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Traeger Smoked Ribs (3-2-1 Method)

These Traeger Smoked Ribs are made easy using the 3-2-1 Cook Method. Grab your pork ribs: baby back, spare, or whatever you like! These are seasoned to perfection using a dry rub. This spread can be made with any smoker or pellet grill for BBQs, summer cookouts, or any occasion!
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword 3-2-1 ribs, smoked ribs, Traeger 3-2-1 ribs, Traeger smoked ribs
Servings 6 servings
Calories 250kcal


Homemade BBQ Rub (Feel free to use your favorite store-bought rub)


  • Preheat smoker to 225 degrees.
  • Pat the ribs dry. Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. This is a thin layer that can be tough to remove. The best way to remove it is to use a small knife and a paper towel. The paper towel will help because it's really slippery. I have removed the membrane without it, plenty of times. Do what works best for you.
  • Rub the mustard onto both sides of the ribs and sprinkle the BBQ rub throughout onto both sides of the ribs. Use your hands to press it down into the meat so that it penetrates the meat.
  • Allow the ribs to rest with the spices for at least 20 minutes or store the ribs covered and in the refrigerator an hour to overnight.
  • Place the ribs on the smoker, meat side up.
  • Smoke the ribs uncovered for 3 hours. After an hour and a half, check on the ribs if they appear dry, baste the ribs with 1 tablespoon of melted butter and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
  • Grab a large piece of foil (large enough to completely cover the ribs). Drizzle 1 tablespoon of butter onto the bottom of the foil. After 3 hours on the smoker, transfer the ribs to the foil, bone side up and meat side down. Drizzle the remaining butter and apple cider vinegar onto the ribs. Seal the foil and place the ribs back on the smoker for 2 hours.
  • Remove the ribs from the foil and transfer them back to the smoker meat side up. Smoke the ribs for an additional hour. You can drizzle the ribs with the optional BBQ Sauce here or wait 30 minutes. I like to add the sauce 30 minutes prior to when I pull the ribs off the smoker.
  • I like tender, fall of the bone ribs. You can test this while the ribs are still on the smoker. Poke at the bones to gauge texture.
    Remove the ribs from the smoker. Allow the ribs to rest for 20 minutes prior to serving.



  • You can use any cut of ribs in this recipe.
  • The amount of the ingredients you will need will vary based on the size of your ribs. Adjust accordingly and add more or less of whatever you need.
  • You can use whatever pellets you like for ribs. I typically use the Signature Traeger blend. You can also use mesquite, hickory, apple, cherry, pecan, or maple.
  • Mustard is used to rub down the ribs prior to applying the dry rub to help it stick. You won't taste it. Use any mustard you like.
  • You can use any BBQ Rub or seasoning you like. Ensure the ribs are fully coated.
  • You can substitute butter for any oil such as olive oil.
  • Apple cider vinegar can be substituted for apple juice, water, or standard vinegar. Vinegar will help tenderize the meat.
  • Cook time may vary based on the smoker you use, temperature, and the size of your ribs. For safety, ribs should reach a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees, but I often cook them longer than that. I use my judgment based on the texture of the ribs.


Serving: 4oz | Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 18g