In the mood for tender and smoky BBQ Pork Ribs but short on time? Let me introduce you to a quick and easy 2-step method, aka Texas Two-Step Ribs!
The famous 3-2-1 method is great, but you don't always have 6-8 hours to spend smoking ribs. With this 2-step method, your pork ribs will be ready and fall off the bone tender in as little as 3 hours!
There are many recipes out there for quick ribs (like my Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs that only take 20 minutes to cook!). The problem is, it's hard to achieve a tender texture, smoky flavor, and good bark all in that short amount of time - until now!
In this 2-step method, the ribs are baked in the oven for 2 hours, slathered with BBQ sauce, and then finished off in the smoker (or pellet grill) for 1 hour.
Why You'll Love These Quick BBQ Pork Ribs
My family LOVES these barbecue pork ribs and here are a few reasons why you will too!
- Only take 3 hours to cook
- Smoky flavor
- Fall off the bone tender
- Juicy and delicious
- Caramelized bark
Ingredients for BBQ Pork Ribs
This recipe uses basic ingredients you can easily find at your local grocery store. (For measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card below.)
- Ribs - I prefer pork ribs for this recipe since beef ribs tend to be tougher if not cooked low and slow. I used baby back ribs but you can use any cut you prefer (spareribs, country-style, St. Louis-style).
- Dry rib rub - Both sides of the ribs are seasoned with brown sugar, granulated sugar, paprika, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder for an award-winning flavor.
- Braising liquid - Apple juice, apple cider vinegar, and butter add flavor and a tender texture to the ribs.
- BBQ sauce - Try my delicious Southern Homemade BBQ Sauce for a sweet and tangy flavor that's finger-licking good! Store-bought will work just fine also.
How to Cook Quick BBQ Pork Ribs
Here are the steps and process images for how to make this recipe. (More detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.)
- Start by removing the membrane (silver skin) from the boney side of the ribs. This will allow a more tender texture and for seasonings to flavor both sides of the meat.
- Mix the dry rib rub ingredients together and rub all over both sides of the ribs. Allow the ribs to rest for at least 15 minutes to absorb the flavor of the seasonings.
- Place the ribs on a large sheet of aluminum foil with the meat side up. Pour apple juice and apple cider vinegar on the ribs and top with sliced butter pads.
- Using your fingers, tightly crimp the foil shut to prevent the braising liquid from leaking out. Be sure to leave enough space for steam to circulate.
- Place the pork ribs in the smoker (or pellet grill) with the meat-side up. Smoke at 250°F for 1 hour, allowing the sauce to become sticky and caramelized.
- Let the ribs rest for 10 minutes before slicing. This will allow the juices to redistribute.
- Serve with extra BBQ sauce and enjoy!
Place leftover BBQ pork ribs in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
When ready to reheat, wrap the ribs in foil and warm in the oven at 300°F until heated through, about 30 minutes.
Other Recipes You'll Love!
- Instant Pot BBQ Baby Back Ribs (only take 25 minutes to cook!)
- Boudin Stuffed Pork Loin Wrapped in Bacon
- Sweet Dry Rub for Pork Ribs
- Southern Homemade BBQ Sauce
- Smoked Pork Chops
Be sure to check out my how-to video in the recipe card below!
2-1 Quick BBQ Pork Ribs
For the Ribs
- 1 rack (2-3 pounds) baby back pork ribs (or any cut of pork ribs you prefer - spareribs, country-style, St. Louis-style)
For the Dry Rib Rub
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
For the Braising Liquid
- ¼ cup apple juice
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 Tablespoons salted butter (sliced into thin pads)
For the Sauce
- ½ cup BBQ sauce
- Rinse the whole rack of ribs in water and then pat dry with paper towels.
- Place your ribs boney-side up. Remove the silverskin by sliding a butter knife on top of a bone and under the membrane. Pull up with the knife and use your hands or a paper towel to remove the membrane completely.
- Stir the dry rib rub ingredients together in a small bowl, and then rub it on both sides of the pork ribs. Allow the ribs to rest for at least 15 minutes to absorb the flavors of the seasonings. Optional: Wrap the the seasoned ribs tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
- Preheat your oven to 300°F.
- Place ribs on a large sheet of aluminum foil, meat-side up. Pour apple juice and apple cider vinegar on the ribs. Top with sliced butter pads and then crimp the foil tightly shut to prevent liquid from leaking, leaving enough space for steam to circulate.
- Place foil packet on a large baking sheet and braise in the oven at 300°F for 2 hours.
- Preheat your smoker to 250°F.
- Using tongs, carefully remove ribs from foil (watch out for hot steam). Discard braising liquid and foil. Slather on your favorite BBQ sauce and then place on the smoker (or pellet grill), meat-side up. Smoke at 250°F for 1 hour, allowing the sauce to become sticky and caramelized. (Internal temperature of ribs should be at least 195°F for optimal tenderness.)
- Let the ribs rest for 10 minutes before slicing, allowing juices to redistribute. Serve with extra BBQ sauce and enjoy!
StoragePlace leftover BBQ ribs in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
ReheatWrap ribs in foil and warm in the oven at 300°F until heated through, about 30 minutes.
FAQ About This Recipe:
Both methods have their benefits. The oven allows more control over the temperature and how fast you can cook the ribs, while the smoker (or pellet grill) adds a delicious smoky flavor. In this recipe, I combine both methods for smoky ribs that cook in only 3 hours.
Removing the membrane (silver skin) from the boney side of the ribs will allow a more tender texture to your pork ribs. Turn your ribs boney-side up and slide a butter knife under the membrane on top of a bone. Using your hands or a paper towel, pull up and remove the membrane completely.