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Smoked Baby Back Ribs on Kettle
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4.58 from 124 votes

How To Smoke Ribs - BETTER THAN 321 !!!

If you’ve ever gone to a BBQ competition and had the Pitmasters ribs, you will quickly notice something. The ribs are individually cut and the meat actually stays on the bone, until you bite it off with your teeth. Follow this recipe, and serve competition worthy ribs right at home!
Prep Time2 hrs 15 mins
Cook Time4 hrs 15 mins
Resting Time15 mins
Total Time6 hrs 45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 321 ribs, how to smoke ribs, not 321 ribs, smoked baby back ribs, Smoked Pork Ribs
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 714kcal
Author: Michael Haas


  • smoker
  • Smoking Wood (we prefer pecan or cherry)
  • Paper Towel
  • Cutting Board
  • Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
  • Grill Basting Brush
  • Sharp Knife
  • Grill Tongs
  • Spritzer with 50/50 Water and Apple Cider Vinegar


  • 2 Racks Baby Back Pork Ribs
  • 6 TBSP Melted Honey Real honey from a local honey farm is best!
  • 4 TBSP Butter
  • 8 TBSP Rib Rub Try our homemade dry rub rub.
  • 1/2 cup BBQ Sauce Mike likes Angry BBQ's homemade BBQ sauce, Jannah likes Kansas City style!


  • Rinse the ribs in cold water and pad dry. 
    Trim any excess fat or connective tissue. Only leave what you want to eat. 
    Trimming Excess Fat off Ribs
  • On the bone side of the ribs, remove the membrane. A quick trick is using a piece of paper towel to help grip the membrane. Once you get a good grip of the membrane, simply pull until it is completely removed.
  • Once the ribs are prepped, I apply my favorite rub generously. Make sure to cover all the sides and edges of the ribs.
    Cover the ribs and keep in the fridge for 2 hours or more. 
    Prepped Ribs
  • Remove the ribs from the fridge and allow to warm slightly on the counter. Fire up the smoker to 225F. I use Pecan or Cherry, when smoking ribs. 
    Traeger Smoker Temp
  • Once the smoker is at proper temp, place the ribs on the grill meat side up.
    Ribs on the Grill
  • Now you can pretty much wait for the three hours to pass or some fanatics prefer to spritz their ribs every 30-45 minutes with a 50/50 mixture of apple cider vinegar and water. Adding moisture to the ribs aids in a smoky bark. After three hours, remove the ribs and place each rack meat side up on a large piece of Heavy Duty tin foil. 
    spritzing the ribs with apple cider vinegar & water
  • Brush melted butter over the tops of the ribs then followed by brushing the melted honey. You can spritz the ribs for extra moisture at this time. Flip the racks around so the bone side is facing up. Brush with melted butter and melted honey. 
    Adding honey to ribs
  • Leave the racks bone side up and wrap the ribs tightly. Place back on the smoker bone side up for 45-60 minutes. Keep the temp at 225F. Optional: If you want the ribs more tender or closer to fall of the bone, cook in the foil for 1.5-2 hours.
    Wrapping ribs bone side up
  • Remove the ribs from the foil and place back on the grill. Brush the ribs with your favorite bbq sauce. Cook for approximately 30-45 more minutes at 225F.
    BBQ sauce added to ribs
  • Check for doneness by using your grill tongs and pickup up the ribs and give them a slight bounce. If the meat starts to slightly split, the ribs are done.
    Remove from the smoker and cover in foil. Let rest for 10 minutes. 
    Finished Ribs
  • Be a professional and take a sharp knife (I use a Henkel Serrated Bread Knife) and cut each rib individually. You’ll notice how the ribs don’t fall apart as you cut. Also look for that beautiful pink smoke ring. 
    Smoked Ribs Sauced


Calories: 714kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 181mg | Sodium: 572mg | Potassium: 642mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 394IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 2mg