How to Smoke Ribs in Electric Smoker Like A Pro

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Baby back ribs and spare ribs are always sumptuous and eye-catching. They can never fail anyone’s taste buds, especially if prepared properly. This delectable meat is one of the reasons why I motivated myself to learn the art of smoking. Just imagine if you can make this recipe anytime you want. It is a guilty pleasure that you can’t help but get indulged. 

You can smoke your ribs in any type of smoker that you have. But for amateur cooks, I recommend that you should try electric smokers first. They have a simpler setup and operation than to charcoal smokers or gas smokers. If you can get a decent electric smoker, the quality and taste of your smoked foods would certainly elevate. 

Now, I know that most of you are excited to learn how to smoke ribs in electric smoker. Fortunately, these two are a match made from heaven. Therefore, even novice pitmasters can make restaurant-quality smoked ribs at the convenience of their own backyards.

Are your mouths watering already? Then it is time that I should teach you the finesse of making smoked ribs with the help of your electric smokers​​​

How to Smoke Ribs in Electric Smoker

Aside from your trusted electric smokers, there are some few things that you have to gather first. One of this is the wood that you are going to use for smoking. The wood is an essential component to induce scent and flavor to the meat. For example, hickory wood can create a gentle and authentic smokehouse taste to the food. The same is true with apple and cherry woods.

In this recipe, we will just go with the basic, which is hickory wood. You could savor the quintessential flavor of the ribs if you smoked it with the use of hickory. 

Aside from the wood, you should be wary of the power source as well. Since we are talking about electric smokers, things are easier for you. You just need to locate a power plug, and you are ready to go. This is one of the ergonomic advantages of electric smokers compared to its counterparts. There’s no need for you to worry about lump charcoals or gas since electricity is a common amenity in your home.

Meanwhile, here are the essential ingredients for smoked ribs:


  • Baby back ribs or spare ribs (around three pounds each)
  • Brown sugar (1/4 cup)
  • Chili powder (1 tablespoon)
  • Paprika (1 tablespoon)
  • Ground cumin (2 teaspoons)
  • Mustard powder (1 teaspoon)
  • Kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil


Step 1:

First, you should remove the membrane of the rib. This is a skin layer that you can find on the bottom layer of the ribs. All ribs have this so you should scrape them off through the use of a knife. By doing this, you can easily apply the rub or marinade that you are using. It can also soften the meat for easier heat penetration. After this, you should rinse the rib. 

You can also tenderize the meat with the use of a tenderizer tool. It is a specialty tool that can loosen tough ingredients so that you can cook them easily.

Step 2:

Mix all the ingredients that I have mentioned here. They will serve as the seasoning or rub for your baby back ribs. Combining the right spices, herbs, and other flavorings would enhance the overall taste value of the food. Take note that the ideal rub will never overpower the flavor of the rib. 

When applying the rub, make sure that you do it evenly. This means that you have to apply it on the front, back, and the sides. You can overdo the process to ensure that the rub will stick to the surface of the rib. The meat has a natural moisture. They act as a glue to hold the marinade in place.

You can start applying the rub an hour before you smoke it. If you will extend it longer, the marinade will somehow affect the texture and flavor of the meat (not in a bad way, of course). But since we want to achieve the authenticity of its flavor, the qualities of the meat should be preserved. 

If you are planning to refrigerate the meat, make sure that you cover it with a plastic wrap.

Step 3:

Now that you are done preparing the meat, it is time that you work with your electric smoker. The best temperature that you can crank your device for smoking purposes is around 225 degrees Fahrenheit to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 4:

Once the electric smoker reached the desired temperature, garnish its cooking grates with vegetable oil. In this way, the meat won’t get burned. After this, you can already place the ribs. Make sure that you wear a pair of barbecue gloves to avoid getting burned.

Step 5:

The smoking process could take around 3 hours (with this given temperature range). After the said period, remove the meat from the smoker so that you can cover it with a heavy-duty aluminum foil. 

Alternatively, you can spray the ribs with your preferred barbecue sauce before wrapping it on the foil.

Step 6:

Place the meat back to the smoker and wait another hour. You can also remove it once the internal temperature of the ribs has already reached 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Use a meat thermometer to get accurate results. Do not just guess things, as it might ruin the quality of the meat. 

Remove the smoked ribs once the smoking is done. Let it be cooled for another 30 minutes before serving.


Just like smoked pork butt and whole chicken, you can always experiment with the way you are going to smoke your favorite ribs. You can mix various ingredients and cooking approaches until you can arrive at your desired results. What I have shown here is just the basic method of how to smoke ribs in electric smoker. Other pitmasters might have different way of doing this. So if you want to explore, then you are free to do so. 

For example, some people would remove the ribs from the smoker and spray it with apple juice mixture for every hour. They would do this consecutively until the meat gains a brownish and tender texture. But since it is your first time dealing with this recipe, you can just safely follow the procedure that I have given you. 

Now, don’t believe if your neighbors would tell you that what you are doing is not the correct way of smoking ribs. Always remember that there are a plethora of ways how to prepare this sumptuous delicacy. 

How was this cooking tutorial? If you have any questions or clarifications, just feel free to ask me in the comment section below!

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