To smoke St. Louis-style ribs to perfection, season your ribs liberally with rib rub and smoke uncovered for 3 hours at 275°F. Smother the ribs in vinegar, butter, and brown sugar and wrap them in foil, allowing them to smoke for an additional 2 hours. Unwrap and baste ribs with barbecue sauce, and allow to smoke for 1 additional hour.
Nothing beats a juicy, tender rack of perfectly smoked St. Louis ribs.
St. Louis ribs are straighter and flatter than baby back ribs, or spare ribs. They also have a more uniform shape, which allows them to cook more evenly. You can use your charcoal grill or a pellet grill such as a Traeger to make this recipe.
How to Make St. Louis Ribs on a Smoker
Short on time? Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to make smoked St. Louis-style ribs:
- Preheat your smoker to 250°F and add your favorite wood chips or pellets. Hickory and pecan are two excellent options.
- Season your St Louis-style ribs by applying a thin coating of olive oil, then dust them with dry rub on both sides. The best rib rubs contain brown sugar, cayenne, black pepper, Kosher salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.
- Place ribs on the grill grates with the bone side down over indirect heat and smoke for 1½ to 2 hours.
- Move the ribs to a packet made from heavy-duty aluminum foil that contains a few tablespoons each of honey, butter, apple cider vinegar, apple juice, and beer.
- Seal the pork ribs inside, ensuring a tight seal. Place back on the smoker and continue smoking for 2 more hours.
- Combine 1/2 cup of your favorite bbq sauce with 1/3 can of beer.
- Open the foil packet containing the smoked ribs. Remove them and brush them with the beer and barbecue sauce mixture.
- Place the ribs uncovered back on the smoker, and allow them to smoke until they reach an internal temp of 190°F.
- Remove the ribs from the smoker, and allow them to rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving with your favorite sides!
Target Internal Temperature for St. Louis Ribs
St. Louis ribs are done once the internal temperature registers 190°F. Make sure to use a thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the ribs.
If you’re smoking ribs for the first time, there are also a few visual clues that will help you know the ribs are getting close to being done.
- Do the ribs form a U-shape and begin to split when you hold them in the middle?
- Does the meat pull away from the bones on the back side of the ribs?
- Does the top skin crack slightly when you move the ribs?
If you notice any of the above, it is time to use your thermometer and take the internal temperature. Do not stop cooking the ribs until they reach 190°F.
How Long Does it Take to Smoke St. Louis Ribs at 225?
At 225 degrees F, it takes about 4 to 5 hours to smoke Smoke St. Louis Ribs.
How Long Does it Take to Smoke St. Louis Ribs at 250?
St. Louis ribs can take anywhere from 4-6 hours to smoke at a temperature of 250 degrees F. This will ensure that they are tender and that any potential bacteria have been killed.
What is the Best Temperature for Smoking St. Louis Ribs?
The best temperature for smoking St. Louis ribs is around 225-250 degrees F. Smoking slowly allows the fat and connective tissues in the ribs to break down, resulting in tender and juicy meat.
How Long to Rest St. Louis Style Smoked Ribs
You should rest your St. Louis Style pork ribs for about 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute and reabsorb into the meat.
Does the 3-2-1 Method Work for St. Louis Ribs?
The 3-2-1 method works well for St. Louis ribs.
It is a technique for smoking ribs that involves smoking ribs for 3 hours, wrapping them in foil and cooking them for an additional 2 hours, and then unwrapping them and cooking them for another hour. This method is intended to help the ribs retain moisture and become tender.
Top Tips for Smoking St. Louis Ribs
Here are some tips for smoking St. Louis ribs to help make them moist and delicious:
- Remove the back membrane before smoking for super tender and delicious ribs.
- Trim any excess fat from the ribs before cooking to allow the rub and smoke to penetrate the meat more easily.
- Use a dry rub or your favorite marinade to infuse flavor into the ribs before smoking them. This will help to create a delicious crust on the outside of the ribs and add depth to the overall flavor.
- Cook the ribs at a low temperature for the best results. This will allow the fat and connective tissues in the ribs to break down and become tender, and will also prevent the pork ribs from drying out.
Best Sides for St. Louis Ribs
Many delicious side dishes can be paired with smoked St. Louis ribs. Some of the best side dish ideas for smoked St. Louis-style ribs include:
Hawaiian coleslaw is an excellent sweet side dish recipe for smoked pork ribs. It combines cabbage, carrots, pineapple, and sesame seeds with ginger vinaigrette, pairing sweet and sour notes that complement the smokiness of the ribs.
This sweet, crispy side dish pairs well with virtually everything, including smoked pork ribs. Easy and quick to make, this lightly spiced recipe is a must-try for weeknight meals.
This delectable German Potato Salad uses tender potatoes and bacon mustard dressing to create a creamy and tangy side dish for any grilling occasion.
This side dish recipe is easy to prepare and tastes far better than the store-bought version. If you want a hearty meal, pinto beans and ribs are a match made in protein heaven!