These award-winning and reader favorite Pit Boss smoked ribs are perfect for the seasoned and novice smoker alike. This easy 5-star recipe makes fall-off-the-bone ribs flavored with a delicious savory rub and a touch of sweet apple juice. They’re perfect every time. And they really did win a cook-off award! Not by me, but by a reader just like you!

pit boss ribs basted with bbq sauce

Looking for an easy smoked ribs recipe sure to impress all your friends? Well uncover your smoker and discover the amazing flavor of these sweet and savory Pit Boss ribs. These ribs are certain to please and are so easy to make. Serve them for a game day gathering or a delicious family meal.

Whether you fire up your smoker every weekend or have yet to use it for the first time, this recipe will have you coming back again and again. As Mark B. says in his comment below “…this recipe makes everyone look like a pro.” Just make sure you make enough or you’ll still end up looking like an amateur.

You will love this Smoked Pork Ribs Recipe


By slow smoking them in a dry rub, then allowing them to smoke with apple juice, you end up with incredibly juicy and tender ribs that fall off the bone.


This is the perfect summer recipe for parties, your family, or to use as meal prep for the week. The meat is perfect when paired with your favorite sides or even put on sandwiches.

Ingredients for Pellet Grill Ribs

  • pork ribswe like to buy St. Louis style, but baby backs and spare ribs also work well in this recipe. You can use whichever rack of ribs you prefer. 
  • apple juice lends sweetness to the ribs. Just pick your favorite apple juice and you’re good to go! Do not replace this with apple cider vinegar.
  • avocado oilthis is used as the binder for the rub. You can also use any other neutral-flavored binder like olive oil. Some people like to use mustard as a binder, but I don’t recommend it for this recipe as it changes the overall flavor.
  • dry rubuse your favorite rub, but savory-based is best for this recipe. This is the one we use in this recipe. Be sure to check the section on rubs for others I recommend.
  • barbecue sauce (optional)This step is completely optional. When we baste ours in bbq sauce, we always go with Sweet Baby Rays. You could use a spicy sauce or hot sauce instead.

What wood pellets should I use for Smoking Ribs on Pellet Grill?

To smoke ribs on the pit boss, I recommend using Oak or Mesquite pellets. We really love the Pit Boss brand pellets. We get the best results using this type of pellets.

ingredients to make pit boss ribs

How to smoke Ribs on Pellet Grill

  1. Start by trimming the membrane and connective tissues from the ribs and discarding them using a sharp knife. You can use a paper towel to get a good grip on the membrane to pull it. You will also want to trim off any excess fat off the top side of the ribs.
  2. Pat the ribs dry with a paper towel.  
  3. Coat both sides of the ribs with avocado oil. This will be serving as a binder so be sure it’s fully coated. 
  4. Sprinkle the ribs with a dry rub. Using your hands, liberally coat the ribs completely rubbing them across the surface of the meat being sure to also cover the back of the ribs. 
st louis style ribs covered in dry rub

5. Cover the ribs and place them in the refrigerator while the smoker preheats.

6. Preheat the smoker to 200°F. 

7. Once the smoker has preheated, place the ribs directly on the grill grates, bone side down (meat side up). Close the lid and smoke for 2 hours.  

st louis style ribs covered in rub on a smoker

8. After 2 hours, remove the ribs from the smoker and turn the temperature up to 250°F. I like to use a sheet tray to transfer them to and from the smoker. 

9. Place the ribs on aluminum foil and create foil boats. Pour apple juice (1 ½ cups each) into each boat. Close and seal up the boats. 

smoked ribs in foil with apple juice

10. Put the ribs back on the smoker for 2 hours. 

11. After 2 hours, adjust the smoker to 350°F and remove the ribs. 

12. Pour the apple juice and liquid out of the boats and leave them open. 

13. *optional* brush the ribs with bbq sauce. 

pit boss smoked ribs basted with bbq sauce on foil

14. Place the ribs back on the smoker for 15 minutes. 

15. Remove the ribs from the smoker and allow them to rest for 10 minutes. The bones should slide out easily. 

16. You can cut the ribs up individually and leave the bones in or out. Serve them up with your favorite sides!

Best Dry Rub for Pellet Smoker Ribs

This recipe works best with a savory dry rub because there is sweetness from both the apple juice and the bbq sauce. The one I used included salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, sugar, granulated onion, and chili powder. 

