplies. You’ll need heavy-duty aluminum foil, tongs, a clean cookie sheet to work on, and a spritzer bottle with some kind of liquid (apple juice works great. I used cranberry mango because that is all I had).

Smoked baby back ribs on foil

Wide aluminum foil works the best but you can make do with regular too. If you don’t have wide, do two sheets east/west and one sheet north/south. This keeps the bones from poking through.

Spritzing baby back ribs with liquid

Spritz the ribs liberally. Then wrap the ribs tightly in foil.

Baby back ribs wrapped in foil and placed in smoker

Place back in the smoker and set your timer for 2 hours.

Remove from Foil and Continue Cooking

Removing baby back ribs from foil

After two hours, remove the ribs from the foil. Use two sets of tongs to make sure the racks don’t fall apart.

Brushing ribs with barbecue sauce

Brush the ribs with bbq sauce. Close the smoker and set the timer for one hour.

Serve Smoked Baby Back Ribs

Smoked baby back ribs on baking sheet

Once your timer goes off, you are DONE. Take your ribs off the smoker and enjoy!

Smoked baby back ribs
Yield: 4

Smoked Baby Back Ribs

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes

Love smoked ribs? If you have a smoker, you can make them easily at home!


  • 2 racks baby back ribs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, approximately
  • 1/4 cup rub, approximately
  • 1/4 cup apple juice, approzimately
  • 1/3 cup bbq sauce, approximately


  1. Preheat smoker to 225 degrees. Remove membranes from the rib side of baby back ribs. 
  2. Brush with olive oil and coat with rub. Place bone down on pre-heated smoker and smoke for 3 hours. 
  3. Remove ribs and place on foil. Spritz with apple juice. Wrap tightly in foil and smoke for 2 hours. 
  4. Remove ribs from foil. Brush with bbq sauce. Smoke for one hour. Take off smoker and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 609Saturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 167mgSodium: 389mgCarbohydrates: 14gSugar: 9gProtein: 44g

Try These Smoked Baby Back Ribs for Yourself

Smoked baby back ribs are Evan’s favorite meal. He gives them two thumbs up and asks that I either make my baked mac and cheese or cream and dill potatoes to go with them. I love how easy they make entertaining!

If you want tender, delicious ribs, but you don’t have the time to make these smoked baby back ribs, try my easy slow cooker bbq ribs. They’re tender and delicious and take a fraction of the work. They’re perfect for days when you just don’t have the time or patience to make an involved recipe.

You can also try my slow roasted ribs with homemade bbq sauce for another take on classic ribs. They’re cut into 2-3 rib chunks and cooked in the oven to make tasty ribs that are fall-off-the-bone tender and in handy single-serve sizes!

Smoked baby back ribs on plate


Monday 15th of June 2020

I put one rack on the Rec Tec and followed this exact recipe. The rack was very overdone. Should I have modified the temperature because there was only one rack instead of two. Definitely bummed they didn't turn out...

Merry Kuchle

Monday 15th of June 2020

Weird. It could also maybe be the size of the rack? We use this recipe every time we make ribs and they always turn out perfectly.


Wednesday 4th of July 2018

Yum! Your ribs turned out great. I can't believe it takes so long to make them but it explains why homemade ribs taste SO good.

Merry Kuchle

Wednesday 4th of July 2018

The great thing is that it is mostly time you don’t have to do anything.


Wednesday 27th of June 2018

THE BEST summer bbq food! I am grilling out at least once a month and we are doing ribs and chicken. So flavorful.

Merry Kuchle

Wednesday 27th of June 2018

I agree! My next thing to try is smoked chicken with white bbq sauce. Yum!

Skip to Recipe