You want a juicy rack of ribs but don’t have much time. What’s a meat-lover to do? Try my 2 Hour Baby Back Ribs; that’s what! This recipe is simple, delicious, and, best of all, is done within 2 hours. I used my Backyard Rib Bundle, which includes Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Rub, Heath Riles BBQ Butter Bath & Wrap, and Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce.
This bundle is the ultimate trifecta for creating moist, flavorful ribs. My 2 Hour Baby Back Ribs prove that sometimes, hot and fast is the real MVP. Give them a shot, and let me know what you think.
2 Hour Baby Back Ribs | Heath Riles BBQ
My 2 Hour Baby Back Ribs are unique because they hang in the Gateway Drum Smoker for the first hour. This creates a gorgeous bark, permeating the meat from all angles with delicious smoke. If you’ve never tried this cooking method, you’re in for a treat!
- Prairie Fresh Prime Baby Back Ribs. It’s no secret that I love Prairie Fresh. They’re my pork of choice, whether on the circuit or back patio! If you want high-quality meat that doesn’t require a lot of trimming, go with Prairie Fresh.
- Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeño Rub. This AP rub features a mix of garlic, jalapeños, salt, and pepper. It’s delicious as a base coat for ribs, but you can also use it on veggies, popcorn, chicken, or steak.
- Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Rub. My Sweet BBQ Rub was the first product I ever perfected. It contains a blend of sugar, paprika, onion, and garlic for one mind-blowing effect. I love adding a dash to burger patties, ribs, and bloody marys.
- Heath Riles BBQ Butter Bath & Wrap. This butter bath doubles as a wrap, giving you more bang for your buck. It’s heavenly on pork, especially when mixed with apple juice. This product was a key part of my 2022 Memphis in May Rib Championship win, and I’m sure it’ll make you a winner, too.
- Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce. Good things take time, including this delicious sauce. If you like ketchup-based sauces with a unique infusion of spices, try this one. I use it on ribs, baked beans, and BBQ chicken.
The Smoker Setup
Here’s the main equipment I used for this recipe. More of my grilling favorites can be found in the Equipment and Tools section.
- Drum smoker. I cooked these ribs in my Gateway Drum Smoker. This fun setup smokes food in record time. Many pitmasters prefer drum smokers because they’re more straightforward than other grills. If you’re looking for a minimalistic approach to grilling, you’ll adore the Gateway Drum.
- Charcoal. I stoked the drum smoker with Royal Oak Lump Charcoal and Royal Oak Tumbleweeds. I love this brand because their product is high quality with no fillers. If you’re trying to reduce chemicals, you need this charcoal. I use it for almost every cook with great results. You can also add a few pieces of hickory wood.
The Process for Making 2 Hour Baby Back Ribs
Check out the video and recipe card if you’d like a detailed demonstration of this recipe. For now, here’s a brief rundown of how I made these delicious 2 Hour Baby Back Ribs.
- Fire up the pit. I stoked the Gateway Drum Smoker with Royal Oak Lump Charcoal and some Royal Oak Tumbleweeds. Then, I fired it up to a range of 275℉-300℉.
- Trim the meat. I took the Prairie Fresh Prime Baby Back Ribs from their packaging and removed the membrane. If you struggle with removing membranes, watch the video to learn my simple hack! Aside from that, my ribs came good to go. Your ribs may look different, so trim any hanging meat flaps and always check for stray pieces of bone.
- Add seasoning. Next, I added a good base layer of Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeño Rub, followed by Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Rub. I flipped the 2 Hour Baby Back Ribs and repeated the process on the other side. Then, I let the ribs sweat in for about 10 minutes before flipping them to add a final layer of Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Rub. I let the back side sweat in for 5 minutes before moving the meat to the Gateway Drum Smoker.
- Hang the meat. I decided to hang the 2 Hour Baby Back Ribs using meat hooks. The Gateway Drum Smoker includes meat hooks, but you can also purchase them online. I wanted the thickest part of the meat to hang towards the fire, so I placed the hook in the thinner side, about two bones from the top.
- Start smoking. I hung the 2 Hour Baby Back Ribs in the Gateway Drum Smoker and shut the lid. I let the meat go for 1 hour and 20 minutes, rotating the rack every 20 minutes.
- Wrap the ribs. I removed the ribs from the Gateway Drum Smoker and laid them on an aluminum-foil-lined baking sheet. Then, I mixed ½ cup Heath Riles BBQ Butter Bath & Wrap with 16 ounces of apple juice until smooth. Remember, I was smoking TWO racks of ribs, and the measurements are ¼ cup Heath Riles BBQ Butter Bath & Wrap and ¾ cup of apple juice or water PER SLAB of ribs. Then, I poured the mixture over the ribs and wrapped them tightly.
- Continue cooking the meat. I took the hanging rack out of the Gateway Drum Smoker, put the flat rack in, and then laid the wrapped ribs on the grate. I let the ribs cook for 30 minutes, rotating them halfway through. When the ribs reached the 207℉-208℉ mark, I removed them from the pit and let them rest for 10 minutes.
- Sauce and tack up. I carefully unwrapped the 2 Hour Baby Back Ribs, then glazed them with a layer of Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce. I wanted my ribs “muddy style,” so I added a little more Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Rub. I stuck the ribs back on the pit for 10 minutes to tack up. The ribs came off the pit piping hot, so I let them rest before digging in. Bon appetite!
These 2 Hour Baby Back Ribs came off the pit with a gorgeous golden color. Thanks to our extraordinary wrap, the meat was juicy and rich yet had a crisp bark. As the fat rendered, it dripped down the ribs, encasing them in decadent flavor.
Serving Suggestions for 2 Hour Baby Back Ribs
You can store your 2 Hour Baby Back Ribs in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze them for up to 4 months. To reheat from frozen, let thaw in the refrigerator and add extra sauce as needed.
Equipment and Tools
Meat hooks, aluminum foil, Gateway Drum Smoker, Royal Oak Lump Charcoal, Royal Oak Tumbleweeds, ThermoWorks Hi-Temp Silicone Brush, ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE, Heath Riles BBQ Heat Resistant Gloves, Heath Riles BBQ Butcher Paper, disposable cutting board.