2-2-1 Baby Back Ribs Smoked on a Pellet Grill

There are a lot of different ways of cooking baby back ribs on a pellet grill but one of the most reliable is the “2-2-1” method. 

Prepare the ribs for the smoker

To do this, follow these three steps: – Remove the Membrane – Lightly Trim – Season with a Dry Rub

Homemade Rub

– 1 cup light brown sugar – 2 Tbsp chili powder – 2 Tbsp  dry mustard – 2 Tbsp  onion powder – 2 Tbsp  garlic powder – 2 Tbsp  cayenne pepper – 2 Tbsp  kosher salt – 2 Tbsp  coarsely ground black pepper

Get your pellet grill ready

Turn on your pellet grill and set the temp to 225F. I went with a hickory wood pellet. Place an aluminum foil pan with 2-3 cups of hot water onto the lower cooking grate. 

Add the ribs

Put a six inch smoke tube that's filled with smoldering hickory pellets beside the pan full of water. Place the ribs on the top cooking grate over the pan.

Start Smokin'!

You are going to let the ribs smoke at 225F for two hours and will keep the lid closed the whole time. 

Wrap the Ribs in Aluminum Foil

Put 3 Tbsp margarine & half a cup of brown sugar on one sheet.  Put the ribs in the foil with a quarter cup of sweet liquid. Wrap with both sheets.


Return the wrapped ribs to the smoker and cook them meat side DOWN for two more hours at 225F.  After that, remove them from the grill and place them on a baking sheet. 

Finishing the Ribs

Remove the ribs from the foil and return them to the grill with the meat side up. Cook for one more hour at 225F.

Pro Tip:

Flip the ribs over so they are meat side down.  The ribs are much easier to slice when the meat side is down because you can see exactly where the rib bones are.

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Here are quick smoker recipes that you can finish in four hours or less!  You can put these recipes on the smoker in the morning and have them ready by lunch.