Saucy, smokey, tender, and delicious, our smoked country style ribs recipe will make your mouth water. Just a bit of time in the smoker while you gather your other pieces of the meal together, and you are good to go! The gorgeous finish on these ribs is matched only by their flavor.
🍽️ Why This Works
Simple Ingredients. You just need the meat, the rub, the sauce, and a little oil. Since you are looking up a recipe for smoked country-style ribs, you probably already have these ingredients ready to go!
Very Easy Instructions. It only takes about five minutes of prep work, and then you can put your meat in the smoker and walk away. Come back in an hour, and your food will be ready. It’s special enough to brighten up your weekend and easy enough you can smoke these on a weeknight if you choose. Live it up!
Short Smoke Time. We all know how amazing it is when we have time to babysit the smoker for hours and hours for brisket or pulled pork, but when you are short on time, you need a short smoke! These country-style ribs are a great solution and are ready in just about one hour.
What Are Country Style Ribs?
Country style ribs might just be the unsung heroes of the BBQ world. But let’s clear up a common misconception: they’re not really ribs. These cuts are actually from the blade end of the pork loin, near the shoulder, making them a meatier and leaner option than traditional ribs.
There’s still a good amount of marbling to keep the meat tender as it cooks.
Country style ribs have the best of both worlds: the meatiness of a pork chop and the rich flavor of ribs.
Their versatility in cooking methods, from smoking to grilling, makes them a favorite among home cooks and BBQ aficionados alike.
📝 Ingredient Notes
Cooking Spray Oil- We used avocado oil spray, but any neutral oil spray will work.
Country Style Ribs – This is a specific cut of meat you can find at any grocery store. It is boneless and easy to smoke. Given the short prep time, the results are impressive!
Dry Rub – We used the Burnt Sacrifice Dallas Rub. You could also use a homemade BBQ rub or apply just salt and pepper to let the smoked meat flavor shine.
BBQ Sauce – Use your favorite! This time, we used Stubbs, but we change it up quite a bit from one meal to the next. It’s always fun to find a new favorite!
⏲️ Equipment and Tools
- Smoker | We use the Big Green Egg. An offset smoker, pellet smoker, or electric smoker will also work. You can even make this on a Traeger grill, another type of pellet grill, or a charcoal grill equipped with a lid, as long as you keep adding wood chips to the grill during the smoking process.
- Wood Chips | Literally, any wood chips will work. Use what you have on hand or consult our Smoking Wood Chart to find some great pairings.
- BBQ Tongs | Long, heat-resistant tongs keep you safe.
- Meat Thermometer | I like to use a wireless meat thermometer so I can track the temperature from inside the house.
- Basting Brush. To apply the BBQ sauce and get that glistening finish. One that is designed or high heat is a good idea.
Step One: Spray your meat lightly with a cooking oil spray. Preheat the smoker to 225ºF.
Step Two: Place your country-style ribs in a plastic zip bag. Add the dry rub. Seal the bag.
Step Three: Shake up the meat until it is coated nicely with the dry rub.
Step Four: Place your country-style ribs in your preheated smoker. Don’t crowd them together, you want plenty of room around each one so they can absorb the smoke and cook evenly.
We want our ribs to absorb as much smoke flavor as possible, so we don’t place them in a disposable aluminum pan or cast iron skillet. Instead, we set them directly on the grill grates.
Step Five: Track the temperature. When the ribs reach 175ºF, start basting them with the BBQ sauce.
Step Six: Remove the ribs when they reach 185ºF. They will be fork tender!
❗ Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Unlike some of the other meats you may smoke, country-style pork ribs need to reach 185ºF to be tender. Thickness and the presence of bones may impact the cooking time, so use an Instant Read thermometer to check the temperature. The meat thermometer will easily slide in and out when it’s getting closer to being done.
- Spritzing the ribs with apple juice or apple cider vinegar while they smoke is a common technique but there is no need to use it. We love the smoky bark these ribs develop without any additions during the cooking process. The fact we’re smoking them based on internal temperature and not time ensures they don’t dry out.
- Our method doesn’t require you to wrap the ribs in aluminum foil or cover them in any way. We want them to absorb as much smoke as possible.
🧑🍳 Storage and Reheating
Keep leftover ribs in the refrigerator for 3-5 days in an airtight container. They can be reheated easily in a skillet or air fryer. I like to slice up the meat and reheat smaller pieces because it is quicker.
