Smoked party style bbq ribs 

This foolproof method for smoked party style bbq ribs are easy to pull off and deliver huge results! Great for parties or when you’re in a hurry, these ribs can be done in 2-3 hours at most!

The ribs are separated individually, seasoned, smoked and then placed in a foil pan to finish cooking with bbq sauce, butter, and brown sugar.  These are just impossible to mess up and are the best ribs ever.  

Smoked party style bbq ribs
Photos for this recipe are from Erin Hungsberg (IG: erin_hungsberg)

​Why cut your ribs individually? 

Smoked pork ribs can take 4-6 hours depending on the method you choose. Let be honest, not everybody has time to sit by the smoker or grill and make a rack of ribs. By cutting each rack into individual ribs they cook faster and also get a great bark and smoky flavor.

This sounds weird but I think they like my ribs prepared this way instead of the traditional method where you smoke the whole rack at one time. 

Plus, when you are ready to eat, they are already sauced, cut up and ready to go. You’re saving time but not sacrificing flavor. 

Juicy baby back ribs

Can I make ribs in my oven? 

Yes you can! Follow the same instructions as the smoker. If you can, try to place your ribs on a wire cooking rack so they aren’t just lying flat on a baking sheet. This will allow the warm air to flow around each rib, cooking them more evenly. 

Can I just grill ribs on a propane or charcoal grill? 

If you don’t have a smoker or want to cut the time even shorter, you can grill them directly over charcoal or propane on medium heat.

Just continue to flip them back and forth until they reach 165-175°F. Then move onto the next step by placing them into a foil pan with the other ingredients. 

You can finish in the oven or place the foil pan directly on the grill if desired. Just watch the temperature when using charcoal or gas grills as they can be harder to control.  

St Louis ribs vs baby back ribs. 

For this method you can use St. Louis style spare ribs or baby back ribs. Both are delicious but I usually use baby back ribs.

They cook a little faster and each bone is meatier. Sometimes they are also a little cheaper too. 

Should I remove the membrane off the ribs? 

If you want to take the extra step to remove the membrane off the back of the ribs that is fine. Some people think they affect the taste but personally I don’t.

When I’m making these party style ribs, there is no need as speed is a priority here. I’m looking to make life easier not add an extra step if I don’t have to.

What’s the best type of wood to smoke ribs? 

Whether you are using wood chips, chunks, or pellets I love pecan, cherry, and apple wood. These 3 are milder than other popular woods like hickory or mesquite and give a great sweet flavor that compliments the flavors of the ribs perfectly. 

Ingredients you will need to make this recipe. 

This recipe doesn’t require a lot of ingredients which is what makes them even better. You may need an extra paper towel on hand because they are finger licking good. 

2 racks of pork spare ribs (Baby back or St. Louis) 

Bbq seasoning

Olive Oil for binder 


​Bbq sauce 

Brown sugar 

How to make smoked party style bbq ribs. 

Check out the video below to get a good visual on how to make these ribs!

Separating the ribs.

First cut off any loose fat, silver skin and trim the edges of your ribs.  Separate the ribs by flipping them meat side down. That way you can see the bones and know where to cut. Slice between each bone. 

Seasoning the ribs. 

Feel free to use a binder like olive oil or mustard and coat the ribs first. I usually like olive oil which helps the seasoning to stick better. Use your favorite bbq seasoning or dry rub and season all sides of the ribs. 

If you need a good recipe for a homemade bbq seasoning, I got you! I use it on everything. It has seasonings like kosher salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, brown sugar and a few other goodies. 

Once you have your seasoned ribs, it’s time to move onto the next step. 

Smoking the ribs. 

I set my pellet smoker to 300°F for this cook. If you have the extra time and want a little more smoke flavor feel free to set them to a lower temperature. Just factor in the extra time it will take. 

Place your ribs onto the smoker and cook them for up to 2 hours or until they reach an internal temperature of 175°F. I like to flip the ribs occasionally to make sure they are cooking evenly during the process.

Smoked ribs on the grill

Sometimes I will spritz them with a little water, apple juice or apple cider vinegar to keep them moist.

Finishing in the foil pan. 

Once the ribs reach an internal of 175° they should have a really nice bark and color to them. Place them in a aluminum foil pan and add brown sugar, pats of butter and bbq sauce.

Give them a quick stir, cover the pan with foil and place them back into your smoker for another 30 minutes to an hour. You want the ribs to reach an internal temperature of 200°F so they will be super tender ribs. 

Ribs in a foil pan with butter, brown sugar and bbq sauce

Serving them up. 

​The ribs in the foil pan should be sticky and delicious as the bbq sauce and brown sugar caramelizes on them. Give them a good mix to make sure everything is coated well and serve them up while they are still hot. These are so easy to make and the best thing ever. 

Variations of this recipe.

Call me crazy but these smoked baby back ribs are the new chicken wing. They are so versatile and can take on a variety of different sauces.

I’ve made a spicy version with buffalo sauce as well as a more savory one with parmesan garlic. These delicious ribs are basically your canvas. 

If you don’t have access to a smoker try my oven baked baby back ribs recipe! You’ll be amazed how good you can make ribs in the oven if thats all you have.

Party style bbq ribs

How to store and reheat smoked party style bbq ribs. 

The best way to store these ribs are in an air tight container in your refrigerator. They will last 3-4 days. 

For best results sous vide is the best way to reheat bbq. However, placing them in your microwave always works. If you have a few extra minutes, warm them in your oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or try air frying them. 

Love bbq? Check out these classic recipes! 

Smoked beef brisket 

​Pork butt burnt ends 

Pig shots 

Pork belly pinwheels 

Jalapeño poppers pigs in a blanket 

Pickled red onions

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Smoked party style bbq ribs 

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5 from 3 reviews

  • Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 people 1x


  • Two racks of pork ribs (St Louis or Baby back) 
  • 3 tablespoons of bbq seasoning (All purpose or homemade
  • 1/2 cup of bbq sauce 
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter 
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (optional binder) 


  1. Flip ribs meat side down and separate each rib by cutting between the bones. 
  2. Apply olive oil binder to ribs and season with an all purpose bbq seasoning. 
  3. Smoke ribs at 300°F, flipping occasionally for up to 2 hours. Transfer them into a foil pan once they reach 175°F. The bark and color should be really nice at this point. 
  4. Add pats of butter, sprinkled brown sugar and bbq sauce on top of ribs. Mix together to incorporate and cover with aluminum foil. 
  5. Place foil pan back into the smoker for another 30 minutes or up to an hour until the ribs reach an internal temperature of 200°F. 
  6. Once the ribs have cooled down enough, give the ribs one more stir to make sure they are all coated and serve. 


  • Author: Jordan Hanger
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: BBQ

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  1. I just did two racks of pork spare ribs. They turned out amazing, this is definitely going to be the way I do ribs all the time now!! I would recommend this to anyone and all experience levels!

  2. I made these today but forgot to snap a pic. These turned out great ! Thanks for posting the recipe.

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