Perfect Babyback Ribs

Straight from the smoker, these perfect babyback ribs simply beg to be eaten. A cool space saving trick is used that allows several baby back racks to be places on the smoker grate.

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You can see in the picture above how the ribs are shaped into a "ring" so they are smoked standing on edge. You might not be able to see how the ends are secured, though. I simply used a short piece of steel tie wire, but you could also use a metal skewer, or a well soaked bamboo skewer or two.

Perfect BabyBack Ribs

A simple dry rub mixture seasons these nicely. The rub recipe makes plenty for one slab of babyback ribs.


  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine the dry rub ingredients. Next, remove the tough membrane from the bone side of the slab. This isn't totally necessary, but it sure makes the ribs easier to eat. It also allows the flavor of the dry rub to get inside the rib meat, rather than just sit on the surface.

Season all sides of the slab with a generous coating of the dry rub mix. Once seasoned, just roll the ribs up tightly to let the flavor soak in, while you get your smoker set up.

I used a vertical charcoal smoker for these, but you can use whatever type of smoker you like, or ever do a little gas grill smoking. Just keep the temperature in the 225 to 250 degree range, and if using a vertical smoker, fill the water pan with hot water.

I used a few chunks of apple wood for smoke, split up into two additions - one right at the beginning and another after the first hour of cooking.

Continue smoking the ribs for four hours, then check for doneness. They need to be tender, but not to the point of being falling-apart tender. The meat of your perfect babyback ribs will be pink all the way through (colored that way because of the smoke, not because they are raw), and slight firm, yet still tender enough to pull from the bone easily.

Enjoy your babyback ribs with sides of cole slaw, potato salad, french fries...whatever floats your boat is fine. Sometimes, just a plateful of ribs and nothing else is all you need!

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