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Traeger Pork Ribs

Hey there, folks! Ready for some lip-smacking, fall-off-the-bone goodness? You betcha! Today, I’m gonna spill the beans on how to make the juiciest, most tantalizing Traeger pork ribs using the legendary 321 method. So grab your apron and let’s get smokin’!

traeger pork ribs

How to make Traeger pork ribs

Step 1: Prep those delicious ribs!

First things first, grab a rack of pork ribs from your local butcher or grocery store. Pat ’em dry with some paper towels and trim any excess fat and remove membrane. You know what they say, a little fat is fine, but too much can turn your ribs into a greasy mess!

Step 2: Apply the dry rub with love

Time to get creative with the dry rub, baby! Mix up your favorite spices like paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and whatever secret ingredients you have up your sleeve. Slather that rub all over the ribs, giving ’em a nice massage. It’s like a spa day for your meat!

Step 3: Fire up the Traeger

Now, it’s grillin’ time! Preheat your Traeger pellet grill to around 225°F (that’s about 107°C if you’re a metric kind of person). Throw in some cherry or hickory wood pellets for that smoky flavor that’ll make your neighbors drool with envy.

Step 4: The 321 magic begins

The secret sauce behind the 321 method is all in the numbers! Smoke those ribs for three hours, and don’t you dare lift that lid to sneak a peek. We want that smokiness to infuse every inch of those bad boys.

Step 5: Wrap ’em up, but not too tight!

After the initial smoke, it’s time to wrap those ribs in some foil or butcher paper. But don’t suffocate ’em! We want ’em to breathe and stay tender. Add a bit of apple juice or your favorite marinade for a little extra love.

Step 6: Patience, my friend

Now comes the hardest part – waiting! Keep those ribs wrapped up and continue cookin’ ’em for two more hours. The sweet aroma that fills the air will have you counting down the seconds.

Step 7: Unleash the flavor

Finally, it’s showtime! Unwrap the ribs and let ’em hang out on the grill for one last hour. This step is essential for developing that beautiful bark and caramelization. Your mouth will water, I promise!

traeger pork ribs recipe

What is the 321 ribs method

Now, you might be wonderin’, “Why in the world is it called the 321 method?” Well, it’s as easy as pie! Three hours of smoke, two hours wrapped up, and one final hour to let those flavors dance and mingle. It’s like a perfectly choreographed BBQ symphony.

The best dry rub to use 

Ah, the dry rub! It’s the heart and soul of any great BBQ. My go-to dry rub includes a mix of paprika, brown sugar, cumin, and a pinch of chili powder to kick things up a notch. But hey, feel free to experiment and find your own signature blend.

Which type of wood pellets to use

Let me tell ya, the type of wood pellets you choose can make or break your ribs. For that mouthwatering taste, I’m all about cherry or hickory pellets. They give your ribs that smoky kiss that’ll make your taste buds sing!

What to serve

Now that you’ve mastered the art of Traeger pork ribs, it’s time to think about the perfect sides to accompany these juicy delights. Personally, I’m a fan of classic BBQ sides like cornbread, coleslaw, and baked beans. But hey, you do you! The sky’s the limit when it comes to tasty pairings.

pork ribs on traeger

What to do with leftovers

Leftovers? Nah, not in my house! But on the off chance you have some ribs left (hey, miracles happen), here are a couple of ideas. Shred the meat and make some mind-blowing pulled pork sandwiches. Or chop ’em up and throw ’em into a killer mac and cheese. Trust me, you won’t have any leftovers for long!

Random Fact: Did you know that the largest rack of pork ribs ever grilled weighed a whopping 2,468 pounds? That’s like a meat mountain!

Overall, making Traeger pork ribs using the 321 method is an experience that’ll make you the BBQ hero in your neighborhood. Sure, it takes some time and patience, but when those ribs hit your taste buds, all the effort will be worth it!

So there you have it, my fellow grill enthusiasts! Thanks for stickin’ around and drooling with me over the magic of Traeger pork ribs. Now, go forth and grill like there’s no tomorrow! Catch ya on the smoky side, and remember, “Grillin’ makes everything better!”

Traeger Pork Ribs

Get ready to impress your guests with our finger-licking Traeger pork ribs recipe. Unleash your inner pitmaster and savor the deliciousness.

Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Servings 4


  • 2 racks of pork ribs about 4-5 pounds each
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup apple juice or your favorite marinade
  • Traeger cherry or hickory wood pellets


Prepping the Ribs

  1. Start by preparing the pork ribs. Remove the ribs from their packaging and rinse them with water. Pat them dry with paper towels and place them on a clean, large cutting board.
  2. Flip the ribs so the bone-side faces up. Use a sharp knife to remove the thin, tough membrane on the back of the ribs. This step is essential for the dry rub and smoke to penetrate the meat fully.

Creating the Dry Rub

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and chili powder. Feel free to adjust the spice level to your taste.
  2. Generously sprinkle the dry rub over both sides of the ribs. Don't hold back, we want to make sure every inch is packed with flavor! Pat the rub into the meat for better adhesion.

Firing up the Grill

  1. Preheat your Traeger pellet grill to 225°F (107°C). If your grill has a super smoke mode, use it for extra flavor! Remember, we're all about that smokiness.
  2. While the grill is preheating, soak the wood pellets in water for about 15-30 minutes. Drain the excess water before using.

The Legendary 321 Method

  1. Once the grill is ready, place the ribs directly on the grill grates, bone-side down. Close the lid, and let the ribs smoke for the first 3 hours. Resist the temptation to open the lid and peek, let the magic happen!
  2. After 3 hours, it's time to wrap 'em up! Lay out a large piece of aluminum foil or butcher paper for each rack of ribs. Drizzle some apple juice (or your favorite marinade) over the ribs before wrapping them tightly.
  3. Place the wrapped ribs back on the grill and continue cooking for an additional 2 hours. This phase will make the ribs tender and oh-so-juicy!
  4. Unwrap the ribs carefully, and now it's time for the final hour of grillin'. Place the ribs back on the grill, bone-side down, and let them soak up that smoky goodness. We want a beautiful bark to form on the outside.

Checking Doneness

  1. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the ribs. We're aiming for around 195°F (90°C) for fall-off-the-bone perfection.
  2. If you want that extra caramelization, you can brush some BBQ sauce on the ribs during the last 15-20 minutes of cooking. But hey, this step is optional. The ribs are already bursting with flavor!

Rest and Serve

  1. Once the ribs reach the desired temperature, remove them from the grill and let them rest for about 10 minutes. This step allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.
  2. Grab a sharp knife and get ready to slice those babies up! Serve the smoked pork ribs with your favorite BBQ sides, and get ready for some serious finger-licking action!
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