Smoked Hot Honey Bacon Ribs are hands down one of the best ways to make pork ribs. They have a sweet and spicy kick to them backed by a smokey bite of meat.
Smoked pork ribs are one of my family’s favorite bites of BBQ to eat. After you’ve made them a few time, they are probably;y one of the easier things to smoke up. You can cook them low and slow, or go hot and fast. Either way, they have a ton of flavor and are an easy crowd pleaser!
Be sure to give these a try the next time you’re smoking up some pork ribs, you won’t be disappointed!
Ingredients you will need
Meat: Baby Back Ribs, st. louis style ribs or Spare Ribs and Bacon
Honey: Mike’s Hot Honey / Any spicy honey work great!
Seasoning: Pork BBQ Rub
Spritz: Apple Juice and Apple Cider Vinegar
Sauce: Your favorite sweet barbecue sauce
How to make Smoked Hot Honey Bacon Ribs
Begin by getting your smoker setup for indirect cooking. I setup my Kamado Joe Classic II for indirect smoking at 250° F. These ribs were smoked with Bear Mountain’s apple wood chunks which give off a sweet smoke flavor to the rack of ribs.
Another great way to smoke ribs is to use a pellet smoker. They provider a consistent temperature and have great air flow making the end result very reliable.
If you do not have a smoker, you can also make these in a slow cooker or an oven. Try to follow the same time and temperatures as outlined in this recipe. You can add some smoke flavor to this method of ribs by adding a small amount of liquid smoke to the ribs.
Preparing the ribs
For this cook, I used some baby backs because they have a lot more meat on them and they seem to be a crowd favorite. Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. Simply work your finger under the membrane and then grab a paper towel and remove it. Most places sell the ribs with the membrane still on, but places like Costco still already removed the membrane.
Add some yellow mustard to the pork ribs then spread it out on all of the meat. Even though you do not taste the mustard, another great binder to use is some hot sauce. This will act as a binder and help the seasoning stick to the meat.
Season both sides of the ribs with your favorite BBQ dry rub and some SPG (Salt, black pepper and garlic powder). Let the ribs sit out at room temperature for about 20 minutes to help the seasoning penetrate the skin.
Smoking the Hot Honey Bacon Ribs
Place the ribs indirectly on the smoker meat side up and let them smoke for 3 hours at 250 F. For these ribs, I am smoking them unwrapped so that they get some great bark and flavor on the meat. Spray or “spritz” the ribs every hour with a 1 cup apple juice and 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar blend in a spray bottle. This will help keep the meat moist and add flavor to the meat by building up some great bark.
The most common method to cooking ribs is the 3-2-1- method where you begin smoking the ribs at 225°F for 3 hours. Next, you wrap them in aluminum foil with some apple juice, butter and some brown sugar for another 2 hours. Finish them off by unwrapping them and placing the foil underneath the ribs and let them cook for another hour.
Typically when you do the 3-2-1- method, the ribs are fall off the bone tender which is super easy and delicious to do. In the competition world, fall off the bone ribs would be considered “overcooked”. You typically want a little pull of the meat from the bone when you take a bite from the rib. Either way, this is your backyard BBQ – do what you prefer!
Saucing the ribs
Once the ribs reach an internal temperature of 180° F, add some sauce to a small bowl and brush on some bbq sauce with a basting brush. I typically just put sauce on the top of the ribs, but if you want more caramelization you can add some to the bottom side of the ribs as well. I like a good sweet BBQ sauce on my ribs, but another favorite of mine is a chipotle honey bbq sauce.
Remove the ribs from the smoker once they reach an internal temperature of 195° F and the sauce has tacked up. Top the ribs with some crispy chopped up bacon bits then drizzle hot honey over the top of the ribs for added sweet heat.
Place the ribs meat side down on a cutting board then cut in between each bone. Serve them up warm and enjoy!
I like to grill up a second rack so that I have leftover ribs which can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. Reheat them the next day by grilling them directly on the grill grate over medium-high heat. This will add a little char to the ribs and caramelize the sauce on them.Print
- 1 rack of baby back ribs
- 3 slices of bacon
- 1 tbsp yellow mustard
- 3 tbsp BBQ rub
- 1 tbsp SPG
- 2 tbsp Hot Honey
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs.
- Use yellow mustard as a binder and season the pork ribs with a BBQ rub.
- Place them indirectly on the smoker at 250°F and let them smoke for 3 hours. Spritz them every hour with apple juice and apple cider vinegar.
- Once the ribs reach 185°F, brush on some BBQ sauce and let them tack up for 15 minutes.
- Remove the ribs from the smoker then top them with crispy pieces of bacon and drizzle on some hot honey.
- Slice up the ribs and enjoy!