St Louis Ribs Smoker Recipe with Honey Beer Sauce

smoked st louis ribs on table with beer and tea
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:

  1. Preheat your smoker to 250°F and add your favorite wood chips or pellets. Hickory and pecan are two excellent options.
  2. 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.
  3. Place ribs on the grill grates with the bone side down over indirect heat and smoke for 1½ to 2 hours. 
  4. 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. 
  5. Seal the pork ribs inside, ensuring a tight seal. Place back on the smoker and continue smoking for 2 more hours. 
  6. Combine 1/2 cup of your favorite bbq sauce with 1/3 can of beer.
  7. Open the foil packet containing the smoked ribs. Remove them and brush them with the beer and barbecue sauce mixture.
  8. Place the ribs uncovered back on the smoker, and allow them to smoke until they reach an internal temp of 190°F.
  9. Remove the ribs from the smoker, and allow them to rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving with your favorite sides!
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st louis ribs on table

Smoked St Louis Ribs with Honey Beer Sauce Recipe

  • Author: Patrick
  • Total Time: 14 hours, 45 minutes


This exciting St Louis ribs recipe with honey beer sauce is easy to make and uses a handful of simple ingredients. Nothing beats perfectly smoked St. Louis-style ribs that are smoked slow and low for maximum BBQ smoke flavor.


Units Scale
  • 3 racks St. Louis ribs, membranes removed.
  • 1/2 cup dry BBQ rib rub
  • 2 cans of beer
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce


  1. Preheat your Pit Boss, Traeger grill, or any other pellet grill to 275°F.
  2. Prepare your St Louis ribs by removing the membranes with a sharp knife. Pat the ribs dry with paper towels.
  3. Season your ribs by sprinkling them with a BBQ dry rub.
  4. Place the ribs on the smoker with the bone side down or pointing toward the heat source, and the meat side facing away from the heat source.
  5. Smoke your St Louis-style ribs at 275°F for 3 hours. While they are smoking, combine the honey with 1 can of beer in a small bowl. Mix until the honey dissolves.
  6. Take the pork ribs off the smoker after 3 hours and close the smoker lid.
  7. Make foil packets for holding the ribs and honey beer sauce. Wrap the smoked ribs in heavy-duty aluminum foil adding 1/3 of the honey and beer mixture to each packet. Return the wrapped ribs to the smoker.
  8. Smoke the foil-wrapped St. Louis-style ribs at 275°F for 2 hours in indirect heat or until the internal temperature of the meat reads 185 degrees F. Take the ribs off the heat and leave the lid closed.
  9. Prepare the barbecue beer sauce. Combine the second can of beer with BBQ sauce in a small pan on the stove on medium-high heat. Stir continuously for 2 to 3 minutes or until bubbling. Remove the barbecue sauce from the heat.
  10. Brush the beer and BBQ Sauce mixture on top of the smoked rack of ribs.
  11. Finish smoking the ribs at 275°F on the grill for about 20 to 30 minutes or until your St. Louis-style ribs reach 190°F on a meat thermometer.
  12. Take your perfectly smoked St. Louis ribs off of the smoker. Allow the smoked meat to cool on a cutting board for 10 minutes, slice, and serve. If there are any leftovers, refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Brine Time: 12 hours
  • Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes


  • Serving Size: 1 rack
  • Calories: 971
  • Sodium: 1208mg
  • Fat: 63g
  • Saturated Fat: 23g
  • Carbohydrates: 41g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 52g
  • Cholesterol: 245mg

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

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.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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.

German Potato Salad

This delectable German Potato Salad uses tender potatoes and bacon mustard dressing to create a creamy and tangy side dish for any grilling occasion.

Instant Pot Pinto Beans

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!


At heart, Patrick is a passionate cook, adventurous eater, recipe writer, and bargain hunter. He aims to provide creative ideas on how to how to cook amazing food with everyday ingredients in a hassle-free manner.When not writing or standing over a grill, Patrick enjoys traveling and exploring nature in all its beauty.

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