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Pellet Grill Baby Back Ribs

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These easy pellet grill baby back ribs are fall off the bone tender and so delicious! 

Pellet Grill Baby Back Ribs, in a pan with BBQ sauce
derrickriches.com

When it comes to cookouts, BBQ ribs are one of the most popular items that end up on the grill. Not only are pork ribs a budget-friendly meat choice, but they are also super easy to cook on a pellet grill! 

There are two ways to cook baby back ribs on a pellet grill. Both will yield tender, delicious ribs. One method requires wrapping the ribs to work through the stall, and the second method requires no wrapping. Typically, baby back ribs are cooked using the 2-2-1 method, or two hours on the grill, two hours wrapped, 1 hour unwrapped and back on the grill. Our method uses temperature, look, and feel of the ribs to determine these steps.

How do you cook ribs on a pellet grill?

Pellet grills the smoking process is so simple. They are easy to preheat and use, and these grills produce delicious BBQ ribs. The optimal cooking temperature for ribs is 225 degrees F. until the ribs reach an internal temperature of 195-200 degrees F. Plan on a 4-hour cooking time for baby backs and 6 hours for spare ribs. You will need the right wood pellets, binder and BBQ rub, pink butcher paper, BBQ sauce, and a reliable instant-read thermometer or temperature monitoring system. 

Pork Meat Cuts
Baby back ribs are cut from the “back” section

What are baby back ribs?

Baby back ribs are removed from the spinal area (the back) of the animal once the loin section is removed. This upper portion is referred to as “baby back” ribs because they are smaller and contain shorter bones than pork spareribs. The term baby does not indicate the animal’s age but rather a way of differentiating two distinct rib sections.

Baby back ribs
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Ingredients for pellet grill baby back ribs

  • 1 rack of baby back ribs
  • BBQ rub: You can use either a homemade BBQ rub or a commercially bottled rub.
  • BBQ sauce: We recommend using our Rib Candy or one of our homemade BBQ sauces. You can also use your favorite bottled rub.
  • Yellow mustard: If you are not a fan of mustard, you can use mayonnaise or hot sauce as a binder.
  • Apple juice or 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar mixed with 1/4 cup water for spritzing the ribs
  • Pink butcher paper or aluminum foil for wrapping
  • Food-safe squirt bottle for BBQ spritzing
  • Wood pellets: Make sure you have enough fuel to get you through a 4-5 hours cook.

What is the best wood for baby back ribs?

We recommend using fruitwood like apple, peach, or cherry wood. For more moderate smoke, use pecan or maple for this recipe.

Making delicious baby back ribs using a pellet grill

  • Remove the ribs from the packaging, blot dry, and place them onto a lined baking sheet. Place it into the refrigerator for 1-4 hours to form a pellicle on the surface. Doing this will attract more smoke and help build a beautiful, rich bark on the surface.
  • Next, remove the ribs from the fridge, and let them stand at room temp for 15-20 minutes.
  • Trim off any excess knobs of fat or meat from the top of the ribs.

Preheat your pellet grill to 225 degrees F. 

Removing the membrane (silver skin)

Removing silver skin from baby back ribs
derrickriches.com
  • Next, remove the membrane (silver skin). 
  • Flip the baby back ribs over so that the bone side is facing upward.
  • Make a slit in the silver skin with a sharp knife. Next, grab ahold of the cut piece with a folded paper towel. Pull up and gently pull off the membrane. It might take a few attempts to get it all off.

