Learning how to cook on a smoker can be difficult, but once mastered, it can be the key to creating the most delicious and tender pork ribs possible at home.

While there’s various recipes out there to try, today we’ll be showing you a recipe for smoking ribs that follows the famous 3-2-1 method.


As one of the most simple yet effective ways to smoke pork ribs, the 3-2-1 method follows these rules:

  • For the first 3 hours, you infuse the meat with smoke flavour
  • For the next 2 hours, you steam the meat to make it succulent
  • For the final 1 hour, you baste and glaze the meat with a bbq sauce 

This method makes it easy to remember how long to smoke ribs for, but it’s still important to be careful with timing so not to over or under do them.


When smoking ribs, the ribs you choose comes down to personal preference. Tom Hixson is proud to offer a wide variety of BBQ pork ribs, including spare ribs and St. Louis ribs – both of which are suitable for smoking. 

In this smoked bbq ribs recipe, we’ll be using pork baby back ribs


Smoked pork ribs obviously taste much better when you can really taste that smokey flavour, so we recommend smoking ribs bone side down and meaty side up. This is so the smoke properly penetrates the meat, instead of having it blocked by the bone.

Recipe For Smoking Ribs

Difficulty: Intermediate Prep Time 20 min Cook Time 6 hour Total Time 6 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 6
Best Season: Summer



  1. Lay out 4 large sheets of tin foil and put to one side. Fill hopper of smoker with wood pellets - pecan, cherry or hickory work well

  2. Remove membrane from ribs by sliding a butter knife into the bone-side of the rack of ribs and making a small slit, before grabbing the membrane and pulling it off

  3. Stir together the mustard, apple juice and Worcestershire sauce, and brush over ribs on both sides. Season the ribs with dry rub on both sides - be generous!

  4. Put the smoker on the smoke setting for 5 to 10 minutes, before increasing the heat to 225°F (around 110°C). Smoke the ribs for 3 hours with meaty side up

  5. Keep the smoker at 225°F (110°C) and place ribs on tin foil sheets. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar and honey on both sides of the rack of ribs, and top with 2tbsp of butter. Pour in the 3 tbsp bourbon, and repeat with the next rack of ribs

  6. Add another tin foil sheet on top of the ribs and crimp it to seal tightly. Return ribs to grill and cook for 2 hours

  7. Remove ribs from foil and brush ribs with BBQ sauce. Place ribs back on grill gate and grill for 1 hour

  8. Slice, serve and enjoy!


For more ways of how to cook pork ribs, keep an eye on our blog and take a look at our BBQ pork ribs recipe.

Discover the perfect pork ribs today at Tom Hixson, or take a look at our wide variety of beef ribs for more.



Keywords: Recipe For Smoking Ribs, Smoked pork ribs, smoking ribs

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