Directions on How to Rest Smoked Ribs

Posted on: January 17, 2023

There are multiple ways to cook ribs, including smoking. Despite it being one of the oldest food cooking techniques, smoked food continues to win over the hearts of many with food-smoking communities all over. Advancements in technology have equally contributed to the rising popularity of food smoking as people can now produce much better results faster and easier. We’ll look at how to make smoked ribs and directions on how to rest them for a juicy fall of the bone feast.

How to smoke ribs

Smoking your ribs takes a total time of around six hours and is done in three steps. First, we smoke our bare ribs for three hours, foil wrap and smoke for two hours, then sauce and smoke for one hour, a method popularly known as the 3-2-1 technique. However, depending on how you love your ribs, you can tweak the cooking time.


  • Pork ribs
  • Dry rub for ribs
  • Apple juice
  • Yellow mustard
  • Brown sugar
  • Plastic wrap
  • Barbeque sauce
  • Tinfoil
  • Honey
  • Applewood chips

Smoking ribs:

Preheat your food smoker to 225 °F (107 °C) and place your prepared ribs on the smoker for three hours.

During the three hours, spray the apple juice mixture on your ribs at intervals of 30 minutes.

Once the three hours are up, gently remove your ribs from the food smoker and lay them on tinfoil.

Pour the barbeque sauce and apple juice mixture onto the foil with the ribs and carefully seal it to avoid leakage.

Place your ribs back into the food smoker for an additional two hours.

Remove ribs from the smoker and brush on all sides with BBQ sauce mixture.

Put the pork ribs back on the smoker, bone side down for one hour, then let them rest.

Before we look at why it’s essential to let your meat rest and for how long, here are some Bradley tips and tricks on smoking your ribs.

Smoking ribs can be overwhelming, especially as you don’t want them to overcook but still want to maintain a fork-tender texture. When wrapping your ribs, some other factors to consider are your ribs’ color and the smoking temperature. This will guide you in knowing how long you will be required to wrap your ribs, helping you attain juicy, fall-off-the-bone ribs.

Another thing you should consider when smoking your ribs is how to season them and ensure that you do not mop too soon. We recommend seasoning the backside first as it allows for the seasoning to absorb fully before flipping the ribs over.

How to know when your ribs are done

Pork ribs are smoked between 225 °F to 242 °F (107 °C to 117 °C). To tell whether your ribs are done, insert your thermometer between the two biggest ribs, ensuring it does not come into contact with another hot surface (including the bone) other than the ribs, as it will affect accuracy.

When it reads a temperature of 195 °F (91 °C), your ribs are ready. The internal temperature of the meat will continue to rise during the resting period, giving you a final temp of 225 °F (107 °C), at which point the ribs will have reached the perfect consistency.

Why let your ribs rest

Allowing the meat to rest after removing it from the food smoker helps with the perfect redistribution of juices. It also gives the protein fibers time to relax and reabsorb the moisture that was forced out during smoking.

How long should you rest your ribs?

While it’s recommended to let them rest for 10–15 minutes, the amount of time you let your ribs rest is determined by several factors, including how you like your food served and the size of your cuts of meat. However, you shouldn’t let them rest for long as your ribs will start to cool off.

How to rest smoked ribs

  • Once you are done smoking your ribs, take your meat off the food smoker and transfer it to a warm plate.
  • Tent the ribs with foil to help retain a bit of heat.

Ensure that you do not wrap the foil too tightly as the ribs might steam inside the foil wrapper, ruining the bark.

  • Let it sit for a little while. This can be between 10–20 minutes or longer, depending on the thickness of the ribs and targeted results. If your ribs are cut into bigger pieces, you should let them rest for a bit longer.
  • Remove foil and slice. Serve according to how you like.

Final thoughts

Cooking perfectly smoked ribs is an art that requires different techniques, and every step is crucial. While many people opt not to rest their meat, allowing your ribs to sit for some time before digging in can change the whole experience, giving you a tender, tasty, and incredibly juicy cut of meat.

Check out these other articles on smoked ribs:
5 Methods to Smoke Ribs Faster Without Sacrificing Quality
Ribs Roundup: Best Tips and Recipes for Smoky, Tender Ribs
Smoking Ribs for Beginners
How to Make 3-2-1 Smoked Ribs, and Why You Should Do It

For more great ideas on how to get the most of your Bradley Smoker, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Food Smoking Blog for more tips & tricks.