50 Minute Smoked Ribs

There’s nothing quite like sinking your teeth into a tender, flavorful rack of hickory smoked ribs with a mouthwatering char that will have you begging for more. And the best part? These delectable ribs can be ready in just 50 minutes, making them the perfect option for a quick and delicious meal that will leave your taste buds singing. Let’s start talking how to achieve the perfect balance of smoky flavor and juicy meat in this easy and irresistible recipe.

Spare Ribs vs Baby Back

Spare ribs and baby back ribs are two popular cuts of pork ribs that often confuse people due to their similar appearance. However, there are key differences between the two that can affect their taste and texture.

Spare ribs come from the belly side of the pig, closer to the stomach area. They are larger and meatier than baby back ribs, with more fat content running through them. This extra fat gives spare ribs a richer flavor and juicier texture when cooked properly. Spare ribs also tend to be chewier compared to baby back ribs due to their higher fat content.

On the other hand, baby back ribs come from the upper part of the pig’s ribcage, closer to the spine. They are smaller and leaner than spare ribs, with less connective tissue and fat marbling. Baby back ribs have a tender texture and a slightly sweeter flavor compared to spare ribs.

In terms of cooking methods, spare ribs typically benefit from low-and-slow cooking techniques like smoking or braising to break down their tough connective tissues and render out excess fat. Baby back ribs can be grilled or roasted at higher temperatures since they are already tender and cook faster than spare ribs.

Our house is a baby back rib house. 90% of the time I am doing baby back ribs, as I do for this hot and fast recipe but also when doing low and slow.

Preparing The Ribs

Starting off, peel the sliver skin off the back. If you happen to buy from Costco, the sliver skin is already removed, don’t go looking for it. And absolutely makes it worth the trip to buy at Costco.

After you have removed the silver skin, I would then season. Seasoning the whole rack is easier then doing it all as individual pieces, which is our next step. I did not go heavy with any kind of rub because we are going to sauce them up later on. I used some Kinder’s SPG. You can substitute some other rub if you would like but the SPG was a great and simple compliment to the BBQ sauce.

Lightly add the rub to the ribs, when you are done we are going to start slicing the ribs between each rib bone. When they are sliced, set to the side and start prepping the grill.

Quick Smoked Ribs

I did this recipe on my Weber Kettle, using the Vortex. If you have never used a Vortex, I highly recommend getting one. I have recently used it for this Pickle Brined Chicken Leg Quarters.

If you do not have a Vortex but have charcoal baskets, you can put them together in the center of the Kettle and generate a similar level of high heat and achieve pretty much similar results. The heat may not get as hot as the Vortex but hot enough. I have gotten upwards of 450° with the baskets, while the Vortex gets to 600° with almost no issues.

On our way to some delicious 50 Minute Smoked Ribs

Grab yourself a chunk of hickory, we are going to use that for our smoked ribs. To get your charcoal going, get a full chimney prepped. I would also suggest throwing one layer of unlit charcoal down on the bottom of the baskets or Vortex.

When you start to see the charcoal ash over, pour it into the Vortex or baskets let the heat start cranking. At this point you can place the chunk of hickory over the charcoal and let the smoke roll. Once you get to temperature about 450°, with baskets and 500-600° with the Vortex, the ribs can go on. Place the ribs in a circular fashion around the heat source and not directly over it.

After the ribs are on, you just need to let them ride for a bit, you will go about 40 minutes, without needing to do anything. Check your IT, as best you can, and look for an IT of 180°. At 180° time to sauce them up.

You can sauce them up two ways:

  1. Leave them on the grill and brush the sauce on.
  2. Pull them off, throw in a bowl and slathers the sauce on. (this is how I prefer to do it)
Quick Smoked ribs are nearly done, about 15 minutes to go

If doing #1, sauce them and close up the lid. If doing #2, throw the ribs in a big bowl, add the BBQ sauce and place them back on and close up the lid. Let the ribs go to about 200° At this point, you can remove. Give them a few minutes to cool down/rest and then they are ready to serve!

Enjoying 50 Minute Smoked Ribs

There is nothing quite like sinking your teeth into a perfectly quick smoked rib that has been prepared with hickory smoke and tenderized to perfection. The combination of smoky flavor, saucy goodness, and melt-in-your-mouth tenderness makes for a dining experience that is simply unparalleled. Whether you enjoy them as a stand-alone meal or as part of a barbecue feast, quick smoked ribs are sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate. So fire up the grill, grab some napkins, and get ready to indulge in the mouthwatering delight of these delectable ribs.

50 Minute Smoked Ribs

Thanks for being here and checking out this 50 Minute Smoked Ribs recipe. I hope you enjoy it! We always appreciate comments, 5 star recipe rating and social media shares. As always, keep that smoke rolling!

Need some other delicious meals, here are some suggested ideas:

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Yield: 6

50 Minute Smoked Ribs

50 Minute Smoked Ribs

Elevate your grilling game with these delicious quick smoked ribs seasoned with SPG rub, infused with hickory smoke, and finished off with a drizzle of BBQ sauce.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Rest Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 1 rack of baby back ribs
  • 3/4 cup of BBQ sauce
  • 2 tbsp salt, pepper and garlic rub (SPG)


  1. Check if the sliver skin needs to be peeled off. If you bought at Costco, you are done, they have it removed. Anywhere else, you may have to remove it yourself.
  2. Coat with some SPG rub, both sides. It does not have to be super heavy as we are just looking to compliment the BBQ sauce later on.
  3. Take the ribs, and slice each one between the rib bone. If you feel you have removed too much rub, while handling, go ahead and add some more.
  4. Prepare the vortex or baskets by filling a full chimney worth of charcoal.
  5. When the charcoal is ashed over pour into the vortex or baskets. I will lay a layer of fresh charcoal on the bottom of the vortex or baskets.
  6. After the vortex reaches temperature, about 500°-600° or if using baskets about 400°-500°, you can place the ribs on. Do not place directly over the heat but in a circular formation around the vortex or baskets.
  7. Place a chunk of hickory over the charcoal once you have the ribs on
  8. Smoked the ribs until they reach an IT of 180, which should be about 30-35 minutes. Do the best you can to check the IT. It's not easy on such a small piece of meat.
  9. You can then remove and sauce, I used Original Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce
  10. After saucing them up, place back on and smoke for about 15 more minutes.
  11. Take them to an IT of 205° and you will have some tender fall off the bones ribs.
  12. Give them a couple of minutes to cool down so you can handle them and then serve away!

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 209Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 2700mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 12g

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