When it comes to barbecue, my first choice will always be Smoked St. Louis Style Ribs. Seasoned with a dry rub and smoked to perfection, these tender, delicious, juicy ribs with a smoky flavor are sure to be a hit at your next barbecue. And you don’t have to be a pitmaster with my easy recipe to make perfect smoked St. Louis Ribs every time.
Barbecue professionals love St. Louis Style Ribs. The flatter, slightly larger rack of ribs is a lot easier to grill and is generally the ribs of preference for bbq competitions. They may not be as popular as Baby Back Ribs, but the slightly larger pork ribs definitely have more flavor thanks to the succulent fattier characteristics of St. Louis Style Ribs.
No smoker? Make sure to check out my grilled baby back ribs recipe.
Ingredients to make Smoked St. Louis Style Ribs
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make Smoked St. Louis Style Ribs. In Chef Speak, this is called the “Mise en Place,” which translates to “Everything in its Place.”
Not only does setting up your ingredients ahead of time speed up the cooking process, it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
What are St. Louis Ribs?
St. Louis ribs come from the belly side of the pig. Once the butcher removes the belly from the pig, he has easy access to the ribs from the pig’s underside. St. Louis cut ribs are a flat rack of ribs. They also have a lot more fat than baby back ribs, which makes the meat sweet and more flavorful. Because the rack is flatter it also lays better on a grill, with more of the surface area actually touching the grill.
How to make a dry rub for ribs
- Add the kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, ground cumin, brown sugar, and sweet paprika to a small bowl.
- Mix the rub ingredients together until well blended.
Can I use other spices in my dry rub?
Yes, you can. The key to making delicious smoked ribs that you and your family will love is to use seasonings that you enjoy eating. Changing up the spices in this simple dry rub is easy and definitely something you can do each time you prepare smoked ribs, beef, or chicken.
Other seasonings you could add to your spice rub are cumin, chili powder, dry oregano, ground ginger, turmeric, and coriander. You can also use your favorite seasoning blend. Cajun seasoning, jerk seasoning, barbecue seasoning, and Old Bay seasoning can be used instead of making your own dry rub.
How to make smoked St. Louis Style Ribs
- Preheat the smoker to 250 degrees.
- Put wood chips in the smoker tube. Use your favorite flavor of wood chip, I used Mesquite for my smoked St. Louis style ribs.
- Rub the rack of ribs with olive oil (the oil helps the dry rub penetrate the meat more fully). Then spread the dry rub generously over the front, back and sides of the ribs, for a well-balanced flavor.
*If time permits, let the ribs marinate for at least a half hour before placing them in the smoker. This gives the rub time to soak into the skin and meat. It also gives the meat time to come to room temperature before beginning the smoking process. This helps the meat cook more evenly.
- Place the ribs bone side down on a smoker rack of your preheated smoker, and let them cook for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, remove the ribs from the smoker and wrap them in aluminum foil.
- Return the foil-wrapped ribs to the smoker and cook for an additional 2.5 hours or until the ribs reach an internal temperature of 200 degrees in the thickest part of the rack of ribs.
When the smoked St. Louis Ribs are ready, carefully open the foil packs.
Slather the meaty side of the ribs with your favorite bbq sauce (or try my semi-homemade barbecue sauce) and return them to the smoker for an additional 30 minutes.
The rib meat is just about falling off the bone. Tender and juicy with a hint of smoked flavor, these ribs will definitely become a family favorite.
When it comes to barbecue, you can’t beat smoked meats and an electric smoker takes all the work out of preparing your favorite smoked recipes. All you need is time and a few basic seasonings to make the best St. Louis Style Ribs you ever had!
I love the ThermoPro wireless meat thermometers. The easy to use app makes it easy to track the temperatures of the meats and seafood your cooking.
You get a great variety of wood chips with this starter pack. You get one bag of apple, cheery, mesquite, and hickory wood chips in each variety pack.
Smoking ribs at 200 degrees will take 7-8 hours to cook. Smoking ribs at 225 degrees will take 6-7 hours. Smoking ribs at 250 degrees will take 5-6 hours.
Depending on which type of smoker you use and how thick the meat is will play a part on how long it takes to cook the ribs.
Most pitmasters agree that 250°F is the ideal smoking temperature for ribs. Smoking at lower temperatures will take longer for the ribs to cook and can result in tough, chewy meat. But too high a temperature can cause the ribs to dry out quickly. Preferred smoking temperatures range between 225°F and 275°F, with 250°F as the sweet spot.
Yes, they do. Since the smoking process takes 5-6 hours, the ribs should rest from 15-30 minutes before serving.