When I cook ribs, I have done them a few different ways. The 1st way and the way everyone in the family loves them is by smoking them. The 2nd way is in the oven. There are also recipes out there for using your crockpot or instapot.
I have smoked them in an offset charcoal smoker, a propane smoker, and an electric smoker. I prefer using my propane smoker because of the ease of setting the temperature and having the ability to leave the unit to do other things around the house/farm. The propane smoker will hold the correct temperature even when left. The electric one works well as long as you have power where you are. Now, in my opinion, the offset charcoal smoker will give you better flavor because you're getting some of the charcoal flavors as well.
I also have a lazy 3-2-1 method. Smoke for 3hrs. Oven for 2hrs and sauce for the last 1hr. This method works great for any ribs, spare ribs, or baby back. I have found that you will get juicer ribs with Pasture Raised Rib because of the meat's fat and marbling.While smoking them, I take the ribs out and take the silver skin off the backside of the ribs. (this helps make the ribs not chewy or gamey at the end.) I use a Ribs Seasoning (Rib Rack BBQ Original-Bought at Walmart), and I try to season them the night before and let them sit in the season before smoking. I usually add the Rib Seasoning directly to the ribs dry. Some people slather the Ribs in Yellow Mustard, then add the seasoning, which I have found the seasoning will stick to the ribs better, but either way works well. During smoking, I will either do the 3-2-1 method, which is 3 hrs smoked 2 hrs covered 1 hr sauce and cooked with no smoke. I usually try to keep it 250-300 degrees.
There are many different kinds of wood that you can use while smoking your ribs. I prefer hickory wood or fruit tree wood (apple, cherry). There are also wood chips or chunks. I have found that these entirely depend on the type of smoker used. I use wood chips for the electric smoker I have, but in my propane and charcoal smokers, I tend to use chunks.
Cooking Ribs in the Oven
I have also just put them in the oven. The low and slow method works better here. 5 hrs at 250 and 350 for the last hour will give you good ribs. You can also add some liquid smoke to your seasoning, which will provide you with the smoke flavor missing from the ribs when cooking in the oven. But be very careful with the amount of liquid smoke you use as it can add a strange taste to the meat. I will use the same Rib seasoning on the Ribs in the oven as I do while smoking them. You will also need to take the silver skin off the ribs if you use this method. I don't have much experience using the instant pot or the crockpot, but they can be great ways to cook your ribs in a time crunch
Smoking meats is one of my favorite things to do. Did you enjoy this post? Should I do more? Comment below of ideas you would like me to cover. And as always if you are interested in any of our meats you can order online at the link below!
I'm a Stay At Home Mom running our small Family Farm in WNY.