How To Smoke Ribs in an Electric Smoker : Smoking Ribs for Beginners

To know how to smoke ribs in an electric smoker is a pleasant experience. Electric smoker provides hassle-free smoking sessions without worrying about balancing the heat level. The expert and moderate, but the beginners can expect spicy, smoky, and juicy ribs using an electric smoker.

So, to help you arrange the magnificent party night with a mouthwatering touch of smoking ribs, I have planned a step-by-step guide on how to smoke ribs in an electric smoker.

Step By Step Guide on How to Smoke Ribs in an Electric Smoker

Do you think that enjoying juicy, mouthwatering, and soft ribs are impossible to enjoy? Then you are wrong because an electric smoker is here to get whatever you want from the barbecue section of life. Let’s go and learn how to smoke ribs in an electric smoker?

Before starting the smoking ribs session, you must have:

  • Gloves, to avoid the direct touch with meat
  • Mop, to bast the ribs during the smoking session
  • Tongs, to hold the ribs when to remove them from the smoker.
  • Thermometer, A digital instant temperature checker
  • Disposable aluminum deep pans
  • Squeeze bottles for sauce
  • Aluminum foil
  • Paper Towel
  • Carving Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Soft and clean cotton cloth
  • Wood chunks
  • A spray water bottle
  • In the end, the Electric Smoker

Cleaning the Electric Smoker

Cleaning the Electric Smoker

Before starting the smoking ribs session, you must clean the electric smoker. Wear your gloves. Next, open the door of the smoker and take the clean cotton cloth.

Remove the racks and wash the interior walls of the unit to remove any dust or residue. By cleaning the smoker appropriately, you will get rid of the smell and get crowded over there due to closing the door. After washing the inner side, clean the walls using a cotton cloth.

Afterward, wash the racks with water. Put the unit in an airy place for some time to get it dry. As soon as the unit gets dried, you are ready to go. To add this, if you are using the unit for the first time, you need to clean it thoroughly.

Recommended Reading: How to Clean an Electric Smoker

You can also readHow to Season an Electric Smoker

How to Select the Ribs for Smoking in an Electric Smoker

The careful purchasing of the ribs for smoking will result in delicious taste. Finding the perfect ribs is a time taking process. But if once you select the best, you can’t imagine the pleasant, incredible results.

The Best Types of Pork Ribs for Smoking are:

St. Louis Ribs

St. Louis ribs are uniform in shape. As compared to baby back ribs, the meat in St. Louis seems fattier.

Baby Back Ribs

As compared to Spare Ribs, Baby Back Ribs are shorter. It has lean meat. It comes from either side of the spine from the pro’s back. It is the best cut of meat that most people like.

Spare Ribs

Meat, meat, meat! The spare rib has plenty amount of meat as it comes from the belly side. Spare ribs come from the downside of the pig’s belly.

Rib Tip

Rib Tip is the most tender part of the meat. Along with several thin bones, fats, and marbling, this is the best part to eat.

Storing The Ribs

After purchasing the ribs that you like most, you need to store them. Here you need to put one thing in mind that you must buy the ribs at least 10-12 hours before smoking them.

It is because you need to prepare them to smoke and marinate them for incredibly delicious taste. As soon as you buy the ribs, it would help if you put them in the refrigerator at the normal temperature. Don’t try to freeze them because it will be difficult to marinate the ribs.

Preparing the Ribs

In the next step, you need to prepare the ribs. Unwrap the ribs and wash them properly using normal water. Taking the soft clean cloth or paper towel, dry them properly. After that, remove the membrane and apply the dry rub. To remove the membrane is full of hassle, but don’t try to skip this step. This is the essential step for smoking uniform and in best structure ribs. The membrane is the skin on the backside of the ribs.

If you don’t know how to remove the membrane, don’t worry, you can follow the below steps.

How to Remove membrane

Wear gloves to avoid direct touch with meat, get a firm grip and hold the things nicely when removing the membrane.

Make a deep cut to split the membrane between the rib bones identifying the middle of the rack.

To pry the rib from meat and rib, use the dull side of the small paring knife.

Holding the membrane with a paper towel, you need to separate it from the bones until it is removed completely. For a firm grip, it is better to hold it with a paper towel.

It is a bit tiresome process to remove the membrane, but it makes you expert enough to overcome the next steps during the smoking process. This tough experience will make you an expert throughout your journey.

Trimming the Ribs

Trimming the ribs is an important process because it makes a tree beautiful in looks and beautifies the shape of the rib.  When a smoked rib seems perfect in shape, it is the true omen that how expert and perfect you are?

Trim the top and bottom of the rib so nicely that not only may the shape become consistent and perfect, but it will fit in the box for refrigeration purposes. The stray meat flaps that are not in an organized shape also do not taste healthy when to smoke them. Spot the extra fats and the ends that are not equal, remove them all to have an organized shape.

Apply the Dry Rub

Place the racks of ribs in a disposable aluminum pan and cover it with plastic wrap. Apply the dry rub over all the sides of the rack and rub it gently with a soft hand. Now refrigerate it for maximum overnight and four hours minimum.

Before starting the smoking process, remove the ribs from the refrigerator for almost thirty minutes. It will help you bring the ribs to some extent normal temperature because consistent smoking is impossible if directly placing the ribs in the electric smoker after getting them from the refrigerator.

