Baby Back Ribs on my Traeger pellet smoker grill

I whipped up a batch of baby back ribs on my Traeger grill yesterday. OK, maybe whipped isn’t the right word.

I bought 3 racks of ribs from the local butcher on Friday.  These were not pre-packaged/sealed/prepared, just plain ribs. Saturday night, I mixed Pappy’s rub (their reduced sodium offering) with sugar, and rubbed down the 3 racks of ribs. Wrapped them in parchment paper and then foil (I didn’t have any butcher paper, didn’t want them to sit in foil overnight.)

On Sunday I fired up the Traeger, put the ribs on “smoke” level (~170 deg) for about an hour, and then bumped them to 225 for another 3 hours. From time to time I’d squirt a little apple juice on them to keep them moist, but they really didn’t need it.

After a total of 4 hours in the grill, they looked something like this:

 

After 4 hours of low heat and smokeAt that point I had a few people to satisfy as far as sauces (or lack thereof). So I put generic BBQ sauce on one rack, Thai chili sauce on a second, and left the third rack plain (no sauce).

 

ribs
Thai Chili ribs in the foreground, BBQ sauce in the back

 

All three were excellent. BBQ sauce for those that like’m that way, and the Thai chili sauce was great because it’s super sweet and a little hot.  The natural ribs were, in my opinion, the best.

 

6 thoughts on “Baby Back Ribs on my Traeger pellet smoker grill”

  1. Hi Bill:

    I have a new Traeger going right now. I am following their recipe in the book for ribs as I type this to you. Can’t wait althought your recipe sounds better. I will say I am a little worried about the cost of wood pellets. Do you know of any places to get deals? Also this seems like a big deal can you recommend a few sites (web) to check out.

    Sincerely,
    Don Watkins

  2. The cost of pellets can be a big variable. Cooking low-and-slow (like 225 for pulled pork, or ribs) is very efficient. Increasing the amount of meat in a single cook, let’s say doubling it, does not double the amount of pellets (although it will go up a little). But cooking at 350, or 400+, will burn through a LOT of pellets.

    So it’s variable on how you cook.

    The price is also variable depending on where you live.

    I have two Traeger dealers within about 10-15 miles of my house. They carry Traeger pellets at full retail (about $18 per 20lb bag). When you include the cost of gas for driving a car over, it’s pricy to only buy a bag, so it’s good to buy a few, or several. Better yet, plan ahead, and buy them from Traeger directly. Traeger does NOT charge shipping. If you can wait a week for delivery, why not have them delivered for free (unless you are planning on visiting the Traeger dealer anyhow)

    Finally, there is only one other reasonably local source for food quality pellets (non-Traeger). I can get GMG pellets for $20 per 28lbs. They are good pellets, I like them.

    Since I am far away from anyone who ships pellets, it doesn’t make sense at all to buy them online and have them shipped, except as mentioned above. If you are closer to a vendor, you could get them shipped cheaper, or even drive by and pick up some.

  3. My last purchase of pellets was from a local True Value hardware store. Price was 11.79 / 20lbs.
    They are rated for food processing, I have not detected any difference from the Traeger pellets.

  4. Just bought Traeger rib rack on sale for $20. Not sure how to use it…there were no instructions. Any one here use one?

  5. I’m not sure about the Traeger rack, but I use a generic rack and it looks like they’d work the same. Just stack your ribs vertically between the wires. The issue I have is that the uncooked ribs tend to be heavy and soft, and sort of flop around especially if they are very long or heavy (like spare ribs). You can run the ribs left-to-right or front-to-back, but front-to-back they may run into the hot air and get burnt ends on them.

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