If you love that smoky flavor of slow cooked ribs, but you’re just starting out, our top electric smoker recipes can guide you through the process, so you’ll end up with the best ribs on your first try. Cooking with an electric smoker will take a lot of the guesswork out of barbecuing the ribs to perfection. The prep time is simple, you only need to set the timer and temperature and let your smoker handle all the heavy work. But before you take on our electric smoker ribs, we’re going to go over a few tips you should follow that will ensure your ribs are moist and packed with serious smoky flavor.
Using the Right Smoker is Key
Choosing the right type of electric smoker can depend on a variety of factors, including your budget, what you want to smoke, and how many people you’re cooking for. If you only need a smoker for you and your partner, then a more compact model, such as the Smokintex 1100 Pro Series electric smoker, is a great option. The amount of food your smoking will affect the cook time since a larger batch of smoked meat will take longer to cook. Additionally, smoking ribs on a smaller scale will not take as long to cook and can easily dry out if left in a smoker for too long.
Before you buy a smoker, you should consider other important factors before you hit that buy now button. This includes ease of use, controls, and dimensions. When you know exactly what features to look for in a smoker, it’ll be easy to find the right one.
You can click here to learn everything you need to know about electric smokers in our ultimate buyer’s guide.
Preparing Your Smoker
After you’ve purchased a smoker, you’ll need to prepare it before use by seasoning it. First, set it to two hundred and seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit. Allow it to run for three to four hours. During that last hour, you’ll want to add some wood chips on a tray.
This will allow you to see how your smoker works and how it maintains its temperature. After use, switch the smoker off and allow it to cool before you start smoking the ribs.
If you’ve noticed that the smoker isn’t very efficient in terms of maintaining temperature, you’ll need to adjust the cook time for the ribs. Models such as the Bradley BTIS1 Original Fully Automatic 4-Rack Outdoor Food Smoker offers excellent temperature control, so you can basically set it and forget it.
Choosing Wood Chips
Using scrap or treated wood is a bad idea because both types can produce an unhealthy gas that can be harmful. Always use a type of hardwood such as mesquite, apple wood or hickory. These wood chips are perfect for smoking and can be found at any local hardware store or smoker retailer. Before you add the wood chips to your smoker you must soak them in water. This will prevent the wood from flaming up and can help to keep the temperature at the perfect level.
If you don’t know how to use an electric smoker, then this is the perfect recipe to start off with. Who doesn’t love tender, moist, ribs? While this style ribs recipe may be basic, the results are anything but.
This recipe will use the popular 3,2,1, method. This method involves three time blocks. The first block lasts for three hours, the second, two hours, and the last is just one hour. Following this method will result in ribs that are so tender they’ll fall off the bone.
This method is easy and pretty straightforward, so it’s perfect for beginners. During the first time block, the ribs will spend a few hours bathing in the smoke. With the second time block, the ribs will be steamed, which is what makes them tender and soft. During the final time block, the meat will be exposed to dry heat, which will cause the formation of a nice crusty surface.
You won’t need any special supplies or equipment for this recipe, aside from your electric smoker, the ribs, and some aluminum foil.
Begin preparing the ribs by removing the membranes carefully. Once that’s complete you can add a dry rub, such as brown sugar, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, or black pepper, to name a few. You can also prepare a sauce recipe instead, using ingredients such as apple cider vinegar, apple juice or any other combo that you might have in your pantry. Sauce recipes typically make for the most tender ribs or meat.
Set your smoker to two hundred and twenty-five degrees. Once your smoker has reached the ideal internal temperature, slide the ribs in. After three hours, remove the ribs and wrap them in foil as tightly as you can in order to form an airtight seal.
The ribs will cook for two hours. Once the two hours are up, remove the ribs, unwrapping the foil. Put them back in the smoker.
After thirty minutes, you can baste the top of the ribs with some bbq sauce. In order to prevent burning during grilling, make sure you are basting the sauce in a couple of thin layers. A spray bottle can be used to be sure the layers are thin.
The Perfect Smoker Recipe: Pork Ribs
While the total time of cooking these is a bit lengthy, this process will guarantee you have ribs that are moist and tender, which is basically the goal for any type of rib recipe. This method is designed mainly for pork bone ribs. The 3,2,1 method works the best for this kind of meat. If you prefer smoking baby back ribs you should try the 2,2,1 method. Otherwise, baby back ribs can easily be overcooked and dried out.
If you prefer long-term smoking you can place the foil wrapped ribs in your smoker and then finish them off grill. Because the smoky flavor is delivered during the first hour or two of smoking, this method will not have any adverse effect on the outcome or smoky flavor.