Seasoning baby back ribs

  • Flip the rack of baby backs over, and coat the meat section with yellow mustard. Then apply the BBQ rub evenly.
  • Place the ribs into the pellet grill, close the lid, and let it go for 1 1/2 hours. 
Spritzing baby back ribs on a pellet grill
derrickriches.com
  • After this time, you’ll notice that the ribs are darker in color, and the seasonings have set in place to form a beautiful bark. You might also notice some dry patches.
  • Fill your food-safe spray bottle with room-temperature apple juice (or cider vinegar plus water). Mist the ribs with the mixture. Close the lid and let the ribs go until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

Wrapping the ribs

  • Remove the ribs and place them onto a large sheet of butcher paper. Gently wrap them up, and place them back on the grill. If you want to skip this step, you can.
  • Once the ribs reach an internal temperature of 185 degrees, unwrap the baby back ribs. Place them back on the grill and brush with BBQ sauce. Let them cook for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Ribs are done once they reach an internal temperature of 195-200 degrees F.
Baby back ribs cooked on a pellet grill
derrickriches.com

Resting and Carving

  • Remove ribs from the pellet grill and place them onto a cutting board. Let them rest for 10-15 minutes.
  • Slice into individual ribs and serve with extra BBQ sauce on the side.

Do you have to wrap ribs?

No, you do not need to wrap them. Wrapping will yield a tender rack of ribs. Unwrapped ribs will produce a better smoke ring, but the meat will not be as tender. For fall off the bone ribs, we recommend using aluminum foil. Doing this will basically steam the ribs and soften them more than pink butcher paper will.

What to serve with pellet grill baby back ribs?

Like this recipe? Try out other baby back rib recipes!

Looking for a new pellet grill? derrickriches.com is the most trusted source for honest and reliable reviews. See our recommendations below:

Best Pellet Grills for under $1000

Best Pellet Grills for between $1000-$2000

Pellet Grill Baby Back Ribs

Pellet Grill Baby Back Ribs

These easy pellet grill baby back ribs are fall off the bone tender and so delicious!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American BBQ
Keyword: baby back ribs, pellet grill ribs, smoked ribs scraps
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 3
Calories: 376kcal

Equipment

  • Equipment
  • Pellet Grill
  • Pink butcher paper or aluminum foil for wrapping
  • Food-safe squirt bottle
  • Wood pellets

Ingredients

  • 1 rack of baby back ribs
  • 1/4 cup Pork Rib Rub
  • 1/2-2/3 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup apple juice (or 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar mixed with 1/4 cup water for spritzing the ribs

Instructions

  • Remove the ribs from the packaging, blot dry, and place them onto a lined baking sheet. Place it into the refrigerator for 1-4 hours to form a pellicle on the surface.
  • Next, remove the ribs from the fridge, and let them stand at room temp for 15-20 minutes.
  • Preheat your pellet grill to 225 degrees F.
  • Trim off any excess knobs of fat or meat from the top of the ribs.
  • Flip the baby back ribs over so that the bone side is facing upward. Make a slit in the silver skin with a sharp knife. Next, grab ahold of the cut piece with a folded paper towel. Pull up and gently pull off the membrane.
  • Flip the rack of baby backs over, and coat the meat section with yellow mustard. Apply the BBQ rub evenly to the ribs.
  • Place the ribs bone-side down) on the pellet grill, close the lid, and let it go for 1 1/2 hours.
  • After this time, you’ll notice that the ribs have formed a deep brown bark on the surface. You might also notice some dry patches.
  • Fill your food-safe spray bottle with room-temperature apple juice (or cider vinegar plus water). Mist the ribs with the mixture.
  • Close the lid and let the ribs cook until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
  • Remove the ribs and place them onto a large sheet of butcher paper. Gently wrap them up, and place them back on the grill. If you want to skip this step, you can.
  • Once the ribs reach an internal temperature of 185 degrees, unwrap the baby back ribs. Place them back on the grill and brush with BBQ sauce. Let them cook for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Ribs are done once they reach an internal temperature of 195-200 degrees F.
  • Remove ribs from the pellet grill and place them onto a cutting board. Let them rest for 10-15 minutes.
  • Slice into individual ribs and serve with extra BBQ sauce on the side.

Nutrition

Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 659mg | Potassium: 437mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 287IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 111mg | Iron: 3mg
Derrick Riches

I began writing about Barbecue & Grilling in 1997 with one mission, to help the backyard chef have the best experience possible.

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