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How to Smoke Ribs with BBQ Maestro Charlie McKenna - Cook & Nelson

How to Smoke Ribs with BBQ Maestro Charlie McKenna

Ever wanted to smoke your own ribs, chicken or pork? Here is a recipe from BBQ maestro and chef/owner Charlie McKenna of Lillie's Q that is sure to satisfy your most smokey of cravings.

Try this recipe with lashings of Lillie's Q BBQ Sauce and a fresh coleslaw.


Dry Rub for Pork, Ribs and Chicken

  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sweet paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl; use your fingers to break up any clumps of brown sugar.
  2. Store in a sealed airtight container away from heat and light.


McKenna says to put your meat into a cold smoker. Ribs take about five hours in the smoker, including the time it takes for the smoker to heat to 225 degrees. Chicken breasts and thighs take about two and a half hours. For pork shoulder, figure on an hour per pound.

How to smoke baby back ribs

Cook time: 5 hours

  1. Remove the silver skin from the back of the ribs with an oyster knife or the back of a spoon.
  2. Rub both sides of the ribs with French’s yellow mustard.
  3. Sprinkle—don’t rub—the dry rub over the ribs until they are heavily coated front and back.
  4. Put the ribs into the smoker and let them smoke for two hours, as the temperature rises to 225 degrees. Maintain that temperature for the rest of the cooking.
  5. Wrap the ribs twice with aluminum foil, and put them back in the smoker for two more hours.
  6. Unwrap the ribs, and put them back in the smoker for another hour.
  7. During the last hour, mop the ribs with the barbecue sauce every 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the ribs from the smoker.
  9. Eat and enjoy.


1 comment

Nelson! Your Article BBQ is very interesting for me. After reading your article my appetite is increase. I really like food. My name is Michelle Howard I’m also researching on the food. Thank you sharing information.

Michelle Howard

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