RecipesCooking Techniques

Perfect Smoked Pork Ribs

Perfect Smoked Pork Ribs

Smoking then baking yields meltingly tender, deeply flavored ribs that are incredibly satisfying to eat — moist and meaty but not falling off the bone. A dry rub of warm red spices and gochugaru (Korean red chile flakes) add peppery heat to partner with the natural sweetness of pork.


  • 2 racks St. Louis–style pork spareribs (about 4 1/4 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons gochugaru (Korean red chile flakes)
  • Barbecue sauce or hot sauce, for serving


  1. Pat both sides of rib racks dry with paper towels. Using a sharp knife, remove thin membrane from back of each rack by slicing into it and pulling it off with a paper towel. (This will make the ribs more tender and will help the meat to absorb the rub; you can also ask your butcher to remove the membrane for you.) Stir together salt, paprika, garlic, coriander, black pepper, and gochugaru in a bowl. Sprinkle mixture on both sides of each rib rack. Using your hands, rub ribs with spice mixture until evenly coated. Place ribs on a rimmed baking sheet, and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. (Alternatively, double-wrap rib racks in plastic wrap, and refrigerate up to 2 days. Let meat come to room temperature before grilling.)
  2. Open bottom vent of a charcoal grill completely. Light charcoal chimney starter filled with briquettes. When briquettes are covered with gray ash, pour them onto bottom grate of grill, and push to one side of the grill. Adjust vents as needed to maintain an internal temperature of 400°F to 450°F. (If using a gas grill, preheat to high [450°F to 500°F] on one side.) Remove cooking grate, and place a drip pan with 1 inch of warm water on side without coals. Add hardwood chunks (such as hickory, oak, or pecan) or wood chips to coals.
  3. Carefully wipe preheated grates with a lightly oiled paper towel. Using a grill brush, scrape grill grates clean, then carefully wipe with a lightly oiled towel again. Replace cooking grate.
  4. When the fire begins to produce a steady stream of smoke, place ribs over unlit side of grill. Cover, vent grill for smoking, and smoke 30 minutes, using vents to maintain an internal temperature of 275°F to 300°F.
  5. Using tongs, flip and rotate ribs so that the opposite side is facing the coals. Cover and smoke, flipping and rotating ribs every 30 minutes and adding more coals and wood as needed to maintain a steady temperature and smoke flow, until ribs are deeply fragrant and have a crisp crust, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 225°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil and 2 layers of parchment paper. Stack rib racks on top of each other on prepared baking sheet. Wrap racks tightly in the layers of parchment and foil, and bake in preheated oven 2 hours.
  7. Remove from oven, and let ribs rest in parchment-foil packet at least 10 minutes or up to 30 minutes. Unwrap racks, slice into individual ribs, and serve with your favorite barbecue sauce or hot sauce on the side.

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