I would avoid using a dry rub that has brown sugar as the main ingredient. 

Some good options are:

How long do you cook ribs on a pit boss?

For this recipe, the ribs will cook for a total of 5 hours and 15 minutes.

What temperature do you cook ribs on the Pit Boss pellet grill?

The pit boss pellet grill will be set to 200°F, 250°F, and 350°F respectively throughout the cooking process.

How long does it take to smoke pork ribs on a pit boss pellet grill?

It takes about 5 hours and 15 minutes to smoke pork ribs on a pit boss pellet grill.

What internal temperature should smoked ribs be cooked to?

Smoked ribs should be cooked until the internal temperature reaches 175°F-180°F.

What to serve with Pit Boss Ribs

You can slice the ribs between each bone and serve them bone-in, or you can slide the bones out (it will be that tender!) and serve just the meat.

Here are some great sides to serve with ribs:

Storing leftover Pellet Smoker Ribs

Leftover ribs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

Reheating leftover Pellet Grill Ribs

To reheat leftover smoked ribs, place them on a baking sheet and cover with foil. Heat in a 350°F oven until heated through. Be careful not to overcook them.

Smoked Pork on Pellet Grill FAQs

What is the difference between St. Louis style, spare ribs, and baby back ribs?

St. Louis and spare ribs are actually the same things. St. Louis-style ribs are spare ribs that have been trimmed. 
The main difference between spare ribs and baby back ribs is the location of the meat. Baby back ribs have more meat on top, while spare ribs have more meat between the bones. 
Baby back ribs also tend to be leaner than spare ribs due to the location they came from. 

Can I use another brand of pellet smoker to make this Smoked Pork Ribs Recipe?

Yes, you can use whatever pellet smoker brand you have. You don’t have to use Pit Boss, although this recipe was developed using a Pitboss pellet grill. 

pit boss smoked ribs basted in bbq sauce

other grilled recipes you might like

More Favorites from Sweetly Splendid

Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get great new recipes from us every week!

Share on Facebook

Share

Pit Boss Pellet Smoker Ribs

By: sweetlysplendid.com
5 from 25 votes
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 4 hours 15 minutes
Total 4 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 18 people
Pit Boss Ribs are easy to make smoked ribs. The flavor combination of a savory rub combined with sweet apple juice results in juicy, tender ribs everyone will love.

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Start by trimming the membrane from the ribs and discarding.
  • Coat the top of the ribs with avocado oil. This will be serving as a binder so be sure it’s fully coated.
  • Sprinkle the ribs with dry rub. Using your hands, liberally coat the ribs completely rubbing it across the surface.
  • Cover the ribs and place in the refrigerator while the smoker preheats.
  • Preheat the smoker to 200°F.
  • Once the smoker has preheated, place the ribs directly on the grate, bone side down. Close the lid and smoke for 2 hours.
  • After 2 hours, remove the ribs from the smoker and turn the temperature up to 250°F.
  • Place the ribs on foil and create foil boats. Pour apple juice (1 ½ cups each) into each boat. Close and seal up the boats.
  • Put the ribs back on the smoker for 2 hours.
  • After 2 hours, adjust the smoker to 350°F and remove the ribs.
  • Pour the apple juice and liquid out of the boats and leave them open.
  • *optional* brush the ribs with bbq sauce.
  • Place the ribs back on the smoker for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the ribs from the smoker and allow them to rest for 10 minutes. The bones should slide out easily.
  • You can cut the ribs up individually and leave the bones in or out. Serve them up with your favorite sides!

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5lb cooked ribs (weight includes bones), Calories: 485kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 37g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 15g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 116mg, Sodium: 283mg, Potassium: 455mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 138IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 69mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner, Main Course, Main Dish, Main Dishes
Cuisine: American

Hi! I’m Kara!

Kara loves all things food and spending time with her family and dogs. She has a passion for cooking and loves making yummy, family-friendly recipes.

Browse More Recipes

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




19 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve used this recipe half dozen times and it is so good that my friends and family ask me to make it over and over. I have only been using my pit boss for a year but this recipe makes everyone look like a pro.

    1. Thank you so much, Mike! I love that everyone is enjoying it. I really appreciate you taking the time to come back and leave a comment and review!

  2. I won a BBQ cook-off following this recipe to the T…These ribs are delicious and it’s not difficult to do..