We love these Smoked Baby Back Ribs with a FANTASTIC homemade dry rub! Make these delicious ribs on your smoker and wow your friends and family.

We like to use our smoker, but we mostly love to smoke things with a fairly quick smoke time like smoked salmon. We love to be able to throw everything on around lunch and have it ready for dinner!

We’re not really early risers, so the whole waking up at 4 am to get the smoker fired up thing is not for us!

Smoked Pork Ribs | Smoked Baby Back Ribs

This recipe is simple, and the secret ingredient is the homemade dry rub! This brown sugar rib rub for ribs is so delicious, we originally wanted to keep it a secret so that we could bottle it! It’s fantastic on either grilled or smoked pork ribs.

I love to brag about my husband’s smoked ribs. They have a perfect bark from the smoke, amazing flavor from the dry rub ingredients, and bone tender ribs with tender meat that still has just a bit of pull to it.

Smoked Pork Ribs | Smoked Baby Back Ribs


Can I use pork spareribs for this recipe?

Absolutely! If you can’t find baby back pork ribs, substitute spare ribs (St. Louis Ribs) for baby back ribs for a more affordable option.

Can I use this dry rub recipe on another cut of meat?

Absolutely, it’s delicious on pork shoulder, pork chops and even chicken. You can use it on slow cooker or pressure cooker pulled pork, too!

Can I use my own dry rub or a purchased dry rub for this recipe?

Well, sure! Of course you can use a different spice mix . I just recommend that you use one that is formulated for pork, typically higher in brown sugar, garlic and dry mustard and lower in black pepper than rubs used for beef.

Should I wrap these ribs in aluminum foil?

No, you don’t have to, but you can for the final hour of cooking! If you want to pull the ribs 20-30 degrees before they are done, you can brush on your favorite barbecue sauce and wrap in aluminum foil, then bake them on a baking sheet 30-45 minutes until the reach the internal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit or greater.

Smoked Pork Ribs | Smoked Baby Back Ribs

Can I double this recipe?

Yes, you can make a double batch! You may need to purchase a rib rack to fit the extra racks of ribs on the smoker.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

To help yourself prepare, you can make the rib rub recipe and store in an airtight mason jar until you’re ready. You can also rub the ribs, cover them, and allow them to rest overnight in the refrigerator.

What wood chips should I use for this ribs recipe?

We typically use a lighter wood for baby backs, like cherry wood, apple wood or even pecan wood.

If you’re looking for a side dish recipe to go with these smoked pork ribs, check out this awesome list of side dishes for pork!

Smoked Pork Ribs | Smoked Baby Back Ribs

Smoked Pork Ribs with Homemade Dry Rub

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes

The perfect sweet and spicy dry rub for any grilled or smoked meat.


  • Roughly 4 pounds of ribs (2 racks of baby back ribs)
  • 4 tablespoons yellow mustard (think French's)

For the spice rub:

  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • ½ tablespoon cayenne pepper (sub chili powder for less heat)
  • ½ tablespoon black pepper


  1. Prepare ribs by peeling off the thin membrane (the silver skin) with a small knife and then patting dry with a paper towel.
  2. Prepare dry rub by combining all ingredients in a small bowl and mixing well.
  3. Add ribs to large sheet pan, then brush mustard on each rack of ribs.
  4. Apply spice blend to both sides of the ribs, focusing on the meaty side, then rubbing to coat evenly.
  5. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and allow the ribs to rest on the counter to remove the chill from the refrigerator.
  6. While the ribs rest, prepare smoker for smoking on low heat, roughly 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit, with a water pan for added moisture. You can add apple juice or a splash of apple cider vinegar to the water pan for aromatics.
  7. Add ribs directly to the smoker grate. Smoke for 4-5 hours.
  8. Pull the ribs off the smoker when they hit the internal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Ribs are done when the meat begins to peel back from bone.


This is optional, but you can load a small spray bottle with apple juice and spritz the BBQ ribs when you check on them for extra flavor and moisture.

If you don't have garlic salt, sub 4 teaspoons garlic powder + 2 teaspoons kosher salt.

Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 875Total Fat 71gSaturated Fat 21gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 32gCholesterol 238mgSodium 1484mgCarbohydrates 12gFiber 1gSugar 8gProtein 49g

The nutrition for this recipe is calculated by an app, and may be incorrect.

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Dry Rub for Ribs
Dry Rub for Ribs