Bryant’s Smoked Ribs

Duration: 7 hours start to plate

When it comes to smoking meats, everyone needs quality MRS. A good wife and cooking partner is a perk 🙂 but I’m taking about quality meat, rub and smoker. I want to share with you a few helpful tricks when it comes to smoking ribs!

With the recent sad news of my amazing Dad’s passing, I decided to come out of my cooking blog hiatus to take my mind off things for a little bit and focus on the positive in my life and what brings me happiness, cooking with my hubby and our new sweet baby, Palmer!

Sunday’s have become our smoke days. Lounging around, enjoying the day before the work week begins again, watching football and having a cozy dinner. Lucky for us, the quality meat portion of MRS is right down the street; Ream’s Meat Market. One of the reasons we originally ever ventured out to Elburn was because of all the great things we heard about this market. I have officially become a meat snob because of Ream’s. Their selection, quality of meat, guaranteed freshness and customer service make your trip their truly one of a kind. Lucky us, it’s literally down the street from our house!

Palmer at Ream’s in front of their beef jerky and meat stock selection-yum!


RibsCheck the “M” off the MRS list with these bad boys. If you are going through the trouble to smoke ribs, get extra! That way after they are smoked you can vacuum seal them and throw them in the freezer for a night your craving 6 hour smoked ribs, but don’t have the time!

Next, we have the “R” in our MRS acronym. Rub. Bryant loves checking out the rub selections at different stores, little markets and shops that we stop in whether its local or we are on a trip somewhere. A good, quality rub is sometimes hard to find because a lot of rubs out there are super salty. I recommend trying a little taste of the rub before applying it to your meat so you know how salty it is. An over rubbed piece of meat, especially that is super salty is NO BUENO. Rub

Today we use two different rub combos as we did two slabs of ribs. One slab, Bryant used Wiltse’s Honey on the ribs first as a binder for the rub to stick to. This is KEY in order for the skin of those ribs to soak in the powder and flavor from your rub. Then a combo of smoked brown sugar from The Smoked Olive and Three Little Pigs: Kansas City Championship BBQ Rub. Then for the second slab of ribs, he rubbed yellow mustard and Gindo’s hot sauce combo on the ribs, then topped the rack with Custom Culinary Pork Barbeque Spice.   Special little rubbing hint-use medical gloves and keep your ribs on the butcher paper they come in. You can wash your hands with the gloves on to get the rub and binder off to keep using them in one sitting and also the butcher paper collects excess rub so there is no waste and not an insane mess all over your counter. Win-win. Binder

rubbed ribs

Side note: Wiltse’s if you have never been is a local, amazing farm by us run by Kate Wiltse and her family. Wiltse’s Farm is our favorite place for local farm fresh produce, homemade honey, pumpkins and veggie and flower plants in the spring- another must see.


Finally, last but least the S. The smoker. We have definitely evolved as a smoker family in the last seven years. We first started with a little electric charcoal smoker on the side porch at our townhouse, then we moved to a bigger electric Masterbuilt Elite Window Smoker, then onto The Big Green Egg and now finally with The Traeger. Depending on the meat we are smoking, the amount, the time we have etc. we use both the Big Green Egg and The Traeger. But my husband, Bryant likes to say,

“The Traeger is  like an easy bake oven for adults”.

I would have to agree with  him. We have made a myriad of things on our Traeger; wings, pork chops, pork butt, ribeye, pizza and even cakes and cookies! You can set it and kind of forget it. The only thing that you really need to pay attention to is the amount of pellets in the hopper. Once you get your Traeger, Costco is the place to purchase the pellets. They sell a 33 lb bag of Gourmet Blend pellets for a very reasonable price compared to other retail sellers. Here’s our beauty below. It is a Pro 34 and the minimal problems we have had have been taken care of by Traeger free of charge (sending parts, over the phone assistance etc. )Traeger 1.pngLiving in Chicago though and being a Traeger owner, the Traeger insulated blanket is a MUST. We were not seeing consistent temperatures when we were smoking as it has gotten colder, and this blanket has been a savior.

Below you will see how we use the 3-2-1 method for cooking ribs. Bryant Has tried a variety of ways and this seems to work best. You don’t want rib meat falling off the bones, you want the rib meat to still kind of be intact. You want to see that smoke ring and get a nice piece of meat on each and every rib that you’re eating that’s juicy, tender and delicious.

Bryant’s Smoked Ribs Cooking Method:

Now that you have heard some of the tricks on the prep of the ribs, lets get into the exciting part- the cooking and eating!


Bryant uses a 3-2-1 method. The ribs will smoke for 3 hours at 225 degrees. Then he will wrap them in foil with pads of butter under the ribs, put them back on the Traeger for 2 hours, then take off the foil and sauce them and cook them for one more hour on the Traeger.

ribs 2.png

Smoked Ribs Recipe


  • Slab of ribs (# depends on how many guests your serving)
  • Favorite rub-enough to cover the ribs top, bottom and sides with a light dusting
  • 1-2 tbsp. yellow mustard per rack
  • Gindo’s Hot Sauce or other favorite hot sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp. honey per rack
  • 1/2 stick of butter cut into pads per rack
  • 1-2 tbsp. smoked brown sugar or regular light brown sugar per rack
  • favorite bbq sauce
  • foil
  • medical gloves


6 hour total smoking time

  1. Preheat Traeger or smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Make your rub for your ribs. Using a 3-1 method of 3 parts rub 1 part brown sugar combining in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Rub your ribs down with EITHER mustard/hot sauce combo (3 parts to 1 part) OR honey to cover your ribs with a light layer.
  4. Sprinkle dry rub combo and push into the mustard/hot sauce or honey layer to cover the ribs. **This is to your taste. That’s the beauty of bbq- if you like it saltier, add more if you like it sweeter add more honey or brown sugar**
  5. When smoker is ready set ribs racks directly on smoker rack and smoke for 3 hours.
  6. Take ribs off smoker. Lay foil flat on your counter and put pads of butter in a line. Put ribs directly on top of pads of butter line.
  7. Wrap ribs in foil. **Make sure there are no holes in the foil. Do multiple layers if you need to**
  8. Put ribs back on smoker for 2 hours still at 225 degrees.
  9. Take ribs off smoker and take them out of the foil. Cover ribs in your favorite bbq sauce and put back on smoker to cook for one more hour to crisp up.
  10. Take ribs of smoker and let sit for a few minutes.
  11. Enjoy!

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4 thoughts on “Bryant’s Smoked Ribs

  1. Carol, when you put the ribs into the foil, do they go into the foil with the bone underside like they were for the smoking portion, or do you turn them over and put them meat side down on the butter pads? I wonder which way is best? Looking forward to hearing from you. Former Chicagoan. Just got my first pellet smoker, after years of using a Smoke House while in Alaska.


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