Smoked Rib Tips

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If you want tender, smoky pork seasoned and smoked to perfection, and then slathered in sticky sweet rub, then you want my Smoked Rib Tips. With just 8 ingredients, it’s super simple make this delicious recipe.

Sauced rib tips on wooden serving platter. Text reads "Smoked Rib Tips".

Smoked Rib Tips

A hidden gem of the BBQ world, rib tips are a super flavorful cut of pork you might not have even known you were missing out on. Sometimes called pork riblets, these are the pieces you end up with when trimming St. Louis ribs. Some people discard the remaining pieces, but a those people are making a big mistake. These things are meaty, loaded with pork flavor, and smoke up oh-so good.

I’m going to teach you how to take this “scrap” meat and turn it into a BBQ masterpiece. With just 8 simple Ingredients and a few minutes of prep from you, you can smoke these tender, yummy bites up. I’ll show you exactly how to do it with simple, step-by-step instructions. Let’s get started.

Uncooked ribs on baking sheet.

Ingredients for Pork Ribs

These rib tips are so full of juicy pork flavor, they don’t need much more to be delicious. This recipe only uses 7 ingredients besides the pork. Here’s everything you’ll need to have ready to make these tasty guys.

Uncooked ribs on baking sheet being sprinkled with seasoning.

How Long to Smoke Ribs

There’s no exact time when it come to smoking ribs and rib tips, but I’ll walk you through the times for each step you’ll use with this method. All in all, your smoker will be working for about 4 hours.

  • Initial smoke. You’ll first smoke your rib tips right on the grill grates after slathering them with mustard and coating them in some of my amazing Rib Rub. You’ll smoke them this way at 250 degrees F for about 2 hours with the lid closed. Once your rib tips reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, it’s time to pull them for the next step. Be sure you have a reliable food thermometer on hand, like my Thermapen ONE.
  • Braised smoke. Next, you’ll pull your rib tips from the smoker and wrap them in aluminum foil, which you’ll also fill with your braising liquid. Then, it’s back to the smoker. You’ll want to let your rib tips smoke in the braising liquid for 60-90 minutes, or until your ribs reach an internal temperature of 195-200 degrees F. A huge benefit to smoking then braising is your rib tips will be easy to slice, despite having varied thicknesses.
  • Sauced smoke. Now, you’re going to finish these smoky rib tips Chicago style. This last step is the finishing touch to take your rib tips over the top. After you’ve removed your ribs from the foil and placed them back on your smoker, slather them in a generous coating of my Everything BBQ Sauce, or your favorite BBQ sauce. You’ll give them an additional 15-30 minutes to let your sauce set.

Ribs smoking on grill grates.

How to Make Smoked Rib Tips

Now that you know everything you ever wanted to know about rib tips, let’s go over how to smoke these bad boys:

  1. Slather and smoke. Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees F using your favorite wood. Slather your rib tips on all sides with mustard and then rub it in well. Next, season on all sides with my Rib Rub, and then pat it in with a gloved hand. You don’t want to rub or it will clump. Place on the smoker with the lid closed, and then smoke for around 2 hours.
  2. Foil and smoke more. When your rib tips reach around 165 degrees F, remove and place in aluminum foil. You want to fold up the edges so you can pour in your braising ingredients without spills. Once added, toss gently to coat your rib tips. Seal the foil tightly to create a pouch around the ribs and return to the smoker for another 60-90 minutes.
  3. Sauce and finish. One your rib tips reach between 195-200 degrees F, remove them from the foil and place them back on the smoker. This is the part where you add all that sweet, sticky BBQ sauce. Slather your rib tips in generously with my Everything BBQ Sauce and allow to smoke for 15-30 minutes, or until your sauce is tacky and set.
  4. Rest and serve. Transfer your rib tips to a serving platter and allow them to rest for 10-15 minutes. You don’t want to let your rib tips cool before slicing them for nice, even cuts. Once your pork rib tips have cooled to around 160 degrees F, you can slice and serve them. Make sure you have plenty of napkins on hand.

Smoked ribs in foil being sprinkled with brown sugar.

Storing Leftover Rib Tips

Having leftover rib tips is uncommon, but just in case, you can store them and heat them up later. Once your rib tips have cooled to room temperature, simply place them in a zip top bag or airtight container, and then place in your refrigerator. Your rib tips will stay fresh 4-5 days this way, and then you can reheat them on your grill, in your kitchen oven, or even an air fryer. Just keep in mind they’ll taste best warmed up the same way you make them: low and slow.

More Yummy Pork Rib Recipes

Now that you know how easy it is to smoke rib tips, check out the Hey Grill Hey app. I’ve got over 500 delicious BBQ recipes for you to try next. Here are some of my personal favorite smoked rib options:

Smoked rib tips on wooden serving platter.

Smoked Rib Tips Recipe

When you finish licking that yummy BBQ sauce off your fingers, be sure to rate this recipe 5 stars and tell us about your experience in the comments. If you want to learn even more about pork ribs, head on over to The Grill Squad. Susie gives you all the tools you need, from grocery shopping to serving tips, for pork and all your other favorite meats.

Hey Grill Hey is here to help you master BBQ, and have fun doing it. Make sure you’re following us on all our social channels, like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. We’re always sharing new recipes, tips, and videos to help you feed the people you love.

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Smoked Rib Tips

By: Susie Bulloch
0 from 0 votes
If you want tender, smoky pork seasoned and smoked to perfection, and then slathered in sticky sweet rub, then you want my Smoked Rib Tips.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 15 minutes
Servings4 people


Braising Liquid

  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup salted butter melted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey


  • Preheat smoker. Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees F using your favorite hardwood.
  • Season. Slather the rib tips on all sides with mustard. Season on all sides with Rib Rub.
    4 pounds rib tips, 1/4 cup Hey Grill Hey Rib Rub, 2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
  • Smoke. Place the rib tips on the smoker. Then, close the lid and smoke for 2 hours.
  • Braise. Tear off a large sheet of aluminum foil and set it on a large baking sheet. Transfer the rib tips to the foil and fold up the edges of the foil. Pour braising ingredients on the ribs. Toss gently to coat. Seal the foil tightly to create a pouch around the ribs and return to the smoker.
    1/2 cup apple juice, 1/2 cup salted butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup honey
  • Second smoke. Smoke the foiled rib tips for an additional 60-90 minutes, or until the rib tips are very tender and reading between 195-200 degrees F.
  • Slather and finish. Remove the ribs from the foil pouch and return to the smoker grates. Baste liberally in Everything BBQ sauce and smoke for an additional 15-30 minutes or until the sauce is tacky and set on the ribs.
    1 cup Hey Grill Hey Everything BBQ Sauce
  • Rest and serve. Transfer your ribs to a serving platter and rest for 10-15 minutes, or until cooled to around 160 degrees F and serve.


Calories: 1720kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 74g | Fat: 132g | Saturated Fat: 51g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 1370mg | Potassium: 274mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 58g | Vitamin A: 990IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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