Smoked Baby Back Ribs Seasoned With a Flavor Packed Wet Rub

Smoked Baby Back Ribs, Divided and PlatedGOOD LOOKING RIBS!

Making this smoked baby back ribs recipe is a piece of cake, since this style ribs are usually purchased trimmed and ready to be seasoned and smoked. And since babyback ribs come from younger pigs, that ensures that the meat will be very tender.

What are baby back ribs? This cut comes from the upper section of the pigs rib cage, right next to the backbone. This is where the pork loin and tenderloin are located, which is why these ribs are almost always nice and tender.

The lower section of the rib cage is the sparerib section. Some think that the spareribs are a little meatier, and I'd have to agree. But the spareribs are also a bit more fatty. Baby back ribs are leaner, and usually more expensive.

You Might Have to Do Some Prep Work To The Ribs

Removing The Membrane From a Slab of Pork RibsREMOVING MEMBRANE FROM PORK RIB SLAB

As I'd earlier mentioned, baby back ribs are typically ready to be seasoned and smoked straight from the store. But there's one thing you can do to make them even better.

There's a membrane attached to the bone side of the ribs that can end up being a little chewy. Another name for this membrane is the "fell". 

Removing it from the slab is easy, and just a matter of pulling it away from the ribs in one spot, grasping it, and peeling it off. Using a paper towel to pinch the membrane will make the hold more secure. It's kind of slippery!

To start separating the fell from the slab, I use the handle-end of a teaspoon. I slip it between the membrane and one of the rib bones and gently pull off enough to grab.

Another benefit of removing the fell is that it exposes the meat between the bones, which allows seasoning to better flavor the meat.

Smoked Baby Back Ribs Wet Rub Recipe

In this recipe, the seasonings are combined with peanut oil. The oil helps to pull some of the flavors out of the spices, which adds more great flavor to the ribs. This recipe will make enough wet rub for two babyback slabs.

  • Three tablespoons peanut oil
  • Two tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Two tablespoons of minced white onion
  • Four cloves garlic, minced
  • One small jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
  • One tablespoon ground black pepper
  • One tablespoon honey
  • Two teaspoons salt
  • One teaspoon of dried mustard powder

Combine all of the ingredients and put the wet rub in tighty sealed container. Allow the rub to sit in the fridge overnight for the best flavor. That will give time for the flavors to mix and mingle and get all happy together.

When it's time to smoke your ribs, coat the mixture onto two slabs. Let the seasoned babybacks rest for an hour at room temperature before smoking at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for four to five hours, or until tender.

You don't want your smoked baby back ribs to be falling apart tender. They should have a bit of "pull" left in them. That means that the meat holds together, retaining it's original shape. It's not rubbery, but slightly firm... and tender at the same time.