Have you ever smoked boneless country style pork ribs? A lot of people cook country style ribs in the oven, or in their crock pot. I smoke country style pork ribs on the Traeger, and my wife says they're one of the best things I've ever made. If it gets her seal of approval, you know I'm doing something right!
What are Boneless Country Style Pork Ribs?
Well first, they're delicious.
They are strips of meat from a pork shoulder. They're typically about 6-8 inches in length, and about 2 inches wide and 2 inches thick. There is a significant amount of marbling, and when they are cooked, they taste very similar to ribs. If you're still not sure what they are, check out the Kitchn guide on what country style pork ribs are.
If you love bbq ribs, but don't love hassling with bones, you've gotta try smoking boneless country-style pork ribs. This recipe is quickly becoming one of the most popular recipes on the site, and for good reason. Take a look at the comments if you're on the fence!
Country Style Pork Rib Prep
One of the reasons I like making these is because the prep is simple. I try to trim up each piece to about 4 inch long strips and cut away any stray pieces of meat or fat hanging off of the pieces.
After each piece is trimmed, place them on a foil-lined cookie sheet or in a disposable pan and rub them down with some olive oil. Follow the olive oil up with your favorite bbq rub. I used my Pork Sweet Rub on these country-style ribs and it was perfect.
Set up your smoker to cook at 225 degrees. For this recipe, I used oak pellets, which are what I use most often, but Apple or Cherry pellets work well with pork too.
Place each of the pork ribs on a grill rack, and place it in your smoker.
How Long Does it Take to Smoke Country Style Pork Ribs?
Good question. I'm gonna answer, but bear with me. After placing the pork ribs in your smoker, setup your Thermoworks Smoke to monitor the internal temp of one of the ribs. If you have hot spots in your grill, monitor the temp of the rib closest to the hot spot.
Set an alarm on the Smoke to go off when the internal temp hits 155 degrees. It took my boneless country-style pork ribs about 4 hours to hit this temp. Spritz the ribs with apple juice every hour until they get up to temp.
When the country style ribs hit 155, remove them from the smoker, and use tongs to place each of them in a large roasting dish or disposable pan. Add a half cup of apple juice to the roaster, along with four one tablespoon pats of butter. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil, and return the ribs to your smoker. Push your smoke probe through the foil into one of the ribs, and set up the temp alarm to go off at 180 degrees.
Adjust the temp of your smoker to 275, and let those ribs cook. It will take about 60 minutes for them to come up to temp. When the smoke alarm goes off spot check them with your Thermapen, and if they are all up to temp, remove the ribs from the roasting pan and place them back on the grill rack and return to the smoker.
Brush each of the ribs with your favorite bbq sauce, and let them cook at 275 until the internal temp of the ribs hits 195.
How Do I Eat These Ribs?
You can definitely eat these with your hands, but I prefer to use a knife and slice each bite thin. The flavor profile is really unique. They taste like ribs, but since we were able to add plenty of rub all the way around each piece, you get a lot of great flavors too. Anytime you can add more bark, and extra moisture/fat/meat, I'm in!
I really enjoyed smoking these ribs. They're super affordable, easy to prepare and smoke, and like I said in the beginning, my wife loved them. Give this recipe a try, and let me know what you think!
Smoked Country Style Pork Ribs
- Country Style Pork Ribs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp bbq rub
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 cup apple juice
- Cherry Pellets
- Trim up each piece to about 4 inch long strips, and cut away any stray pieces of meat or fat hanging off of the pieces.
- Place them on a foil lined cookie sheet or in a disposable pan and rub them down with the olive oil. Follow the olive oil up with your favorite bbq rub.
- Setup your smoker to cook at 225 degrees.
- After placing the pork ribs in your smoker, set up your Thermoworks Smoke to monitor the internal temp of one of the ribs.
- Set an alarm on the Smoke to go off when the internal temp hits 155 degrees. It took my boneless country style pork ribs about 4 hours to hit this temp. Spritz the ribs with apple juice every hour until they get up to temp.
- When the ribs hit 155, remove them from the smoker, and use tongs to place each of them in a large roasting dish or disposable pan.
- Add a half cup of apple juice to the roaster, along with four one tablespoon pats of butter. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil, and return the ribs to your smoker. Push your smoke probe through the foil into one of the ribs, and set up the temp alarm to go off at 180 degrees.
- Adjust the temp of your smoker to 275, and let those ribs cook. It will take about 60 minutes for them to come up to temp. When the smoke alarm goes off spot check them with your Thermapen, and if they are all up to temp, remove the ribs from the roasting pan and place them back on the grill rack and return to the smoker.
- Brush each of the ribs with your favorite bbq sauce, and let them cook at 275 until the internal temp of the ribs hits 195.
Nick did you use the water pan
Frank - No, I did not use a water pan, but you certainly can. These can dry out fast, so the additional moisture in the air wouldn't hurt.
Dr. Chris Reynolds says
I followed your recipe and instructions to a tee--the ribs were MAGNIFICENT! I used hickory pellets--the apple juice really gives the ribs a great flavor. Highly recommend this recipe to ALL!
Do you flip the ribs? I just sprayed the apple juice on after the 1st hour and just wondered if I had to flip them. Thanks a lot!
I didn't flip them. You could though...
So glad you liked them!
Making these today. Do you have an estimate on length of time for the last step?
Hi Ryan - after you brush the ribs with bbq sauce they should take about 20 more minutes to come up to temp. Glad you're making these! They are wonderful.
