Think BBQ and most people immediately think of Pork ribs. When they’re cooked right, they have got to be one of the greatest BBQ foods ever!

For those starting out, the following recipe ought to have you impressing your mates in no time.

The Cooker

Start out by preparing your cooker, prior to attending to your ribs. That way, it should be at a nice solid temperature by the time your ribs are ready to go on. For this recipe, aim to keep the cooker in the 255-270F range. If available, I try to use cherry as my smoke wood, but apple is also very nice and mellow and compliments pork really well.

The Ribs

The following recipe will work well for both loin and baby back ribs, but keep in mind that baby backs will cook slightly faster, so watch your cook time carefully. Start by trimming your ribs to suit, removing any excess floppy bits, along with the membrane on the back of the ribs. If the ribs are nice and chunky, chances are they’ll have a bit of excess fat. Make sure this is well trimmed prior to applying the rub.

Rubbed and ready loin ribs. Note the trimming that has been removed.

The Rub

Combine the following. Any remaining will keep in an airtight container.

  • 2 Tbsp Cumin
  • 2 Tbsp Paprika
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp Onion powder
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder (beware- this refers to US chilli powder which is fair milder than Aussie gear, the recipe we use is here)
  • 4 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne
  • 2 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp White pepper


Now that the ribs are prepped and the rub is ready, it’s time to get dirty. I typically wear a single glove on my left hand, to do all the dirty work and I leave my right hand clean in in order to avoid messing up everything up with rib gunk.

Apply a good coating of yellow mustard to the ribs, using your gloved hand to make sure all surfaces are covered.

Once covered, sprinkle the rub over both sides of the ribs, ensuring a good even coating. I usually then cover my ribs for 20 minutes before applying another layer of rub to make sure of the job.

Whilst not the greatest shot, note how the meat is pulling away from the bone end. They’re done!

Smoke the ribs for 2hrs 15 mins before removing them from the cooker to wrap them in foil. To do this, lay a bed of approx 2-3Tbsp brown sugar in the foil before placing the ribs on top. Add another Tbsp of brown sugar on top, along with a healthy amount of your preferred BBQ sauce and a knob of butter. Tightly wrap the ribs in the foil, before returning them to the smoker for a further 1hr 15min.

This is where it gets tricky, as it’s time to start testing for doneness. A few signs to look for include that the meat has started to pull away from the bone ends, that when you pick the ribs up, they are floppy, but do not break and my preferred method, probing with a toothpick. If they’re done, a toothpick should slide between the ribs with little to no resistance. If there’s a bit of force required, they’re probably not quite ready, and could do with some more time. Retest every 15-20 mins.

Use the remaining saucy, buttery, sugary mix left in the foil to coat your ribs before returning them to the cooker for 15 mins or so to set the glaze.

Slice and serve!! They won’t last long.


Author: AJ

Complete BBQ tragic and committed collector of BBQs, particularly Webers. Even known to talk BBQ recipes in his sleep, AJ’s years of cooking triumphs and failures have left him completely convinced that BBQ is overthought.

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