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The Best Rib Recipes for the Grill or Smoker


Your search is over for the best rib recipes for the grill or smoker. Here you’ll find easy recipes for the best pork and beef ribs you’ve ever had.

The Best Rib Recipes for the Grill or Smoker

Whether you plan to smoke a rack of pork spare ribs, beef back ribs, or riblets, we’ve got you covered. Below you will find some of our reader’s favorite recipes. And you know what? These are some of our favorite rib recipes too! We cover everything from traditional Southern-inspired BBQ pork ribs and Korean-style beef ribs to rib sandwiches and rice bowls. There are so many to try! Learn about all the different cuts of ribs to help you make the most out of your outdoor cooking.

Cooking Methods

We can all agree that BBQ ribs are a delicious year-round treat. Serve one or more of these rib recipes on Super Bowl, tailgating, Memorial Day, Summer cookouts, Labor Day, and more! Whether you like them competition-style or fall off the bone tender, it’s good to know when ribs are done. And let’s not forget those leftovers! Learn how to reheat BBQ properly.


Now let’s get to the best rib recipes for the grill or smoker!

Baby Back Ribs 2-2-1 Method

Pellet Grill Baby Back Ribs

There are two ways to cook baby back ribs on a pellet grill. Both will yield tender, delicious ribs. One method walks through the steps of how to remove the membrane with a sharp knife, wrapping the ribs to work through the stall, and the second method requires no wrapping at all. Typically, baby backs 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 the temperature, look, and feel of the ribs to determine these steps.

Char Siu Ribs

Char Siu Ribs Plated

Char siu is Cantonese-style barbecued pork. Typically, the meat of choice is pork loin, but some cooks use pork belly, ribs, and pork butt. The meat is coated in a sweet sauce filled with fragrant spices. Red food coloring is added to the sauce to give it a distinct bright red color. Serve these ribs with rice and stir-fried vegetables for the perfect meal!

Smoked Gochujang Ribs

Smoked Gochujang Ribs

This gochujang ribs recipe marries the rich, umami flavors of Korean gochujang with the tenderness of perfectly smoked pork ribs. The sweet heat and captivating aromas make this a showstopping main course for any cookout or family meal. 

Spare Ribs 3-2-1 Method

Pellet Grill Pork Ribs

This is my tried and true method for the best pellet grill ribs! If you’re new to smoking meats or cooking on a Traeger (or any pellet grill), you’ve come to the right place! We will walk you through the 3-2-1 method for making some of the best-smoked ribs you’ve ever had!

Apple Cider Brined Pork Ribs

Apple cider-brined pork ribs

Do you want the most tender pork ribs you’ve ever had? Brine them in a flavorful apple cider and cinnamon mixture. Brining plumps up the meat while adding a sweet and savory flavor. You can make these fantastic ribs at your next outdoor cookout with a little planning. If you don’t have cider on hand, don’t worry. Substitute with apple juice!

Hawaiian Style Ribs

Hawaiian Spare Ribs

These low and slow-cooked Hawaiian-style ribs are utterly delicious! The teriyaki and pineapple BBQ sauce adds a nice sweetness. We love this sauce so much and recommend making a little extra to serve on the side. These pork ribs are perfect for weekend cookouts and parties.

Smoked McRib Sandwich

smoked mcrib sandwich

This is definitely one of our favorite rib recipes! In the mood for the best rib sandwich experience you’ll ever have? Sure, we might have fond memories of the fast food version, but this sandwich will have die hard fans begging for more. The recipe is easy to follow and makes one heck of a sandwich!

Sri Lankan BBQ Ribs

Sri Lankan BBQ Ribs

These Sri Lankan BBQ Ribs are tender and delicious! Marinated, then cooked low and slow, and coated in a sweet tomato and mango chutney barbecue sauce. The flavors are subtly smoky and aromatic.

Hot Honey Riblets

Hot Honey Riblets

These riblets are grilled, bathed in a delicious hot honey sauce, and then placed back on the grill to caramelize. The sauce is sweet and spicy, and these riblets make the perfect appetizer for game days, cookouts, and potlucks. Trust us; they’ll go quickly!

Cajun Pork Riblets

Cajun Pork Riblets

These smoked Cajun Pork Riblets make one fantastic appetizer. They are easy to prepare and even better to eat. Remember to adjust the spices to your liking. This dish is perfect for any occasion and will keep you coming back for more.

Smoked Beef Plate Rib Recipe

Smoked Beef Plate Ribs

Smoked Beef Plate Ribs are tender, beefy, and mouthwatering. These flavorful ribs are seasoned with simple ingredients like salt, pepper, and garlic, and they pack a generous helping of meat per bone. These beefy giants will feed two people per rib, and can weigh 1-2 pounds each! Wow! Get your smoker going; we’re about to have a good time.

Smoked Beef Back Ribs

smoked beef ribs being brushed with BBQ sauce

These fantastic smoked beef back ribs are tender, smoky, and spend a mere 3 1/2 hours on the grill. Beef back ribs, similar to pork baby back ribs, and are the leftover rib section once the prime rib and ribeye steaks are removed. Because of their location, they contain less meat than beef plate ribs, but they are quite delicious.

Korean Flanken Ribs

Korean Flanken Ribs

Flanken cut refers to short ribs that are cut across rather than in between the bone. These ribs are flat and contain about four, side by side bone pieces in each section. This cut appears in Korean cooking. Typically, flanken ribs sit in a marinade made of soy sauce and brown sugar then grilled hot and fast. The end product is fantastic. You can see why this made our list of best rib recipes for the grill or smoker!

Galbi Bowls (Korean Short Rib Rice Bowls)

Galbi Bowls

These Korean-style galbi (kalbi) bowls are simply delicious and make the perfect meal for any occasion. Meaty short ribs and butterflied, marinated, and grilled hot and fast. The caramelized surface of the meat makes these Galbi Bowls truly shine. Slice and serve on top of rice or your choice of starch. Top with toasted pine nuts (or toasted seeds) and julienne green onion. Serve with a little pickled vegetable or kimchi for a complete experience.


  • Have enough fuel to get your through a 6 hour cooking time.
  • Keep a reliable instant read thermometer nearby.
  • Pick the right dry rub.
  • Have you aluminum foil or pink butcher paper ready to wrap the ribs.
  • Choose a good basting brush.
  • Use a spritz with apple cider vinegar or apple juice.
  • Have a clean baking sheet or cutting board available for resting the ribs
  • Store leftover ribs in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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