Debra Ewing says
Nick, I put them in, Traeger on 180 and it's running at 216. WHY IS THAT? This is a brand new Traeger. (We had problems with the Silverton and getting parts so took it back to Costco and upgraded cuz didn't want to have the same issues.) My hubby doesn't think this has anything to do with it however COULD IT BE BECAUSE WE AREN'T USING TRAEGER PELLETS?? Otherwise why would it run hotter when it's set at 180?? This is so frustrating and we have an engagement party coming up. thanks so much!!
Google “P setting on a Treager Grill”
Better controller is needed
Andrew Gaidar says
Trying these today and following your exact steps. Couple of questions.
1. When you put them in the pan is it ok to stack them on top of each other or is it better to use 2 pans where they are all flat?
2. When you put the apple juice and the butter in the pan do you just pour it on the bottom or put it all over the ribs?
Thanks for sharing your recipe.
It's best to put them in two pans if they won't fit, you want to keep as much bark integrity as possible. - Pour the juice in the bottom, and place the butter on top. Good luck! I love making these.
David Nettleton says
Thanks for a great recipe. I made this last night, and it worked well with bone-in country style ribs too! For me, the estimated times were a little too long, so they had to sit a while with temp turned down to 190 til my wife got home. So they were a bit over done, but still amazing!
Brad Bitter says
180 used to be the standard for pork to be well done. Why 195? Is that to melt off the marbling?
You want these to be super tender - at 195 they melt in your mouth - similar to how a pork shoulder is dry and chewy at 180, the same holds true for these.
Selwyn Hunt says
Thanks for sharing this recipe. I just discovered country style ribs and recently acquired a new Traeger pellet grill. I will be making these this weekend!
Michael Schmidt says
The temps for each step are a bit confusing. The step when you put the ribs in the pan with the apple juice and sauce, do you keep them in the pan until they reach 180 or 195? The step by step seems to imply you take them out of the pan at 180 and grill them on the rack from 180-195 with sauce. Is that correct or no?
Smoke until the internal temp hits 155 - put the ribs in a roasting pan with juice and butter and cover tight - adjust temp up in smoker and cook the ribs until internal temp hits 180 - remove ribs from pan and return to the grill uncovered and continue cooking until internal temp hits 195+
i have a little experience on the traeger but zero smoking in 108 degree weather. first process of smoking went well at 180 and took roughly 4 hours. then upped the temp to 225 for the steam process and took it from 155 to 192 in just over an hour. whoa! i turned it back to 180 but it keep rising so maybe not as tender as it could be but really really delish. and i used cranberry juice as no apple around and it was fantastic, especially when degreased and added to the bbq sauce. hope this helps others that are sheltered in place in the desert. thanks for the great recipe!
Sorry, but I'm a little confused why overall cook time says 8hrs. The smoking takes about 4, then about an hour to get temp to 180, then about 20 minutes to get temp to 195. That seems like far less than 8hrs. Smoking with a specific dinner time set so just wanting to make sure to know how much time to estimate! Thanks!
I've normally done country style ribs in the oven but this method really takes them to the next level. I also didn't need as much time but leaned on the thermometer for temperature monitoring and 195 was perfect. I noticed that some pieces were more tender than others but think think that's mainly due to the quality of some cuts of the ribs being better than others.
Made a double batch of these today and they were awesome! This was the second cook on my new pellet grill and the whole family loved them. Even my wife who’s not a huge fan of pork loved them. Thanks for the recipe (followed pretty much exactly), I know we will be doing theses again soon.
Roni lett says
Can these be pre cooked partway in a pressure cooker to cut down time in smoker
How many pounds of meat is this recipe for ?
Hi Barb - this recipe works well for 2-3 pounds of country style boneless ribs.
Hi Nick, thanks these look delicious! I attempted to make these and set my Traeger to 225 degrees for the first initial cook (Steps 4 and 5). My meat came to out to an internal temp of 155 degrees after 1 hour instead of 4 hours. Should I have set the grill to the "Smoke" setting first until the meat reached 155 degrees instead? Thanks!
Same problem here.
James Marsh says
It took two hours on mine to hit 155
Tina Moser says
Great recipe thanks!!! I have never made country style ribs but the price was too good to pass up. They are the best country style ribs I've ever had. I didnt have apple juice so I watered down tart cherry concentrate.
Leif Carlson says
I've made these three times and my temp always seem to stall on the 3rd step. They are good but I've never come close to getting them to 195 in twenty minutes. (from the completion of step two to step 3) I think the next time I'm going to get them closer to the 195 in step two, so that step 3 is closer to the 20 minute mark.
Gary Jones says
Your recipe says country-style ribs but doesn't say how many or how much weight. What quanity did you use for this recipe?
Gene Sheldon says
Made these a couple weeks ago and turned out great. Making them again tonight. I'm turning into a pork fan after 60 years. Made a pork loin last weekend.
I've had issues keeping the temps low. I use lump charcoal. I tried a fix that I used to smoke in my Weber called the Snake method. I'm sure youre familiar with it. For those that are not one places the charcoal in a ring on the exterior circumference of the fire pit, leaving none in the center. You place a small bunch of lit charcoal at one end of the circle and it burns its way around the circle . Hence the Snake. With all the venting adjustments available on most smokers, you can regulate the temp fairly simply and accurately
Ronald Wilcox says
I have made these 4 times now and the key is to watch the temperature. I have a big pit boss and they come out awesome every time. I have tried different rubs but pretty much stick to the receipt. Watch your temp not you time. Awesome
Becky LC says
Wow, these were excellent! I didn't have apple juice or any other juice, so used chicken broth. Still had a great flavor and super tender. Thanks so much!