The Process of Smoking Ribsin Electric Smoker

After all the preparations, it is time to smoke meat. You need to preheat the smoker to 275-degree Fahrenheit to avoid any small and sticking ribs with the racks. Also, coat a thin, light layer of vegetable oil over the smoking racks to avoid ribs.

Set the desired temperature as soon as the smoker reaches the desired level put your ribs inside. The ideal cooked temperature for ribs is 225-degree F, but improving the initial cooking sets your smoker at 250-degreeFahrenheit.

Moreover, setting the temperature at 250 degrees is crucial because you open the door to set things. Doing this means losing the heat. But once you have set all the things, don’t forget to set the temperature at 225-degree F. Frequent opening the door will result in heat loss, impacting the taste of your meat. So, avoid doing this to smoke the ribs incredibly.

Furthermore, the ideal smoking timing of ribs is eight hours almost but using the electric smoker; the time reduces due to consistent provision of temperature. With an electric smoker, you can get your work completed within four hours. During this time, you can perform other duties like gossiping with loved ones, preparing mop sauce and barbecue sauce. Preparing them on time will make you serve the dish in time to your guests after it is smoked.

Add Wood Chips

Yes!!! After putting the marinated meat inside the smoker and setting the temperature, you have done half, but some important is left. Now it is the turn of the addition of wood chips. It would help if you loaded the wood chips chamber to create a smoky flavor.

Soaked Wood Chips or Not?

To add wood chips, mostly the beginners get confused about whether to soak the wood chips before use or not? It mostly depends upon your satisfaction, but I never soak the wood chips as far as I am concerned. It is because the soaked wood chips first tend to leave moisture. As soon as it gets dried, it starts leaving smoke. The smoke you feel the wood chips leaves when wet is moisture, not the smoke.

Moreover, if you think that dry wood chips will create a sudden temperature rise, then you are wrong because it is not so. The electric smoker will manage itself to the balanced temperature soon, which surely will not affect your food.

Add Water

Next, you must add water to the water pan. The water during the smoking process leaves moistures which get added to the food resultantly it gets soft. When meat leaves juice during the long smoking sessions, it gets hard and gets difficult to chew. The addition of moisture softens the food which is a plus point!

Check the Smoke

After closing the door of the electric smoker and setting the temperature, you must observe the smoke. The blue smoke is the omen that dry wood has created smoke, and it will get mixed in the food. Contrary to that, if the smoke is white, it is the moisture, not the smoke. This moisture arises from soaked wood, so you don’t need to soak the wood next time. Always use dry wood chips for natural flavor.

Ribs Smoking

Now in this step, place the rack of ribs in the smoker and adjust the temperature to 225-degree Fahrenheit. Please close the door and don’t open it again for 4 hours. For the next two hours, baste the ribs every thirty minutes. With in these four hour, the white sugar in the rub will produce bark on the ribs. This is best as it saves the ribs from getting dry.

After these six hours, put the ribs on aluminumopen and cover them with foil. Put the pan in the smoker for almost 120 minutes. After two hours, check the ribs. When they are separated from the bones, they are smoked. Are you ready to enjoy it? Use the digital thermometer and check the inside temperature of the meat. To touch perfection, it must be above 145–165-degree F.

Moreover, the sauce is an important step. Don’t forget. Applying the mop sauce on the ribs ensures that the ribs remain soft and tender throughout the end. Mopping sauce is an essentialstage that shows the magic of your hands in smoking ribs.

Carve and Serve

Take the ribs out of the smoker 10-15 minutes before serving because they will remain hot. Taking the long sharp and bladed knife, cut the ribs. Make all the cuts nicely without disturbing the ends. You can get them cut in the shape you wish. You can cut them into individual bones or whatever you like. There is no fixed rule of cutting the ribs.

 To make the ends more flavorful, coat the ends with sauce. Apply the barbecue sauce a tablespoon or two. Close the barbecue sauce and put it aside. Let the ends set with sauce. After that, serve them as you want. Serve the ribs among your family and friends.


How long does it take to smoke ribs?

Smoking ribs in an electric smoker takes almost six hours. After six hours at 225-degree F, you are ready to get soft, tender, flavorful, and delicious smoked ribs.

How long does it take to smoke ribs at 225-degree F?

Smoking ribs in an electric smoker normally takes six hours. Smoke them for four hours without interruption and for the remaining two hours, baste the ribs every thirty minutes. Basting the ribs saves them from dried. To add flavor, you can spray them like apple, beer, etc.

What is the 321 method of smoking ribs?

The 321 methodsrefer to the smoking hours of ribs. First, you need to smoke them at a lower temperature for almost three hours. Then wrap them in foil for steam for additional two hours. Finally, apply sauce over the ribs and grill them for almost an hour.

Editor’s Note

We hope our post “how to smoke ribs in an electric smoker has helped you a lot in smoking incredibly delicious ribs. Following the above mentioned parameters you will enjoy praising sounds following you as a result of exceptional outcomes in the right way.

To add this, if you have suggestions, please let us know through the comments below. If you found the post helpful don’t hesitate to share it with others.

Stay Blessed! Have a Great Fun!

Recommended reading: How to Clean an Electric Smoker