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Traeger Grilled Pork Ribs

My Traeger Grilled Pork Ribs are currently #1 on my favorite grill recipes list. These aren’t quick, but they ARE easy. My hearty pork ribs are seasoned with a dry rub, slow smoked for 5 hours, coated with dark brown sugar and cooked with a bottle of hard apple cider to braise for 4 hours, and then gets cooked uncovered right on the grill grates for another hour coated with your favorite barbecue sauce. You’ll never have a better pork rib.

Traeger Smoked Pork Ribs

Traeger Grilled Pork Ribs

Is there anybody out there that is a HUGE fan of BBQ ribs like I am? You need to do yourself a favor and make these delicious ribs. These are the kind of ribs that fall off the bone. I don’t know about you, but I like tender meat.

This is the perfect meal to make when you know you’re having a crowd over, and you don’t want to be hovering over the meal while everyone is around. My Traeger Grilled Pork Ribs do take a long time to make, but they are totally worth it!

More great Traeger recipes in my Traeger Recipe Collection! Check it out!

Traeger Smoked Pork Ribs

What Are The Best Ribs For Grilling?

  • SPARE RIBS are cut from the top portion of the rib cage. They have longer bones, and a very flavorful meat and generally has a longer cooking time. These are very versatile ribs and are made using several different methods including grilling, smoking, and roasting. You will find these ribs with about 11-13 bones per package.
  • BABY BACK RIBS are cut from the bottom portion of the rib cage and are meatier than spare ribs. They don’t take as long to cook, and you will find these types of ribs happily being grilled in the northern part of the United States. These ribs have about 10-13 bones per package.
  • ST. LOUIS STYLE RIBS are a cut that you will find in the southern part of the United States more often. This term became an official USDA cut in the 1980’s. These are actually spare ribs with the rib tips cut off, as they are a little gristly and have little meat on them.  These are famous down south, and are really amazing!
  • COUNTRY STYLE PORK RIBS sometimes are considered chops and are cut from the shoulder blade. They have a lot of meat on them and people like these when they don’t want to use their hands to eat ribs. A knife and fork will do the trick for these “ribs”.

Traeger Smoked Pork Ribs

Smoked Ribs Rub

Before you start with any large piece of meat on the grill, you need to rub it, and rub it good.

I like to use my homemade BBQ Rub. It hits all the right notes for an all-purpose barbecue rub, helps pull on all of that great smoky flavor, and just the right amount of heat.

You’ll find a bunch of pre-made rubs that you might like for your ribs. Experiment a little and see what works best for you!

Traeger Smoked Pork Ribs

How Long Does It Take To Smoke Ribs?

These particular are smoked on the wood-pellet grill for 5 hours. I know it seems like a lot, but it is a thing you are going to want to try.

I know if you do any googling, you’re going to come across one of the most popular smoked rib recipe out there, the 3-2-1 ribs method. That calls for a 3-hour smoke, a 2-hour braise wrapped tightly in foil, and then 1 hour on the grill with barbecue sauce (or variations of that).

I’ve seen great things done with the 3-2-1, but personally, I MUCH prefer my 5-4-1 method in taste and tenderness. Try for yourself and let me know which you prefer!

Traeger Smoked Pork Ribs

Tips for Smoking Ribs

  1. Don’t rush it! Great barbecue takes a long time. Deal with it and just buckle up for a long drive. You can’t escape it, and once you taste these, you won’t want to either.
  2. Peel off the membrane! Most ribs have a membrane that runs all along the bottom of the bones. You’ll want to get rid of that or it can make things less-than-ideal. Some grocers pre-peel their baby back ribs, and some don’t. When in doubt, give it a shot.
  3. Make at least 1/2 rack per person. A full rack from grown men and women wouldn’t be too crazy. These are amazing, and you’re going to want extras.
  4. You can totally make these ahead of time. Just save the final grill with the barbecue sauce for right before you search them for the best results.

Traeger Smoked Pork Ribs

What Should I Make With Smoked Baby Back Ribs?

Traditionally people like to make coleslaw with their ribs, and I agree!

My Homemade Coleslaw Recipe will pair perfectly with this fall-off-the-bone rib recipe.

Since we are going really all out for this meal, you need to also make my jalapeno cheddar cornbread muffins. Because you need a little health food in this dinner, steam up some broccoli or serve it with my grilled vegetable pasta salad. You will wow your whole family with this recipe.

Real Reviews from Readers!

