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Low and Slow Smoked Ribs

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These low and slow smoked ribs are a testament to the art of slow cooking. You will love the joy it brings to your taste buds. Even if it’s cold (like here in Utah), you can still use an insulated blanket to smoke food in your pellet smoker.

The insulated blanket will help maintain the heat inside the smoker. This allows you to smoke food at the desired temperature even in cold weather. It is a useful accessory for those who enjoy smoking food year-round.

Low and Slow Smoked Ribs

With these low and slow smoked ribs, you can pick the rub seasoning that you like. We tend to like to use the ones from Meat Church. On this one we use their Gospel All-Purpose rub. One of our go-to seasonings now for rib recipes.

Rub the dry rub seasoning on to the rack of ribs and let it sit on there for 30 minutes. Cook these ribs on a pellet smoker without wrapping, unlike the Easy 3 2 1 Ribs recipe I shared before. I use a Traeger pellet smoker.

uncooked Low and Slow Smoked Ribs with seasoning

You also want to place some butter and apple cider together in a container on the smoker along with the ribs. I just use a bowl to form a bowl out of my heavy duty foil. This will melt and smoke for a little bit on the smoker along side of the ribs until it’s time to baste the ribs with it.

Low and Slow Smoked Ribs on smoker with basting liquid

Once the ribs have cooked for 1 hour and 30 minutes, it’s time to baste the ribs with the cider/butter mixture. You will generously baste the ribs every 45 minutes with the liquid, until the ribs reach around 180 degrees. This will take about 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours. This helps the smoke particles cling to the meat and form that beautiful red smoke ring.

Once the ribs are ready, you will brush them with the bbq sauce and cook for another 30 minutes. This will get that sauce to caramelize on those ribs. Then allow the ribs to rest for 15 minutes before serving. The result is tender, succulent ribs that practically fall off the bone, with a smoky flavor that’s truly extraordinary.

Low and Slow Smoked Ribs in a basket paired with potato salad

Should I remove the membrane from the ribs before smoking?
Experts generally recommend removing the membrane from the back of the ribs before smoking. This thin, tough membrane can prevent flavors from penetrating the meat and can make the ribs less tender. Use a knife or your fingers to loosen one end of the membrane, then grip it with a paper towel and pull it off in one piece.

What type of wood should I use for smoking ribs?
Popular woods for smoking ribs include hickory, apple, cherry, oak, and mesquite. Each wood imparts a unique flavor, so choose based on your preference. People commonly recommend hickory and applewood for their balanced flavor profile that complements ribs well. I also like oak.

How do I determine when the ribs are done?
Ribs are ready when they reach 195-203°F (90-95°C) and the meat has pulled back from the bones. You can also do the “bend test” by lifting the ribs with tongs. If they bend and the meat cracks a little, they’re done.

Low and Slow Smoked Ribs in a basket paired with potato salad

Low and Slow Smoked Ribs

Real Mom Kitchen

4 from 1 vote
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours 30 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Course Pork
Cuisine Barbecue
Servings 3 people
Calories 1116 kcal


  • 1 rack pork ribs
  • 2 Tbsp rub seasoning I use Meat Church's Gospel All Purpose Rub
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce I use Sweet Baby Ray's


  • Preheat the pellet smoker to 225 degrees. I like apple, hickory or oak pellets here.
  • Pat the ribs dry with a paper towel. Trim down any excess fat and remove the thin membrane on the back of the ribs using a paper towel for grip.
  • Season all sides of the pork ribs with the rub. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.
  • Create a bowl shape of heavy duty foil using another bowl to achieve the shape.Add the butter and cider to it. Place on your grill alongside the ribs.
  • Place the seasoned ribs directly on the grill grates. Close the lid, and cook for an hour and 30 minutes without opening the lid.
  • Baste the ribs liberally with the apple cider mixture. Close the lid and continue to cook for 3 ½ to 4 ½ hours, basting the ribs every 45 minutes with the cider mixture.
  • When your ribs are almost done cooking at 185-190 degrees, put BBQ sauce on them and cook for 30 more minutes. This step is optional, but it's a good idea to do it. Remove the ribs from the grill. Allow them to rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.


Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 1116kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 79g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 28g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 263mg | Sodium: 1292mg | Potassium: 1055mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 518IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 4mg
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Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

This recipe is adapted from Hey Grill, Hey.

4 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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