If you’ve been wanting to make Baby Back Ribs on your Traeger or Smoker well this recipe is going to set you up for success!! If you are new to the world of smoking, then smoking ribs on your new Pellet Smoker will be at the top of your list.
However, when you go to look for ribs you might find it a bit overwhelming when you see all your rib choices. You’ve got Pork Baby Back Ribs, Pork Spare Ribs and even Pork Country Style Ribs.
Well, here’s a quick overview on the difference between Baby Back, Spare and Country Style Ribs before we get started, so you can better understand:
“Where do Baby Back Ribs come from?”
Pork Baby Back Ribs: also known as pork loin back ribs, are cut from where the rib meets the spine after the loin is removed. They are called “Baby” because they are smaller than spare ribs.
Pork Spare Ribs: are the meaty ribs cut from the belly of the animal after the pork belly is removed. Spareribs are usually trimmed down into the the popular St Louis Style Spareribs by cutting away the breastbone and cartilage.
Country Style Ribs: Country style ribs are not ribs at all but actually cut from the hey are actually cut from the pork shoulder area, and contain no actual rib bones but instead parts of the pork shoulder. I actually have an amazing recipe for beer braised and grilled country style ribs if you want to give grilled country style ribs a try.
Where to Buy Baby Back Ribs?
For this recipe I used the baby back ribs that came in my monthly MoinkBox. Have you heard of Moinkbox? Moinkbox is a Meat Subscription box that works with family farms, aka “tender hearted carnivores” and ensures that all meat is ethically sourced and harvested and their seafood it is sustainably caught. The Moinkbox is fully customizable so you can pick what suits your needs and it comes with a ton of meat so each month’s subscription (which can be paused when you want) is a great value!
I am super happy to have found Moinkbox because I am not a fan of factory farms and how they treat their animals. I’m also not a fan of all the junk ingredients you end up ingesting when you buy meat at the grocery store from the factory farm.
Moink’s commitment is that their meats do not contain:
Antibiotics, growth hormones, GMO grains, artificial colors or solutions, sugar or nitrates. What a score to have found a company I can 100% trust with my health and their treatment of their animals!
If you want to give Moink a try, use my promo code Moinbox.com/GrillGirl and you’ll get free ground beef for a year!
Baby Back Ribs on the Smoker
Even if you are new to the Rib smoking game, you might have heard of the 3-2-1 method for smoking ribs. What most people don’t realize is that the 3-2-1 method for smoking the larger, meatier pork spare ribs, and the 2-2-1 is for Baby Back Ribs.
If you haven’t heard of this method, it refers to:
3) Smoking your ribs directly on the grill for 3 hours on the grill.
2) Wrapping your ribs in foil with a bit of liquid wrapped (aka the Texas Crutch) and then putting them back on the smoker for 2 hours to allow them to braise in foil.
1) Lastly, taking your ribs out of the foil, glazing them with BBQ sauce, and then placing them back on the smoker.
For smoking BABY BACK ribs on your Traeger or any kind of smoker, we want to use the 2-2-1 method as these are smaller ribs and won’t take as long to cook. This means 2 hours on the grill, 2 hours in foil, and one hour back on the smoker.
What Temp to Smoke Baby Back Ribs?
I always stick with 250 fahrenheit for smoking ribs. It is the standard for the 3-2-1 method and the 2-2-1 method.
Best BBQ Sauce for Ribs
When thinking about the best BBQ sauce for Ribs or any BBQ is to remember to add it at the end. If you add BBQ sauce early on, it will burn as BBQ sauce is usually high in sugar.
While I’ve had ribs six ways to Sunday (I compete on a competition BBQ team so trust me when I tell you I’ve had a LOT of BBQ sauce in my life), this Korean inspired Gochu BBQ sauce recipe is the perfect mix of sweet, salty, spicy and rich and it is just dripping with Umami, ie, mouthfeel, making you want to come back for more and more! I kid you not when I tell you this sauce is highly addictive!!! If you are looking for something a little more streamlined Americana BBQ Sauce, I have a lot of BBQ Sauce recipes on my site, and if you want to push the easy button and buy at the store, I think Stubb’s is a good option.
If you make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on @grillgirlrobyn so I can give you a shoutout!
This recipe will set you up for making Baby Back Ribs on your Traeger or any kind of smoker using the 2-2-1 method. In this recipe we are pairing the Ribs we got from our Moinkbox subscription with a Korean Gochujang BBQ Sauce for the perfect mix of Smoked Ribs paired with Korean style BBQ Sauce.
- 2 racks pork back ribs from your Moinkbox
- 1 tsp sea salt or himalayan salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
The Wrap (also known as the Texas crutch)
- 3 tbsp apple juice
- ½ stick butter, divided in half- 2 tbsp per rack of rib
- 1 tbsp honey
The Gochujang BBQ Sauce
2-3 cloves garlic – crushed
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1/3 cup gochujang
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 1/4 cup brown sugar OR Swerve Brown Sugar replacement (low carb, Keto option)
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp low sodium Soy Sauce
- 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce – optional but it really brings it together
- 1 Tbsp avocado oil
Over a low simmer, add the avocado oil, garlic and ginger and cook long enough to soften, no more than 2 minutes. Next, add the remaining ingredients and let simmer over low heat for 10 minutes to combine. Remove from heat until ready to use.
Smoke the Ribs.
Remove the outer membrane from your ribs- this will be on the underside (not meaty) of the ribs. This is most easily done by using a butter knife and a paper towel to grab the membrane. Use the butter knife to separate the membrane from the ribs and then grab the membrane with the paper towel and pull the membrane off.
Next, combine your salt, pepper and garlic salt to make your rub.
2 hours in smoker at 250
Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees.
Put your ribs on the smoker and let them smoke for 2 hours.
After the first two hours, remove the ribs from the smoker. Lay out two large sheets of foil, (giving yourself enough foil to fully wrap the ribs) . Place the ribs on the foil and add 3 tbsp of apple juice. Next, add the butter and then drizzle with honey. Wrap the ribs up with the foil and place back on the smoker at a temperature of 250 degrees.
Back in smoker for 2 hours IN FOIL at 250.
After you put the ribs back in the smoker, it is a good time to make your Gochujang BBQ sauce!
After the Texas Crutch round where we have the ribs in the foil in the smoker for 2 hours, it is time to remove the ribs from the smoker and take them out of the foil packet.
Crank your smoker up to 325 degrees. This final part is just to let the BBQ sauce and maybe get some light char marks on the ribs.
Place the ribs on the smoker and add the BBQ Sauce. Let the ribs sit on the smoker for 30 minutes up to an hour, watching that the sauce/ribs do not burn. Once the sauce starts to caramelize on the grill, remove the ribs.
Lastly, garnish with green onions and sesame seeds for a pop of color. Make sure to snag a few ribs before your friends and family do because I can guarantee there will be no leftovers of these! They’re just too addictively good!
Notes: this recipe was developed in partnership with my friends over at Moinkbox. I only work with companies I use and recommend.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 hours
- Category: Baby Back Ribs, Smoked Baby Back Ribs
- Method: Smoke, Grill
- Cuisine: American BBQ
Keywords: Baby Back Ribs on Traeger, Baby Back Ribs Traeger, How to Cook Ribs on Traeger, Best Ribs Recipe Traeger, Traeger Ribs