Dan says, “My family loved the ribs. My youngest son, who really loves ribs, sad they were the best ribs he has ever eaten. I used Traeger Pork and Poultry rub and Famous Dave’s Texas Pit sauce on one slab of ribs and Curt’s Medium sauce on the other slab. The meat just fell off the bones. I will definitely use your recipe the next time I make ribs. Thanks!”

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Traeger Smoked Pork Ribs

Traeger Grilled Pork Ribs

Traeger Grilled Pork Ribs

Yield: 4 people
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Grill Time: 10 hours
Total Time: 10 hours 15 minutes

My Traeger Grilled Pork Ribs leaped immediately to #1 on my favorite grill recipes list. These aren't quick, but they ARE easy. 5-4-1 take on the 3-2-1 method.

Ingredients

  • 2 racks baby back ribs
  • 1 cup homemade bbq rub {or your favorite ready-made variety}
  • 2 12-ounce bottles hard apple cider
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 batches homemade barbecue sauce {or your favorite bottled variety}

Instructions

  1. Turn your grill to smoke.
  2. Remove the membrane from the rib, and then coat with the barbecue rub.
  3. Smoke for 5 hours between 125-175 degrees.
  4. Turn the temperature of the grill up to 225 degrees.
  5. Remove the ribs from the grill, place them into a large high-sided baking pan that's been sprayed with cooking spray (you'll probably have to cut them into half racks), pour in a bottle of hard apple cider. Rub the brown sugar all over the top of the ribs after they are placed into the pan.
  6. Cover the pan tightly with tin foil and place back on the grill for another 4 hours.
  7. After 4 hours, remove the foil and place the ribs directly on the grill grate, turning the temperature up to 300 degree. Brush with barbecue sauce 2-3 times over the next hour, before removing from the grill and serving. The ribs should be fall-off-the-bone tender at this point. You might be serving boneless ribs. You won't be disappointed.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1073 Total Fat: 42g Saturated Fat: 15g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 25g Cholesterol: 197mg Sodium: 1663mg Carbohydrates: 111g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 99g Protein: 61g
Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate. If you are tracking these things for medical purposes please consult an outside, trusted source. Thanks!
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What's Up Wednesday: 9/4/19 - Better Than Depression

Wednesday 4th of September 2019

[…] recipe I’ve used: Traeger Grilled Pork Ribs. Check mine on my […]

Ron Parker

Monday 19th of August 2019

After reading your reply I did realize that I used Apple “juice” and not “hard cider” in with my sealed ribs. I’m not sure if that would be the reason for my ribs being dry, but it is a deviation from your recipe. The temp of the T while the ribs were sealed seemed to be running between 220 and 235. Please understand that the ribs were not throw away bad, just not as moist as I expected and have had in the past.

Ron Parker

Sunday 18th of August 2019

I used this recipe today for my first rib attempt on my new Traeger. I never post negative reviews, however, this recipe did not work for me. Did recipe as written, ribs came out dry, not the juicy ribs that I had hoped for. Did this recipe on the pro 34. This is the third cook on my pro34 and I’m still looking for my first success.. First two were my fault, but this one I followed the recipe 100%. I have done the 3-2-1 on other smokers in the past with success. Can’t figure out what went wrong here but I’m thinking I’ll go back to 3-2-1. Thanks for recipe anyway.

Nicole Johnson

Sunday 18th of August 2019

Hi Ron! I appreciate you stopping by. That's very strange! A lot of people have made this recipe and I've never had anyone report that it came out dry in the end. :( Did you seal the ribs in with the hard cider? What temp was your grill running at during that time? With the pan sealed, the liquid shouldn't escape, but there are a ton of different factors at play here.

If 3-2-1 works well for you, definitely check that out again. This one has worked well for a ton of people though so I think this might have just been a fluke.

Happy grilling!

Amanda

Sunday 21st of July 2019

when do you put the second bottle of cider in? It only says to add one in the recipe

Nicole Johnson

Sunday 21st of July 2019

Whoops! You are right. That one you can either drink or pour into the pan with your ribs. Your choice! ;)

Liz

Wednesday 10th of July 2019

Can I put the ribs in the oven instead of the smoker for the second portion with the cider? Seems a waste of the pellets if the smoke isn’t reaching it.

Nicole Johnson

Wednesday 10th of July 2019

Definitely can use the oven if you'd prefer for that portion! You can also use an Instant Pot and cut down the overall cook time quite a bit.