In Season: 3-2-1 Babyback ribs


Pollen and BBQ smoke go together like…well, nothing! At least BBQ smoke fills the air with savory smells and the promise, if you do it right, of a delicious meal instead of a sinus headache. To get the best grilling advice, we asked the Traeger Grill’s team how to do ribs right on their popular wood pellet smoker.  

Natalee Elmasian (from Traeger headquarters in Salt Lake, but a born Georgia girl) and Chris Cannon (local Georgia Traeger) shared their popular 3-2-1 Baby Back Ribs Recipe. “Our 3-2-1 Ribs recipe will be the talk of the hood and rival grilling pals. While the recipe is simple, it does not sacrifice any flavor,” said Natalee Elmasian. 

Start by smoking your ribs for 3 hours, then cook inside foil for 2 hours and finish by removing from foil and brushing on sauce for up to 1 hour.

Recipe courtesy of Traeger Grills.

2 Rack baby back pork ribs
1/3 Cup yellow mustard
1/2 Cup apple juice, divided
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Traeger Pork & Poultry Rub
1/2 Cup dark brown sugar
1/3 Cup honey, warmed
1 Cup Traeger ‘Que BBQ Sauce

Prep: If your butcher has not already done so, remove the thin silverskin membrane from the bone-side of the ribs by working the tip of a butter knife or a screwdriver underneath the membrane over a middle bone. Use paper towels to get a firm grip, then tear the membrane off.

Whisk and Coat: In a small bowl, combine the mustard, ¼ cup of apple juice (reserve the rest) and the Worcestershire sauce. Spread the mixture thinly on both sides of the ribs and season with Traeger Pork & Poultry Rub.

Smoke: When ready to cook, set Traeger temperature to 180℉ and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes. Smoke the ribs, meat-side up for three hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 160℉.  [Grill: 180 ˚F and Probe: 160 ˚F]

Rest: After the ribs have smoked for three hours, transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet and increase the grill temperature to 225℉. 

Return: Tear off four long sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Top with a rack of ribs and pull up the sides to keep the liquid enclosed. Sprinkle half the brown sugar on the rack, then top with half the honey and half the remaining apple juice. Use a bit more apple juice if you want tender ribs. Lay another piece of foil on top and tightly crimp the edges so there is no leakage. Repeat with the remaining rack of ribs.

Return the foiled ribs to the grill and cook for an additional two hours, or until internal temperature reaches 205℉.
[Grill: 225 ˚F]

Remove: Carefully remove the foil from the ribs and brush the ribs on both sides with Traeger ‘Que Sauce. Discard the foil. Arrange the ribs directly on the grill grate and continue to grill until the sauce tightens, 30 to 60 minutes more.

Enjoy: Let the ribs rest for a few minutes before serving.

Don’t have a Traeger?
Head over to local Traeger Platinum Dealer at HOWARD BROTHERS TRUE VALUE OF DULUTH: 3616 Buford Hwy, Duluth, GA 30096.