¼cupBBQ seasoningor any Pork Rub with salt in it, as much as desired
For the smoked ribs beer and honey sauce (option B: substitute BBQ sauce)
12ouncesbeer1 can of your favorite beer, I recommend a light lager or blonde
3tbsphoneysubstitute brown sugar
For the BBQ beer sauce (optional finisher sauce)
Preheat Traeger Grills or Pitt Boss or whatever pellet grill you’re using to 275 degrees F.
Prep St Louis ribs (optional step, will improve taste and allow seasonings to get through to the meat better). Pat St Louis ribs dry with a paper towel. Use a piece of paper towel to grab on to the white connective tissue / membrane attached to the ribs (most cuts come with this still attached). Pull off what naturally comes off and discard.
Season St Louis ribs for smoking. Generously sprinkle a Pork rub or BBQ seasoning all over the ribs, front back sides – I mean, all of it! Go the extra step and massage the seasoning into the meat with your hands.
Add St. Louis style ribs to smoker, with the meaty side of the ribs facing up. In the Traeger 650, both the top rack and bottom rack were needed to fit 3 racks of ribs.
Smoke St Louis ribs at 275 degrees F for 3 hours. Remove ribs from the smoker and leave the smoker on with the lid closed.
Make a foil packet for smoking ribs. For this step, you’ll make a foil packet to hold the honey beer sauce and ribs. To do this, spread out a piece of foil that is about a foot longer than the ribs. Since you’ll be adding liquid to the packet, fold up all 4 sides about an inch, so the foil resembles a rimmed baking sheet pan.
Wrap St. Louis smoked ribs in foil with beer and honey mixture. Each rack will be placed in its own foil packet. To do this, add ⅓ of the can of beer, and 1 tbsp of honey to the bottom of each packet, spread out a bit in the center (see my video). Next, add a rack of meaty side of the ribs facing down (so they’ll get covered in the beer and honey mixture). Lastly, fold the foil all around the rack of ribs like a burrito, folding the sides inwards. Then add another large piece of foil on top, so when you flip the ribs over to smoke, the liquid won’t come out. (Alright, now don’t forget which side of your ribs is the meaty side, it will be important for the next step.) Wrap all the St. Louis rack of ribs in foil using this method and then get back out to the pellet grill and finish your ribs!
Smoke foil wrapped St. Louis ribs at 275 degrees F for ~2.5 hrs or until the internal temperature reaches 185 degrees F. (IMPORTANT: make sure the meaty side of the ribs is facing UP when placed back on the Traeger, so the beer liquid and honey gets into the ribs.) Remove ribs from the smoker and leave the smoker on with the lid closed.
Make the BBQ beer sauce (optional, or just use BBQ sauce). In a small saucepan on the stove on medium heat, add BBQ sauce and beer. Stir regularly (basically constantly) while the sauce simmers and bubbles for about 2-3 minutes. Remove BBQ sauce from heat once it foams and the color becomes lighter (once the beer is cooked into the BBQ sauce).
Go back to the smoking St. Louis ribs on the Traeger with your BBQ beer sauce. Carefully remove each foil packet of ribs and open up the packet. The inside part of the ribs (not the meaty part) will be facing you. Use two tongs to gently flip over the ribs (which will be fall-apart-tender at this point) so the meaty part is facing up again. (watch the video, this isn’t easy to explain!) The ribs are going to look unbelievably delicious at this point, but I encourage you to smoke them just a bit longer with the BBQ sauce on top so you can fully experience this epic smoked ribs recipe!
Add BBQ sauce on smoked St. Louis ribs. Brush the sauce right on top of all the ribs. Leave the ribs on top of the opened foil packed (and leave the packet open, almost like a rimmed baking tray to hold all the juices). Then add each foil sheet holding ribs back on the smoker and finish smoking at 275 degrees F for 15 minutes (on top of foil, but uncovered on top).
Finish smoking St. Louis ribs on the pellet grill until done. Ribs are officially done when the internal temperature reaches 185 to 190 degrees F, which they should definitely be by this point – use a thermometer to test it.
Remove ribs from the smoker. Transfer them to a cutting board to cool as desired, admire your work, and enjoy your ribs.
How long does it take to smoke St Louis ribs? Smoking St Louis ribs on the Traeger for the Sip Bite Go demo took about 5-6 hours. Exactly how long to smoke St Louis ribs will depend on how consistent the heat stays in the pellet smoker while they cook. And how thick the meat is, etc. The ribs in the Sip Bite Go demo took about 5-6 hours. Ribs are officially done when the internal temperature reaches 185 to 190 degrees F.
The dry rub for smoked ribs. This recipe is for smoking St Louis ribs with a dry rub. You don’t need olive oil or wet BBQ sauce to season it in the initial seasoning step.
Can you brush BBQ sauce on St. Louis smoked ribs? Yes, instead of the honey beer sauce recommended in this tutorial, you can use a couple tablespoons of BBQ sauce in the foil packets for the second smoking period.
How do you decide between using foil vs. butcher paper for smoking St. Louis ribs? The foil helps the ribs steam a bit more than butcher paper.
How many ribs can you fit in the Traeger 650? If you’re wondering how many racks of ribs fit in the Traeger laying flat, you’ll see in my recipe video that on the Ironwood 650, 3 full racks fit. Sometimes we take off the top half grate for smoking food, but you’ll need it if you’re also smoking 3 racks of St. Louis ribs at the same time. Two racks on the bottom and two racks on top – the placement didn’t matter, all ribs were perfectly cooked.