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Smoked St Louis Ribs Recipe

Ironically, the first time I ever had this Smoked St. Louis Ribs Recipe wasn’t in St. Louis. It was when my wife, kids, and I were in North Carolina, visiting my sister on her Birthday. Despite not being in St. Louis while eating these ribs, they were still mighty tasty and it’s still one of my preferred ways to prepare ribs.

smoked st louis ribs

How To Make Smoked St Louis Ribs

In summary to smoke these St Louis ribs, start by combining all the rub ingredients which consist of brown sugar, black pepper, paprika, kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder. Season ribs generously and place in the smoker. Cook for 3 hours at 250F. Cook for an additional 2 hours with ribs wrapped in foil and liquid butter, brown sugar, and vinegar added on the meat. Lastly, unwrap the ribs and baste with BBQ sauce and smoke for 1 hour.

Exact measurements of ingredients and bonus tips are below in the recipe section. Check it out!

What is the difference between St. Louis Ribs and Baby Back Ribs?

Don’t worry, I wondered the same thing when I first had them. What separates these two ribs is the fact that St. Louis Ribs are flatter than baby back ribs. St. Louis Ribs have a lot of bone and a higher amount of fat.

This is a good thing as this makes the ribs easier to brown. This also gives the ribs more flavor which is why people love the taste of St. Louis Ribs.

smoked st louis style ribs

How long does it take to make St. Louis Ribs?

The total cooking time is 6 hours. However, it’s important to remember the prep time for the ribs. Depending on how quick you are with prepping everything, this can add an additional 1.5 – 2 hours bringing the total cook time to about 8 hours.

That’s a long time for some food and you pretty much have to start preparing the rubs at breakfast. But I can assure you, once you take just one bite into these ribs, you will know that the 8 hours were well worth the wait.


smoked st louis ribs recipe


What is the 3 2 1 smoking method?

The numbers 3 2 1 represent the hours the ribs will be cooked. Allow me to explain.

For the first 3 hours, you will smoke the ribs as you normally do. For the next 2 hours, you will cook them while they are wrapped in some foil. After that’s finished, you then cook the ribs for one more hour while the are unwrapped.

Looking for easier pork smoked recipes? Try my delicious smoked pork loin roast recipe. Another fan favorite is my smoked pull pork recipe. Better yet, try my smoked pork belly recipe. This mouthwatering recipe will explode in your mouth! Learn how to smoke country ribs or try my recent pork recipe smoked pork chops!

What makes a good St. Louis Ribs Recipe?

As mentioned before, Smoked St. Louis Ribs have more bone and fat which makes them easier to brown. This all means that you get a juicer and more flavor bite in the end.

Of course, the rub is always important. Having high-quality rub that is spread evenly can do wonders for any recipe. Be sure to always spread evenly and generously. Your tastebuds will appreciate this choice later.

Now that I’ve given you an extra bit of information, it’s time to cook!

st louis style ribs smoked

Smoked St Louis Ribs

St louis style ribs smoked in 6 hours.

Course Main Course
Cook Time 6 hours
Servings 2


  • 1 rack St Louis Style Ribs


  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder

Extra ingredients during the wrapping in foil:

  • 1/2 cup Liquid Butter
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar


  1. Prepare the ribs by removing the membrane.

  2. Grab a bowl and mix together the brown sugar, paprika, ground black pepper, kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder.

  3. Use the rub to season both sides of the ribs. Be sure to use enough that both sides will be covered.

  4. Preheat your smoker to 250F and add in some wood chips. For this recipe, I used hickory.

  5. Place the ribs into the smoker and let them cook for 3 hours.

  6. After 3 hours, add in the liquid butter, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar on the meat side of the ribs. Then cover the ribs in foil. Put them back into the smoker and let them cook for 2 hours.

  7. Once the 2 hours are up, unwrap the ribs and glaze them with your favorite BBQ sauce. Leave the ribs unwrapped and place them back into the smoker for 1 more hour.

Now that the wait is finally over, you get to enjoy some tasty St. Louis Ribs! Enjoy!

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