Smoking St Louis Ribs

Uh oh. Time per pound? I don’t know. I remember going for a particular temp; maybe 185f. I will not be opening before the two hour mark for additional pictures. I thought I had taken pictures before the ribs went in to the smoker but apparently not!

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I didn’t grow up with meat thermometers. :slightly_smiling_face:
We always calculated the pounds, the temperature, and the time.
Old school, I suppose.

Nor did I! But now I have many. Calculating the pounds, the temperature, and the time sounds like a good idea. Looking for that. Also, I didn’t grow up making smoked meats.

I have a total of three pieces; each almost 2 pounds. Temperature is 225f. I am allowing for six hours total, but not sure what to do after the first two.

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Try mopping with apple cider vinegar or apple juice.
And start watching at the 4 hour mark or so to make sure they don’t get too done.

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Thank you! This is the 2 hour mark

ETA What should I look for at 4 hours? I’m thinking signs of doneness, like how about he meat moves when you hold it with tongs, does that sound right? Also, what does the mop do? Is that shown to add moisture? Flavor? Both? The less messing with it the better, but if it makes a difference I’d appreciate, I’d like to know.


Nope, we went with burgers today since I smoked ribs a couple of weeks ago. I used to do 225 but have recently started bumping up the temp to around 240 - I find I get better bark that way and a shorter cooking time (maybe 30 mins less). I feed the smoker wood chips for the first three hours then let the smoke dissipate naturally - any more than that and I feel the smoke flavor overpowers the ribs.

They go two more hours and then I baste with a mixture of rub, apple cider vinegar and melted butter. They’re usually just about perfect at the 6 hour mark, but it depends on the thickness of the racks and marbling, etc., so I check every 30 mins or so after basting.


Yes. @biondanonima ’s instructions are spot on.
Doesn’t add moisture as much as retains it and adds another layer of flavor.
Don’t be afraid to fuss over them.

Do we get an update?
I’m worried things went wrong since you didn’t report back.

Not afraid, but not my style either, at least no outdoors and in the summer. I did fuss a little though; husband said too much! It’s been really hot hear; 105 earlier this week, but “cooled down” to around 90 yesterday.

I basted as described, and it went well. Even husband enjoyed them, and he has said he wouldn’t be eating. We also had burgers and potato salad, and there are plenty of ribs left. I do a dry rub, usually overnight, and don’t recall the last time I’ve basted. Good idea @biondanonima ! Thank you.

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Yes, this is how I determine rib doneness, although I wouldn’t worry about it until the 5- or even 6-hour mark if you are cooking at 225. The meat should be pulling away from the tips of the bones a little bit and you should be able to bend the rack pretty easily (but you don’t want the bones to come out or the rack to break in half when you try to bend it - if those things happen, you’ve cooked them too long).

As for a mop or baste, @bbqboy is correct - it really just adds another layer of flavor and prevents excess surface drying. I don’t generally use sauce of any kind on my ribs, but dry rub alone isn’t always quite enough flavor for me, so the basting sauce gives me just enough of an extra flavor boost (plus the butter adds a little bit of succulent crispness to the spice rub bark). My DH does like BBQ sauce on his ribs so I sometimes baste a couple of racks with BBQ close to the end of cooking just for him (goes on after the butter baste), but more often he just dips individual ribs into sauce on his plate as he sees fit.


The left over ribs are great! Half were fresh Berkshire,the others frozen chain; maybe “Smith”. Any thoughts about using heritage or frozen ribs for smoked pork ribs?

I always buy the spare and cut the tips off. I always remove membrane. But, that’s just me. Way I was taught. All of them look great, though. Country style are usually just sawed pork shoulder. Not that that’s a bad thing.

Not a bad thing at all when you are cooking for one or two!

I regularly freeze ribs before smoking them (mostly due to poor planning - I buy them during a big Costco or RD run and then end up not having time to fire up the smoker for a few weeks). and have not noticed any degradation of flavor or texture in the finished product.

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Quite true. My wife loves them, as do I. Do you use the bones when you’re done. Made pozole a few weeks ago with some country style.