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Barbecued Smoked Ribs

The Best Barbecued Smoked Ribs

Our Barbecued Smoked Ribs Are Dry Rubbed, Smoked over Hickory Chips, Then Sauced With Our Homemade Bourbon Barbecue Sauce! Now, These Are Good Eating!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword The Best Barbecued Smoked Ribs
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 1220kcal
Author kathleen


Bourbon BBQ Sauce

  • 2 Cups Ketchup
  • 1/2 Cup Mild Flavored Molasses
  • 1/3 Cup Bourbon
  • 1/4 Cup Dijon Mustard
  • To Taste Hot Pepper Sauce
  • 2 Teaspoons Paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Onion Powder


  • 3 Baby Back Rib Racks
  • 1 Cup Bourbon

Rub Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons Coarse or Kosher Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar Packed
  • 3 Tablespoons Paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Ground Cumin

For The BBQ

  • Hickory Wood Chips
  • 1-2 Bottles Beer or Water


Make the Sauce:

  • Combine all ingredients in heavy large saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered until sauce thickens and flavors blend, stirring frequently about 15 minutes. Set aside.  (Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover; chill.)

Make the Rub:

  • Mix all rub ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.


  • Arrange ribs in large roasting pan. Pour bourbon over. Chill 30 minutes, turning ribs often. Pour off and discard bourbon.
  • Sprinkle an even portion of rub mixture on both sides of all racks of ribs. Rub into ribs. Let stand 1 hour.
  • Place wood chips in medium bowl. Pour beer or water over them and let stand 1 hour.

Prepare a Charcoal Grill:

  • Place handful of torn newspaper in the lower chamber of a Chimney Starter.
  • Top newspaper, in the upper chamber of the chimney stare with 25 charcoal briquettes. (I've never counted! I just fill the chimney up as far as I can).  Remove upper rack (grill) from barbecue and place chimney starter on lower grill rack. Light newspaper and let charcoal burn until ash is gray about 30 minutes.
  • Open 1 bottom grill vent. Turn out hot charcoal into two Weber Char-Basket briquet holders on either side of the lower rack.  Remove 1 cup wood chips from beer and drain (keep remaining chips in beer). Scatter drained chips over coals (avoid using too many wet chips, which may douse the fire).
  • Place upper grill rack back on barbecue. Arrange ribs on upper grill rack in a rib rack. Cover barbecue with lid, positioning top vent directly over ribs. Place stem of candy thermometer through top vent, with gauge on the outside of lid and tip near ribs (thermometer should not touch meat or grill rack); leave in place during cooking. 
  • Once thermometer is properly placed, check temperature after 5 minutes. Open and or close top and bottom vents to maintain a temperature between 275°F and 325°F. (Opening vents wider to increase heat and closing to decrease heat.) Leave any other vents closed.
  • After 45 minutes, use technique described earlier to light an additional 15 charcoal briquettes in same charcoal chimney set atop nonflammable surface. (Sometimes this is not necessary.  Only do this if temperature falls close to or below 275)
  •  If, and/or when, temperature of barbecue falls below 275°F, use oven mitts to lift off upper rack with ribs; place rack with ribs on heatproof surface. Using tongs, add hot gray charcoal from chimney to bottom rack. Drain remaining 1 cup wood chips; sprinkle over charcoal. Reposition upper rack on barbecue, placing ribs above loaf pan. Cover with lid. Grill until ribs are very tender and meat pulls away from bones, about 45 minutes longer, brushing with 3/4 cup Bourbon Barbecue Sauce the last 15 minutes of cooking.
  • Transfer ribs to platter. Brush with 3/4 cup more barbecue sauce. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately, if desired
  • Alternative Baking Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  •  Follow above instructions for sauce, rub, and rib preparation.
  •  Bake ribs for 2 1/2 hours on a cookie sheet.
  •  Remove ribs from oven and cover generously with bbq sauce.
  •  Broil ribs on both sides just until sauce glazes nicely.


Calories: 1220kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 100g | Fat: 62g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 377mg | Sodium: 3079mg | Potassium: 2024mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 1895IU | Vitamin C: 3.1mg | Calcium: 150mg | Iron: 6mg