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Grilled ribs on a bed of lettuce.
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4.89 from 9 votes

Smoked Baby Back Ribs

Baby back pork ribs cooked and smoked on a gas grill.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Rest Time20 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 459kcal
Author: Kathy



  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon ground pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary


  • 3 racks baby back ribs 2 ½ - 3 pounds each
  • ½ teaspoon salt


Wood Chips

  • Soak two big handfuls of wood chips in water for at least 10 minutes.
  • Divide wood chips into two piles. Add each pile to a piece of foil. Fold foil up and poke several holes in the top of each foil packet.


  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl.


  • Remove the membrane, or silverskin from the bone side of the ribs.
  • Lightly salt both sides of the ribs. Allow ribs to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle 2-4 tablespoons of rub on each side of ribs. Massage rub in with your hands. Make certain rub gets on all areas including sides. Allow ribs to rest another 10 minutes.
  • Start grill and turn on all burners on high so grill can preheat and grates can get hot.
  • When grill reaches 500 degrees, turn off two burners. Turn the last burner to low. Place one wood chip packet directly on side with burner still on. Packet should be below grate sitting on heat diffuser.
    Wood chip packet on grill.
  • Place ribs on grill grate bone side down. The ribs should be over the burners that are turned off.
  • Close lid to grill and monitor temperature in grill. The temperature should be 250 degrees. Keep adjusting one burner until 250 degrees is maintained.
  • After 30 minutes open grill and add second wood packet. Close lid and monitor temperature to keep at 250 degrees.
  • After 2 hours, rotate ribs. If cooking two ribs, switch places of ribs. If cooking three ribs, rotate outer ribs and keep rib in middle in same location. Close lid and monitor temperature.

  • When 3 ½ hours have passed, check to see if ribs are done. Test for doneness by using the fold test. Use a pair of sturdy tongs and grasp ribs. If the meat begins to separate at the fold, the ribs are done. All the ribs I cooked have taken 4-41/2 hours to cook, but l  like to check at 31/2 hours just in case.

    Using the fold test to determine if the ribs are done.
  • When ribs are done, remove ribs to a baking sheet and cover and seal with foil. Allow ribs to sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes.

  • Slice ribs into individual pieces. I find it easier to flip ribs bone side up so I can see where to cut.

  • Serve while still warm, but not hot


  • This recipe can also be made using 3 racks of ribs.
  • Don't open the lid, except when directed - no peeking!
  • Don't flip your ribs - keep bone side down.
  • Do rotate the position of your ribs half way through cooking. Move the ribs furthest from the heat so they are closest to the heat.
  • Allow ribs time to rest after you pull of the grill. Cover with foil and let rest for at least 15 minutes.
  • Each rack serves 3 people (4 ribs each)
Extra Rub
This rub does make more than you will need. I often will add just a final sprinkling to ribs just before adding to grill.  I add it only in areas where the rub has slid off or where my tongs grabbed onto the ribs.
You can save and use this rub on chicken breasts, pork chops or a beef steak.
If saving to reuse, be certain you use a spoon to scoop, not your hands! Do not allow anything that has touched the meat come in contact with the rub.


Serving: 4ribs | Calories: 459kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 1099mg | Potassium: 397mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 31IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 1mg