posted December 29, 2021
Whiskey Peach Smoked Baby Back Ribs
These smoked baby back ribs are slow-smoked and smothered in whiskey peach BBQ sauce for the ultimate pork rib! These guys are a classic fall-off-the-bone, sweet and tender rib to please every member of the family.
Smoked Baby Back Ribs
Classic smoked baby back ribs are one of the absolute best bites in BBQ. The method detailed in this post and recipe adds the perfect amount of smoke and balances it all out with a whiskey peach braise and sauce that bump the flavor score up 100,000 points*.
*Points are awarded completely arbitrarily.
This recipe is a riff off of my classic 3-2-1 Smoked Ribs recipe, where you smoke for 3 hours, braise in a flavorful foil wrap for 2 hours, and then finish the smoking process with a nice slathering of sauce for 1 hour. The timing for 3-2-1 ribs is a great starting point for smoking ribs, and I’ve added some additional tips in the post to make sure your ribs turn out juicy and delicious!
What Temp to Smoke Baby Back Ribs?
Through LOTS of trial and error (and more ribs than I can count!), I’ve found that the best temp to smoke baby back ribs is 225 degrees F. This allows for a 6-hour smoke time with the ribs nice and tender when they come off the grill.
You are welcome to smoke these at a higher temperature (say, 250 degrees F) if you want a shorter cook time, but if you’re going for those perfect textured ribs, stick with 225. You won’t be sorry!
How to Prepare Baby Back Ribs for Smoking
Before the ribs hit the grill grates, we need to take a few minutes and get them prepped and ready to go!
- Preheat. Once you’re ready to begin making these ribs, turn on the smoker and get it running steady at 225 degrees F. You can use whatever wood you like, but I found lighter woods like apple, cherry, maple, or pecan complement the whiskey peach sauce amazingly.
- Prep. Place the ribs on a cutting board or work surface bone side up. Use a sharp knife to lift up the corner of the membrane on the corner of the ribs. Grab a towel and grip the membrane on the ribs. Slowly pull to fully remove the membrane. Trim any excess fat on the ribs. (Unless you see large pieces of fat, there’s really no need to go crazy trimming these.)
- Season. Season the ribs liberally on all sides with Sweet Rub or Rib Rub. Both of these can be purchased from the Hey Grill Hey Store. If you don’t have either on hand, Sweet Rub can be made from scratch using my recipe for Best Sweet Rub, or Rib Rub can be made from scratch using my recipe for Dry Rub for Ribs.
These ribs are now ready to go in the smoke. Read on to the next section to learn how to smoke baby back ribs.
How to Smoke Baby Back Ribs
Let’s break down the process of making these amazing baby back ribs. Once you get the smoker going and the ribs prepped all you have to remember are the three main steps: smoke, braise, and sauce!
- Smoke. Once the smoker is running at a steady temp and the ribs are seasoned, place them on the smoker. Close the lid, and smoke for 3 hours.
- Braise. Prep two large pieces of aluminum foil for the braise by laying them out on a work surface. Add 2 Tablespoons of butter to each sheet, then sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar. Place the ribs on the butter and sugar, and fold up the sides of the foil to create a bowl shape. Pour peach nectar, bourbon, and extra butter over the ribs, tightly seal the foil, and return it to the smoker for 2 hours.
- Sauce. After those 2 hours of braising time, remove the ribs from the foil packet and return them to the smoker (bone side down). Brush liberally with Whiskey Peach BBQ Sauce (you can make your own using my recipe for Homemade Whiskey Peach BBQ Sauce). You can also purchase this sauce from the Hey Grill Hey Store. Finish smoking until the ribs reach an internal temperature of 195-205 degrees F.
Once the ribs reach their final temp, remove them from the smoker and rest for 15 minutes. All that’s left to do is slice them up into individual rib bones and serve (with additional sauce on the side, of course)!
How Long to Smoke Baby Back Ribs
With your smoker preheated to 225 degrees F, plan on around 6 hours from start to finish to smoke your ribs.
