How To Smoke Country Style Ribs


Country style ribs are a popular cut of pork that is perfect for smokers. These ribs are meatier and richer than other rib cuts, making them a favorite among barbecue enthusiasts. Smoking country style ribs is not only delicious but also easy to prepare. With the right tools, techniques, time, and patience, anyone can smoke country style ribs to perfection. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know to smoke country style ribs like a pro.

Choosing Ribs and Preparing Them for Smoking

When choosing country style ribs, look for cuts that have more meat and little fat. This will ensure that the meat remains juicy and tender throughout the smoking process. Before you begin smoking the ribs, you will need to prepare them.

Start by removing the membrane on the bone side of the ribs. This important step prevents the meat from becoming tough by allowing it to cook and absorb flavors correctly. To remove the membrane, use a sharp knife to loosen an edge and then use a paper towel to grip it and peel it off entirely.

Next, trim any excess fat from the ribs. While a little fat is needed for flavor and moisture, too much fat can cause flare-ups in the smoker and lead to burnt meat. You can leave a thin layer of fat on the meat for additional flavor and tenderness.

Finally, marinate the ribs for at least two hours in your preferred seasoning or dry rub. A basic dry rub recipe consists of salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and brown sugar. Alternatively, you can use a marinade or brine to enhance the flavor and texture of the meat. A popular marinade recipe includes apple juice, vinegar, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce.

Preparing the Smoker

Before smoking the country style ribs, you must prepare your smoker properly. This means cleaning the smoker and ensuring that it reaches and maintains a consistent temperature.

Clean the smoker by removing any leftover ash and debris. If using a wood smoker, add your preferred type of wood chips or chunks.

Next, preheat the smoker to a temperature of 225-250°F. Maintaining a steady temperature is crucial as it guarantees even cooking and tender meat.

Smoking the Country Style Ribs

Once everything is ready, it’s time to smoke the country style ribs. Smoking country-style ribs is just like smoking traditional ribs, except that the meat will take longer to cook because of its size.

Place the ribs on the smoker, bone side down, and close the lid. Ensure that there is enough space between the meat to allow smoke to circulate evenly. Every 30 minutes, add more wood chips to the smoker to maintain the flavor and smoke level.

Continue to smoke the ribs for between 3 to 4 hours at 225-250°F or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. This temperature ensures that the meat is fully cooked and safe to eat.

Wrapping and Resting the Country Style Ribs

Once the ribs reach the desired temperature, and they have a beautiful crusty outer layer, it’s time to wrap them. Wrapping the ribs helps to keep the moisture inside and prevents them from drying out.

Start by spreading a piece of aluminum foil on a flat surface. Add a layer of honey or brown sugar, followed by a layer of BBQ sauce and then place the ribs on top, meat side down. Cover the ribs with another layer of honey or brown sugar, BBQ sauce, and then wrap tightly in the foil.

Place the wrapped ribs back in the smoker and continue to cook for an additional 1 to 2 hours. Ensure that the temperature remains constant at 225-250°F. This step will further tenderize the meat and allows the flavors to penetrate entirely.

Once the ribs are fully cooked, remove them from the smoker and allow them to rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Resting the meat allows the juices to redistribute and settle, making for a more succulent and flavorful result.

Serving the Country Style Ribs

Now it’s time to enjoy your perfectly smoked country style ribs. You can serve them as is or add even more flavor by brushing them with BBQ sauce and grilling them for a few minutes to caramelize the sauce.

Serve your smoked country style ribs with your favorite sides like cornbread, coleslaw, or mac and cheese. Don’t forget to have plenty of napkins on hand as your guests will need them.


Smoking country style ribs is a great way to create delicious and juicy meat that your family and friends will enjoy. With the right skills, tools, and techniques, smoking country style ribs is an easy process that anyone can master. Remember, never rush the process, have patience, and enjoy the delicious results.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Smoking Country Style Ribs

What is the best wood to use to smoke country style ribs?

The best wood to use when smoking country style ribs is hickory. The smoky flavor pairs well with the sweet and savory rubs and sauces typically used on these ribs.

What temperature should I smoke country style ribs at?

The ideal temperature for smoking country style ribs is between 225 °F and 250 °F. Maintain this temperature throughout the entire cooking process for juicy, tender ribs.

How long should I smoke country style ribs?

Country style ribs should be smoked for approximately 5-6 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 185 °F. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the ribs are cooked to perfection.

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