Competition Worthy Smoked Ribs

Cook Time: Approximately 6-7 Hours

On the first day of Christmas my MAK Grill made for me: ribs competition ready.

It’s that wonderful time of year again! The stockings are hung with care, the house smells of fresh pine and festive jams can be heard throughout the house. The holidays can be the best of times or the worst of times… We can’t guarantee one or the other, but we can help alleviate some stress by making sure you serve a feast fit for a king.

We’ve put together 12 days worth of recipes to make your guest’s taste buds sing. Even your weird uncle Joe won’t be able to complain about these gems.


Smoked Ribs Competition Ready

View more tips and tricks for flawlessly smoked ribs.


For the Ribs:

  • 2 racks of spare ribs, St. Louis cut
  • 4 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons of Dry Rub

For the Spritz:

  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of water (or apple juice)
  • spray bottle – one that is only used for food

For the Wrap (at the 3 hr mark):

  • 4 tablespoons of butter (2 per rack)
  • 4 tablespoons of honey or agave nectar (2 per rack)
  • 2 tablespoons of spritz (a few squirts per rack)

For the Glaze:

  • 1 cup of BBQ sauce

* you may not use all of the sauce since you’re simply glazing both sides


  1. Preheat smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Trim excess fat off the ribs and remove the membrane off the bone side of the ribs using a paper towel (it is slippery).
  3. Rinse ribs under cold water, pat dry, and then coat both sides of ribs with the Dijon mustard.
  4. Apply the dry rub to both racks, on both sides.


  1. Place ribs meat side pointing up on the smoker. Plan to smoke for about three hours.
  2. After the first 90 minutes, start spritzing every 20-30 minutes. Minimize how long you keep your lid open.
  3. After your third hour, take 2 long strips of aluminum foil. Place ribs on the bone side down.
  4. On top of the ribs, add the butter and agave nectar evenly over the meat side of the ribs (1 tablespoon of butter and nectar per rib, per side) and then wrap the ribs tightly. Place back onto the smoker meat side down for two more hours.
  5. After the second hour, remove ribs from foil gently. The meat should be tender and bones showing. Place back on the smoker, meat side up, and glaze with your barbecue sauce. Cook one more hour, uncovered, (the last hour helps set the meat and give more flavor). When you remove after this last hour, glaze one last time before serving.

Then Voila! You’ve Got Yourself Some Competition-Ready Smoked Ribs!

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(recipe and video provided by Mary Cressler and Sean Martin)

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