Please note! This time is just a guideline. Every single rack of ribs will cook slightly differently, so do not only judge by the time when you are smoking these baby back ribs. Make sure you are taking the temperature regularly with an internal meat thermometer to track the temperature as these ribs cook. It’s always more important to judge a meat’s doneness off temperature and NOT time.
Tips for Smoking Baby Back Ribs
We’re just about finished detailing how to make these ribs so you can get to the cooking, but I have a few things I want to point out first.
- Use the timing in the post as a guideline, not a hard and fast rule. Smoke for 3 hours to start, but don’t be afraid to check for doneness during the 2-hour braise. If your ribs are thin, or your smoker is running hot, they may finish up before those 2 hours have passed. Use a thermometer to test the meat in between the bones and look for a temperature of around 195-200 degrees F. You’ll also see the meat pull back from the bones about 1/2 inch. Once you hit your target temperature, your ribs are ready to come out of the braise (even if it’s only been 90 minutes).
- The sauce is optional! I highly encourage you to use my Whiskey Peach BBQ Sauce, as it is a great complement to the braise flavors. I’ve got bottles you can buy or a recipe you can make from scratch. If you want to skip the sauce, that’s fine too. Hit the ribs with a little extra shake of the Sweet or Rib Rub seasoning before returning them to the grill.
- Final hour flex. The last step of this rib cooking process includes a final smoke when the ribs are done. By this point, if you used a thermometer, your ribs are actually cooked to perfect tenderness. The last sauce and smoke will add another layer of smoky flavor, but won’t really cook the ribs much further. If you’re short on time, you can cut this final 1-hour step down to only 30 minutes. You’ve got a bit of flexibility here to ensure your ribs are ready at the perfect time!
More Smoked Ribs Recipes
Hey Grill Hey is a BIG fan of smoked ribs. In fact, we have dozens of recipes to help you smoke (or even grill!) your favorite ribs. Check out a few of our favorites below.
Smoked Baby Back Ribs Recipe
Alright, folks. I’ve given you all the tools to go out there and make some incredible smoked baby back ribs. Please let me know how yours turn out in the comments section below the recipe card.
Also, if you made any tweaks or changes, let us in on how things worked for you! I love hearing how everyone customizes their BBQ to make it just right for them and their families!
Whiskey Peach Smoked Baby Back Ribs
- ½ cup whiskey
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup peach nectar
- 8 Tablespoons butter
- Preheat. Preheat your preferred smoker to 225 degrees F. Prep the ribs while the smoker heats.
- Prep the ribs. Use a sharp knife to lift up the corner of the membrane on the back of the ribs. Grab a paper towel to grip the corner of the membrane, and pull slowly to fully remove it. Trim any additionaly excess fat as needed.
- Season. Season the baby back ribs on both sides with Hey Grill Hey Rib Rub (or Sweet Rub if you prefer).
- Smoke. Place ribs on the smoker, close the lid, and smoke for 3 hours.
- Prep to wrap the ribs. Lay out two large sheets of heavy-duty foil side by side on a large work surface. Put 2 Tablespoons of butter on each sheet of foil. Sprinkle each with 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar.
- Foil the ribs and add the liquid. Remove the ribs from the smoker, and place them meat side down onto the butter and brown sugar. Fold up all 4 sides of the foil without crimping to create a bowl (this is going to hold in the foiling liquid). Pour the peach nectar, whiskey, and remaining butter onto the ribs.
- Seal. Bring together the long sides of the foil, so the ends meet over the ribs. Fold the foil together and then roll until the foil is tight against the ribs. Double fold the two short ends to completely seal the ribs in the foil.
- Continue smoking. Place the foiled ribs back on the smoker, close the lid, and continue to smoke for 2 more hours. The ribs should be around 195-200 degrees F at the end of these 2 hours.
- Sauce and finish smoking. Remove the ribs from the foil. Return them to the smoker, bone side down, and baste the meat with the Whiskey Peach BBQ Sauce. Close the lid and smoke for additional 30-60 minutes or until the sauce is set and ribs are tender.
- Rest, slice, and serve. Remove the ribs from the smoker and allow them to rest for around 15 minutes. Lasty, slice into individual ribs and serve with additional sauce on the side. Dig in!
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