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Too much fussin' - go with naked ribs


Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jan 13, 2015
A number of years ago I got tired messing around with the 3-2-1 or 2-2-1 methods and went back to putting them on an leaving them until done. I won't say this is anything special but it's the recipe I've been using for quite some time with consistent success. BTW, signature has some sauces if interested.

Smoked Ribs - St. Louis or Baby Back

Recipe By: Matt


1 or more racks of St. Louis or Baby Backs (BB)
salt - only if NOT "Moisturized", lightly sprinkled
Canola spray
A1 Sweet Mesquite Rub, to taste (spicy)
BBQ Rub from Killer Hogs, to taste


1. Pat Ribs dry and trim if necessary. Remove membrane from back of ribs.

2. If ribs are not “moisturized” then add 1/4 tsp salt per pound & sprinkle onto the ribs. Let stand for 30 min.

3. Lightly spray Canola oil on ribs both sides. Lightly sprinkle A1 Rub on both sides. Then a bit heavier, sprinkle on the BBQ Rub. Let stand for 30 min at room temp.

4. Set smoker to 245º. I use hickory, sometimes pecan. Place bone side down. A tube smoker provides additional smoke. I use mesquite in the tube.

5. Starting at hour 2, spray with apple juice about every 45 min forward. Spraying keeps the meat moist allowing more smoke to be absorbed.

6. Start testing for BB doneness on hour 4, w/St. Louis on hour 5. BB's get done quicker than St. Louis. Remember every piece of meat can be different. I've had bb's get done in 4 hours while others went to 5.25 hours, St. Louis usually closer to 6 hours. Regardless once done, sauce and continue smoking for 20-30 min to set the sauce, then pull.

Best test for doneness in order is:
- toothpick test: does it go into the meat very easily i.e. hot knife thru butter
- bend break: (hold 3rd of rack w/tongs, does the remaining bend significantly showing a crack in the meat at the bend
- looking for the meat to pull back off the end of the ribs approx 1/4 inch.

Be careful, the meat can start to dry out the longer you let it go. If you don’t get a break across the meat, but the toothpick and pull back are positive, then it’s time to sauce and pull 20 min later.
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Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
Joined Jun 11, 2015
Sounds great I don't wrap never have. Old school still running at 225 to old to change.

Wheres the photos?



SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Jun 22, 2009
Seems like everyone has their own way of smoking ribs.
It is one of the few meats that has so many ways to get to the finish!


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Sep 15, 2012
Nice write up. I like to keep the membrane on while smoking - I feel it helps keep the ribs moister. Also I don't think spritzing allows for deeper penetration of the smoke flavor. A dry rib in the beginning will do that. Once you start spritzing the smoke flavor will only adhere to the moisture. Like said above everyone has a different way of doing things.



Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Sep 7, 2013
I guess I'm pure old school.
Whole racks of spares, no trim.
Fire up smoker and set vents based on time I want them done (225-6 to 8 hours of smoking, 250-5 to 7 hours, 275-4 to 6 hours, 300-3 to 5 hours, etc).
Wait a couple hours for the smoker to settle in and reach TBS.
About an hour after firing the smoker, unwrap the ribs.
Pat dry.
Spray with canola oil.
Lightly season with rub of choice.
Check for TBS and chamber temp.
Toss the ribs on the smoker membrane side toward fire.
Go do something else until first poke test for tenderness. Sauce with heated sauce if someone wants sauced ribs.
Slight resistance in the poke test, remove, cover, rest for 30 minutes.
Slice and serve.


Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jan 13, 2015
Where is the best place to put the IT probe in ribs?
Pretty tricky given how thin they are. Obviously in the meat between and not touching the bones. Some here have gotten adept at placing the probe and swear by it. For me, it's been hit or miss which is why I use & rely on the trio of tests mentioned at the bottom of the recipe.

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