Quick Smoked BBQ Ribs Recipe – A Shorter Method than 3-2-1 Ribs

If you’re short on time but still want great ribs, you’ll love this quick smoked BBQ ribs recipe.

Sometimes you just don’t want the hassle of smoking ribs for 5-6 hours, or you might find yourself in a situation where you’re running out of time.

Now, of course you can grill ribs over high heat quickly but did you realise you can great results smoking ribs in 2 hours 15 minutes or so? All it takes is increasing the heat to 300F (149C).

Many people prefer to use the 3-2-1 method of smoking ribs or even the 2-2-1 method but the first method takes 6 hours and the second only saves you 1 hour. This quick smoke method for ribs takes less than half that time.

And, before you ask yes it is a method that some BBQ Pitmasters use on the circuit!

Quick Smoked BBQ Ribs Recipe

Quick Smoked BBQ Ribs Recipe

Best Cuts For Quick Smoking BBQ Pork Ribs

As you are probably aware, smaller cuts of ribs e.g. Baby Back ribs take less time than spare ribs which are larger and fatter and take longer to break down. For this quick smoke ribs method recipe, it’s best to use Baby Back or St Louis cuts.

The Problem With Quick Smoking BBQ Ribs

When you are smoking ribs for a considerable amount of time in the smoker, there is always the concern that they will dry out. This is especially true when you increase the heat to 300F (149C).

To get around this problem we are going to spritz our ribs every 30 minutes or so throughout the cook. You can use apple cider vinegar, chicken broth (stock) or a combination of both as a spritzing liquid. Apple juice or cider work well too.

In a longer cook at a lower heat regular spritzing isn’t as crucial as it is for this quick smoked ribs method. Keeping the ribs from drying out during the first hour and 15 minutes before we wrap them is extremely important.

What is the Quickest Way to Smoke Ribs?

The quickest way to smoke ribs without compromising on the final result is to smoke the ribs at 300F (149C) for 1 hour 15 minutes, wrap the ribs along with butter and apple juice, smoke for a further 45 minutes wrapped, then finally remove from the wrap and return to the grills for a final 15 minutes and brush them with BBQ sauce.

You will need to spritz the ribs every 30 minutes or so before wrapping them to prevent them drying out.

Can I Smoke Ribs in 2 Hours?

If you want to smoke ribs in 2 hours or so you will need to increase the heat in your smoker to 300F (149C). You can smoke your ribs for 1 hour 15 minutes unwrapped, wrap them with butter and apple juice then smoke for another 45 minutes, then finally smoke them unwrapped and brushed with BBQ sauce for 15 minutes.

The process will take around 2 hours 15 minutes.

Is there a Faster Way to Cook Ribs?

There is a faster way to cook ribs – either you can grill them at high heat for 15-20 minutes or so or you can try the quick smoked BBQ ribs recipe. This involves increasing the heat in your smoker to 300F (149C)., smoking the ribs for 1 hour 15 minutes unwrapped, then wrapping them in foil with butter and apple juice and smoking for another 45 minutes, then finally smoking them unwrapped and brushed with BBQ sauce for a further 15 minutes.

Quick Smoked BBQ Ribs Recipe


  • 1 rack of Baby Back Ribs or St Louis Style Ribs
  • Your favourite BBQ Sauce – we like Sweet Baby Ray’s
  • BBQ Rub of choice – if you want to make your own BBQ Ribs Rub try this recipe

Homemade BBQ Ribs Rub

  • 1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder 
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (this is not the same as garlic powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt

Spritz Recipe

  • 1 Cup Apple Juice
  • 1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar


  • Remove the membrane from the back of the pork ribs using a sharp paring knife
  • Rub the ribs with a little oil or mustard all over
  • Liberally dust the ribs with your favourite BBQ Rub (or Homemade Rub above) – we like Meat Church Honey Hog Hot
  • Preheat your smoker to 300F or 149C – if you have a wood pellet grill fill the hopper with wood pellets – apple or cherry wood work well or you could go half and half with hickory and a fruit wood. If your pellet grill has a smoke setting (e.g. Pit Boss or Traeger) use it to add extra smokiness
  • Place the ribs onto the smoker grates and close the lid
  • Smoke the ribs at 300F or 149C for an hour and a half, spritzing with apple juice or apple cider vinegar after 30 minutes and then an hour into the smoke
  • Wrap the ribs in aluminium foil or butcher’s paper after 1 hour 15 minutes – add butter and apple juice or cider to the wrap to keep the ribs moist
  • Cook for another 45 minutes wrapped
  • Remove ribs from the wrap and place them back onto the smoker grates, brush with your favourite BBQ sauce and then smoke for a further 15 minutes
  • Rest for a few minutes and enjoy your quick smoked BBQ ribs!

Grilling Pork Ribs at High Heat

It’s also possible to grill (rather than smoke) ribs at high heat of 400+F (204+C) in around 15-20 minutes. Admittedly you won’t get the same level of smoke flavour, but you will get some.

Watch the video below to see the process. There’s also a tasty Carolina Mustard Style BBQ Sauce.

Related Articles

For another great article on smoked ribs try here:

Leave a Reply

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