Learn how to smoke ribs in an electric smoker with the 3-2-1 method.
You’ll have tender, moist and delicious ribs that fall off the bone in about six hours with the time tested 3-2-1 method for smoking ribs in an electric smoker.
What’s the difference between baby back ribs vs. St. Louis spare ribs?
Baby back ribs come from the loin of the animal, close to where the loin is cut away from the spine. These ribs are usually shorter bones that curve, becoming more narrow on one end. Baby back ribs also usually have less meat than St. Louis spare ribs and thus cook more quickly! St. Louis spare ribs come from the belly of pigs which means they’re flatter and highly marbled, with high fat content and lots of meat. These ribs are commonly seen at BBQ smoking competitions and take longer to cook than baby back ribs.
This recipe was created with baby back ribs in mind but if you’re choosing St. Louis spare ribs, I recommend adding an extra 45 to 60 minutes of cooking time.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 6 Hours
Total Time: 6 Hours 15 Minutes
Serves: 2-4 People
Baby back ribs, seasoned with your own choice of dry or wet rub
Hickory or Mesquite wood chips (most popular for smoking ribs)
Beer, wine, whiskey or bourbon of your choice
BBQ Sauce of your choice
Instructions: The easy 3-2-1 method for smoking ribs in an electric smoker
Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit
Fill up the water pan within your electric smoker
Add choice of Hickory or Mesquite wood chips to your smoker wood-chip box. I really like Western Premium’s Hickory Woodchips
While the smoker is preheating, prepare your ribs by removing the membrane so that your spices, seasonings and/or rubs can better penetrate the ribs for better flavor
Put your ribs in the smoker, directly on the grates for 3 Hours at 225 degrees Fahrenheit
Remove the ribs and wrap them in aluminum foil, tightly. Before fully closing the aluminum foil, I recommend adding about 1/8 Cup of your favorite beer, wine, whiskey or bourbon into the packet to help tenderize & flavor the ribs via a steaming effect. Place the ribs in aluminum foil back into the electric smoker for 2 Hours
Remove the ribs from the smoker again and open the aluminum foil. The last step is to coat both sides generously with your favorite BBQ sauce. Once coated, wrap back up in aluminum foil and place back into the electric smoker for 1 Hour. Be sure to check the temperature of your ribs using a grilling thermometer, ensuring they’ve reached a minimum temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit
When time is up, remove from the smoker and enjoy!
Recommended Products: Smoking Ribs in an electric smoker
The Masterbuilt 30 inch Digital Electric Smoker
The Masterbuilt 30 inch Digital Electric Smoker is perfect for any level of griller. You can achieve competition-ready results in your own backyard, without the hassle of charcoal or propane. Simply plug this smoker in, set the digital controls, & let the smoker do all the work! This Masterbuilt Electric Smoker makes it easy to smoke tasty ribs.
4.0 Stars / 750+ Amazon Reviews (As of July 2019)
Western Premium Hictory Woodchips
Enjoy distinct hickory smoke flavor with the Western Premium Hickory Woodchips. They are highly rated and made from real heat-treated hickory wood to deliver a robust flavor to every meal. Western Premium also sells Cherry, Maple, Mesquite, Peach, Pecan and Post Oak chips — Plus they’re very affordable!
4.6 Stars / 1,350+ Amazon Reviews (As of July 2019)
Masterbuilt Electric Smoker Cover (for 30 in Smoker)
Protect your Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker with this cover. The durable, polyurethane-coated cover protects your smoker from the elements year-round. This cover is also weather-resistant and resists fading well.
4.2 Stars / 930+ Amazon Reviews (As of July 2019)