Leftover pork can be frozen for 4-6 months in a deep freeze and reheated from frozen or thawed overnight in the fridge.
The leftover meat will work well on salads, baked potatoes, or sandwiches if you don’t want to eat it as is. It could also be used on street tacos, in soups or stews, and added to stir fries.
Additions and Substitutions
- You can use the same approach with any cut of pork or beef ribs, and just adjust the cooking time as needed if bones are present. The desired internal temperature and cooking time will change depending on your choice of ribs, but the dry rub and BBQ sauce carry over.
- Use mustard as a binder instead of oil before coating the ribs in dry rub just like we did when using this dry rub for ribs. The meat won’t taste like mustard at all but the flavor will be excellent!
- Explore different BBQ rubs! You do not have to find the same products we used for this recipe and sometimes a homemade option will better satisfy your cravings. This all purpose dry rub for grilling will give your ribs a fantastic burst of flavor. Add a smoky depth with this brisket dry rub, or explore the exotic flavors of our Yucatan BBQ rub. Onion powder, black pepper, kosher salt, brown sugar, garlic powder, and paprika are common dry rub ingredients and you can always create new combinations or add a few more aromatics to the mix.
- Use your favorite BBQ sauce. By switching the barbecue sauce you’ll find delightful new ways to savor smoked ribs. While there’s no shortage of store-bought options, making a BBQ sauce at home is a breeze. My honey Sriracha BBQ sauce adds a sweet and spicy kick, perfect for those who love a bit of heat. For a deeper, richer flavor, try the whiskey BBQ sauce, which pairs beautifully with the smokiness of the ribs. Or, opt for the cherry Bourbon BBQ sauce for a unique, fruity twist that complements the ribs’ natural taste.
- Try another smoking wood. When it comes to the best wood for smoking ribs, you have quite a few options to choose from. Oak, hickory, mesquite, pecan wood, and milder fruit woods like apple and cherry are all great and will keep these smoked country-style pork ribs exciting. Any wood you used to smoke other types of ribs (such as baby back ribs and St. Louis style ribs) will also go well for these Country style ribs.
Serve these amazing country-style ribs with any of your favorite BBQ sides. A tasty cole slaw and smoked potato salad will make everyone happy.
Whatever your choice, pair it with some biscuits or cornbread and you are golden.
More Rib Recipes
Your rib grilling adventures don’t have to come to an end. I guarantee you’ll love these tender and rich-tasting smoked St. Louis style ribs! Or try the leaner, yet equally flavorful smoked baby back ribs.
If grilling is more your style, our grilled St. Louis style ribs offer a delightful char and robust taste. And for a sweet twist, the easy grilled plum jam pork ribs will surprise your taste buds with their unique and savory plum jam glaze.
❓ Recipe FAQ
About one hour. A better question to ask is “What temperature do country style ribs need to be when I take them out of the smoker?” And the answer to that is 185ºF. This ensures that they will be fall-apart tender and delicious. The time it takes to reach this point will vary depending on the temperature of your smoker, the thickness of the ribs, and whether or not they are bone-in or boneless.
Yes. Pork can be frozen for up to six months in a deep freeze, or a few months in a side-by-side freezer. I like to slice up the meat before I freeze it so that it can easily be reheated in a skillet when I am ready for it. Reheated pork rib meat is great for hot sandwiches!
225º-250ºF. If you look on the internet, you will find answers all over the map. We like to take the low and slow approach, giving the fat in the pork plenty of time to render so you have tender, juicy meat.
The best internal temperature for country style ribs to reach that fall-apart tenderness is around 185°F. At this temperature, the ribs become wonderfully tender, easily pulling away from the bone.
Tried this recipe? Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page. You can also stay in touch with me through social media by following me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!
Smoked Country Style Ribs
- 1 lbs Pork Country Style Ribs boneless
- ¼ BBQ Rub
- ¾ cup BBQ Sauce
- Spray Olive Oil
- Heat the smoker up to 225°F and 250°F and use the wood of your choice. We chose apple for our ribs.
- Spritz the ribs with olive oil spray. Toss the ribs in a bag with the bbq rub to make sure the rub is covering all the ribs. Place the ribs on the smoker. Smoke until the ribs the internal temperature reaches 175°F and brush on the sauce. Remove from the smoker when the internal temperature reaches 185°F.