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BBQ Ribs (Competition Style)

  • Author: The BBQ Brothers
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5-6 hours
  • Total Time: 26 minute
  • Yield: 2 racks of ribs
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Smoked
  • Cuisine: American


Summer wouldn't be complete without a deliciously smoked rack of BBQ ribs! If you're cooking out this weekend make sure to put these on the menu!


Meat used: Two racks of St. Louis cut ribs

Seasoning: The BBQ Brothers All-purpose BBQ Rub

Wood Used: Apple

Grill Temperature: ~225 F

Meat Temperature: None, pass bend test

Smoke time: ~5-6 hours


  1. The first thing that you want to do after you take them out of the package and rinse them off is to dry them very well. This will make them easier to handle and it will help with our next step.
  2. When you flip your ribs over you'll see a strange waxy almost platic-y membrane. This needs to be removed. So what you'll want to do is take a dry paper towel and find a piece of the membrane that is somewhat loose (or take a butter knife to slide under and pry upwards) and peel off the membrane.
  3. Coat the ribs with either vegetable oil (Matthew recommended) or yellow mustard (Andrew recommended). Sprinkle the rub onto the meat and pat it in until all of the meat is covered, including the sides. (Make sure you don't actually "rub" it into the meat, as this will cause it to cake up and the smoke won't penetrate the meat well). Cover with saran wrap and put it in the fridge overnight.
  4. When it's time to put your ribs onto the smoker you can put them on pretty much any way that they will fit and also gives good circulation for the smoke and heat to envelop the ribs. If you have a smaller set up you can use a roasting rack upside down.
  5. For two racks of St. Louis cut ribs you're looking at 5 to 6 hours in the smoker at 225 F. You can speed up this process by using the Texas Crutch. *See notes.
  6. To test for doneness you can use the "bend test" which is when you take your tongs and hold your rack of ribs parallel to the ground so they bend. If the bark splits and you have a nice bounce to the meat, you're all good. You can also just cut a piece off and give it a try to see if it's done.
  7. Once your meat is cooked you can either eat them dry (as Matthew prefers) or you can take this time to sauce them before serving. If you do decide to sauce them I always like to throw them back on to the hot side of the grill in order to get the sugars in the sauce to caramelize a bit and make them nice and sticky. Finally, dig in!


The Texas Crutch Technique means that after 2 to 3 hours you wrap your ribs in foil with a little bit of liquid and put them either back on the smoker or into the oven.

This can knock an hour or so off of your cook time with the sacrifice being the outside (or bark) won't be quite as crisp and pronounced as if you left it unwrapped the whole time.

The Texas Crutch will also make your ribs more tender and fall off the bone, if that is what you're after.

Keywords: basic ribs, BBQ ribs, smoked ribs, easy smoker ribs, party grilled foods, competition style ribs

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