Smoking country style ribs on your Traeger is pretty easy as long as you have some extra time on your hands. This recipe turns out pork that is smoky, sweet and salty with just a touch of heat.
The cook takes a few hours to complete but is worth the wait!
This recipe is a severe modification of the one on the Traeger app but follows a similar thought pattern.
Prepare the Country Style Ribs for Your Traeger
Getting the ribs ready for the grill is pretty simple and only requires seasoning them with a dry rub.
Season the Pork with Traeger’s Garlic and Chili Pepper Rub
Liberally coat all sides of the meat with Traeger’s Garlic and Chili Pepper Rub. If you don’t have this rub on hand then here is the ingredient list so you can whip up a batch of something similar:
Traeger Garlic and Chili Pepper Rub Ingredients
- Cane Sugar
- “Spices (Including Basil)”
- Brown Sugar
- Chili Pepper
- Sunflower Oil
- Cane Molasses
I am not 100% sure as to what is covered under “spices” but the basil is prominent. This is a salty rub with a nice balance of Heat and Sweet.
Choosing Wood Pellets
I was burning Traeger Signature Blend pellets that I got the other day at Home Depot. These pellets are a blend of cherry, hickory and other hardwoods.
I bought these pellets because I had a Home Depot gift card and wanted to see if they were really the exact same as the the “Gourmet” pellets that are sold at Costco for half the cost (I think they are).
Three Step Cooking Process (Smoke, Braise Sauce)
The recipe in the Traeger app has a two step cooking process. They start by searing the meat at 450F and then braising at 375F in chicken stock until tender.
I wanted to get serious smoke flavor into the pork so instead of searing I smoked the ribs at 180F before the braising step. This recipe adds a third step as the ribs are returned to the cooking grate and sauced after they have been braised.
This recipe is designed to make the country style ribs just about fall apart tender. Getting them to this stage requires cooking them to an internal temperature of about 195F and that takes some time.
If you are in a hurry and want to make country style ribs that are tender, juicy and sliceable then you can modify this recipe for country style ribs on a Weber grill.
Set Your Traeger to 180F for Smoking
Start your grill and set the temperature to 180F and place the country style ribs on the grate. If your grill has Super Smoke Mode then you can turn it on but don’t worry if your grill doesn’t have that feature.
I let the ribs smoke at 180F for three hours.
At the three hour mark the ribs were starting to smell amazing but still had a long way to go before they were tender.
Braise the Ribs at 275F
To get the ribs tender in a reasonable amount of time, and to add more layers of flavor, they were braised with 1 can of Peach Nectar (11 ounces) and 1 cup of Traeger Que BBQ Sauce.
The ribs were placed in a foil pan along with the braising liquid, after which the pan was tightly sealed with aluminum foil.
The pan was returned to the grill and the temperature was raised to 275F. The temperature of 275F is NOT important. Some folks do this step at 300-350F. What is important is that you check on the meat every 30 minutes or so to check tenderness.
These ribs were braised for two hours at which point they were tender enough that my digital thermometer slid through the meat but not so tender that they were falling apart.
The internal temperature of the meat was about 190F at this point.
Set the Sauce
Once the smoked country style ribs were tender it was time to add the final layer of flavor.
The ribs came out of the braising liquid and went back onto the cooking grate where they were basted with Traeger’s Sweet and Heat barbecue sauce.
The smoker was still running at 275F and I let the ribs cook for another 15-20 minutes until the sauce had set and the meat had an internal temperature of 195F.
How Did the Traeger Country Style Ribs Turn Out?
These ribs smelled, looked and tasted amazing!
The meat developed a wonderful smoke ring thanks to the three hours it spent smoking at 180F. The layers of flavor that came from the pork fat, dry rub, smoke, braising liquids and finishing sauce were complex and tasted amazing together.
If I had to change one thing about this cook then I would probably swapped out the peach nectar with some pineapple juice. The peach flavor did not shine through as much as I was hoping and I suspect the bolder flavor of pineapple would come through better.
Traeger Smoked Country Style Ribs
- 4 lbs Country Style Pork Ribs
- 6 tbsp Traeger Chili Garlic Dry Rub
- 12 ounces Peach Nectar
- 1 cup Traeger Que BBQ Sauce
- 1/2 cup Traeger Sweet and Heat Sauce
- Season the pork on all sides with Traeger's Chili and Garlic dry rub.
- Smoke the ribs at 180F for three hours.
- Combine the Traeger Que sauce and Peach Nectar to make a braising liquid.
- Transfer the ribs to a foil pan with the braising liquid and seal tightly with aluminum foil.
- Place the foil pan on the smoker and raise the temperature to 275F.
- Braise the ribs for two hours or until tender.
- Remove the ribs from the braising liquid, brush with Traeger Sweet and Heat sauce, then cook at 275F until an internal temperature of 195F is reached.