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Barbecue Pork Ribs: Smoker Style

What You’ll Need:

  • Fruit wood and hickory wood
  • 2 whole racks of pork ribs

Dry Rub: 

  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 4 tsp. chili powder
  • 4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper


  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup grape jelly
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup dry rub


The Smoker

Using your fruit wood (we use apple!) & hickory wood, heat the smoker to 250°F

The Ribs

bbq ribs membrane

For the best results, it’s important to remove the membrane from your pork ribs before cooking. If you don’t, you’ll feel like you’re chewing on a rubber band instead of enjoying those delicious ribs! Flip the ribs over and you’ll see a white layer of tissue; that’s the membrane. To remove it, follow these steps:

  1. Peel back a corner of the membrane from one edge of the ribs.*Tip: It helps to use a blunt knife to lift the tissue off the meat
  2. Take a firm hold and peel it from the meat. 
  3. After the membrane is removed, be sure to throw it away.

The Dry Rub

bbq ribs dry rub

Now that the membrane has been removed from the pork ribs, it’s time to apply the dry rub. Mike’s special dry rub is a mixture of sweet, hot, and smoky spices that make the ribs explode with flavor! Everyone may have their own special rub, but for this recipe, we highly recommend Mike’s.

Mix all of your spices together in a bowl. Set aside a cup of the mixture (we’ll use this later!), then apply the rest to your ribs. Be sure to coat the ribs completely—you want all the flavor you can get!

Let’s Get Cooking!

Into the Smoker (Part 1)

bbq ribs smoker

Now that the pork ribs have been prepared with the dry rub, it’s time to start cooking. With the smoker at 250°F, place the ribs on separate racks and let them sit for 2 and a half hours. While you’re waiting, prepare your glaze. 

The Glaze

bbq ribs glaze

Honey, Jelly, and… Bourbon? Yes! Mike’s Bourbon glaze is delicious and compliments the flavors that have been soaking into the pork ribs for the last 2 and half hours. Mix these ingredients together and add that extra cup of dry rub. The mixture is simple, but the flavor reward is great. Get to mixing while your ribs are cooking.

Into the Smoker (Part 2)  

bbq ribs foil wrap

When you take the ribs out of the smoker, have some foil sheets ready and place the meat onto the foil. Apply generous amounts of the glaze evenly on both sides of the ribs and wrap them up in the foil to put back into the smoker for another hour. Not sure what to do while you wait? This is the perfect time to have a cocktail! 

Mike’s Barbecue Pork Ribs Cocktail

bbq bourbon cocktail

What You Need:

  • Glass & ice
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • ¼ oz simple syrup
  • 4 dashes Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters

If you’d like a garnish, an orange peel works perfectly for this drink. Sit back, enjoy your drink, and relax while your ribs are cooked to perfection!

Time to Eat! 

smoker style bbq ribs

After an hour, take the ribs out of your smoker. You can apply your favorite BBQ sauce or eat them plain. The flavor of these pork ribs is SMOKIN. Enjoy!

What Do You Think?

We’re excited to share recipes that we think you’ll love! Did you try any of our beer can chicken recipes? Have one you want to share with us? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

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