What is an “old school” rib you may be asking? Long before the days of competition BBQ (and using every trick available to turn ribs into something that looks closer to freshly varnished furniture than pork), there was a way to turn out great ribs. Ribs that had great bark, almost a crunch on the exterior, and tender smoked meat near the bone. Just time, smoke and basting, or “mopping” as they called it, was used. This baby back ribs on the grill recipe shows you how to achieve those great ribs of yesteryear. Notice this recipe doesn’t call for any sauce. You are welcome to sauce your ribs—make them your own. Back in the day, though, sauce was served on the side to dip your ribs in.
How to Pick the Best Baby Back Ribs for the Pellet Grill
Although having the right wood pellet smoker grill and a great traditional baby back ribs recipe on hand matter, so does the cut of ribs you choose.
Our pitmaster recipe recommends that you opt for St. Louis-style spareribs if possible. They tend to have a consistency that works quite well on the smoker. Plus, they cook fairly evenly, which you and your hungry guests will appreciate.
When choosing baby back ribs for your pellet grill, select ones with a balanced level of marbling. Marbling simply means fat interlaced with meat. When you cook your traditional baby back ribs low ‘n slow, the fat will help break down and naturally tenderize the meat. Of course, you want to avoid a totally fatty set of ribs with far too little meat.
If you can find whole slabs of St. Louis-style baby back ribs, go for them. Whole slabs have not been cut in half by your butcher. They allow you to complete an entire rack of ribs at once. Besides, showing off a huge, long slab of baby back ribs makes you look like jungle royalty.
Finally, take a “no bones about it” approach. That is, pick ribs with lots of meat and fat covering the bone. Exposed bones will start to fall out and cause your cooking to happen non-uniformly. That can mess up your cooking times and cost you some of your savory ribs.
Preparing Your Smoker Grill to Smoke Baby Back Ribs
Before tossing your ready-to-go ribs on your Silverbac or other Grilla Grills smoker, do yourself a favor and clean it well. Make sure those grates are shining and tidy. The less built-up muck from other smokes, the better.
Because cooking ribs on the grill can get a little messy with drips, either add a drip pan or cover the bottom of the smoker grill with something to catch the juices. Believe us when we say you will be happy you took a few additional steps. Easy scrubbing afterwards means you can enjoy the bounty!