Perfect Smoked Ribs on a Traeger Grill (pork and beef)


Traeger grills are the go-to choice for outdoor grilling and smoking. And what BBQ connoisseur doesn’t love smoked ribs? Pellet grills can be a little technical, so here’s how to cook ribs on a Traeger grill.

Smoking beef or pork ribs on a Traeger grill should be done between 225 – 250 degrees F. However, the “super smoke” feature on newer Traeger grills has to be done at or below 225. Beef short ribs or pork baby back ribs need 2-3 hours to cook, whereas other types may require up to 4 hours.

But don’t worry. Below I’ll get into all the specifics of all types of ribs.

One of the great things about smoking meats on a Traeger pellet grill is that it imparts a unique flavor you can’t replicate with other cooking methods. So whether you’re smoking a brisket, pork shoulder, or ribs, the result will be a delicious, tender, and juicy piece of meat packed with flavor.

Looking for the best ribs (and beef, chicken, or pork) and unhappy with what your local store has?

Now thanks to FarmFoodsMarket, you can get 100% heritage pork ribs or 100% grass-fed beef ribs delivered right to your door.

Once you try it, you’ll be astounded at how much better the quality is! Imagine the taste of those delicious ribs fresh off your grill!

Enjoy 10% off your first order with code WELCOME on FarmFoodsMarket.com!

No doubt you’ve seen FarmFoodsMarket raved about by Forbes and The Washington Post. Now it’s your turn!

Just chose the rib offer that’s right for you, or their value pack combination boxes; beef, chicken, or the best of both. Flash-frozen and vacuum-sealed means it will be farm fresh whenever you’re ready!

With every purchase, you support building a better food system for the animals, the planet, and us. Humanly raised and processed.

CLICK HERE to see all their amazing offerings on their website.

What temp do you cook ribs on a Traeger?

Between 225 – 250 degrees F. This ideal temperature range will produce flavorful, juicy, and tender ribs. However, if you prefer your ribs on the slightly more well-done side, you can crank up the heat a bit higher, but this may cook the ribs too fast, and they won’t be as tender.

Since the quality of rib cuts will have an overall impact, a pro tip is to trim out parts, including the silver skin, thin membrane, and connective tissue, which will always be tough and chewy.

Cooking at a lower temperature will help maintain the tastiness of your ribs and also help to prevent your ribs from drying out.

Plus I prefer to at least start out using the super smoke feature on my Traeger (and Ironwood 650), and that can only be used at 225° F. I do this with ribs and brisket for at least 1/3 of the total cook time to give it a nice smokey flavor.

However, it is also essential to note that the ribs will cook longer and may not achieve the ideal amount of tenderness if the smoker is too cold. Using a digital thermometer is the best approach to guarantee that the smoker’s temperature remains constant.

When ready to cook, set the Traeger to the proper temperature and preheat with the lid covered for 15 minutes. Avoiding the bone side of the ribs, place the probe horizontally in the middle of a rack of ribs’ fleshy portion.

Next, you should place the ribs directly on the grill grates, meat side up, and cook for the required durations with the lid closed.

Traeger Wood Pellet Grills are a great way to cook outdoors. These grills use 100% natural hardwood pellets to create a unique flavor that you can’t replicate with any other grill.

However, operating the Traeger Grills can be challenging for some people. 

If you are in a similar situation, check my most recent article. Here I explained how to set up and use the Traeger Grills for all your smoking pleasures. You may want to know what to do if your Traeger runs out of pellets while using it; the article also addressed that.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Check out all the grilling products and accessories I recommend on my recommended BBQ items page.

I take the mystery and headaches out of having to do extensive research. I only recommend stuff I’ve used and/or owned, and only list things that are 4-stars and higher.

CLICK HERE to see that page on my website.

How long do I cook my ribs on my Traeger?

Beef Short Ribs Pork Baby Back Ribs Country Style Pork Ribs St. Louis Pork Ribs St. Louis Pork Ribs
Total Smoke Time 4 – 5 hours 2 – 3 hours 2 – 3 hours 2 – 4 hours 3 – 4 hours

How long you cook your ribs on your Traeger will depend on different factors, such as the type of ribs you’re cooking, the size of the rack, and the desired level of doneness.

But as a general rule of thumb, you should plan to cook your baby’s back ribs for about 30-35 minutes per pound, your St. Louis style ribs for about 40-45 minutes per pound, and the spare ribs for about 45-50 minutes per pound.

When cooking beef short ribs on a Traeger smoker, you’ll want to cook them between 2 and 3 hours. This will ensure that the beef is cooked and that the flavors have had time to meld together. For a large rack of ribs cooked at 225 degrees Fahrenheit, you can expect the cooking time to be around 3-4 hours.

When cooking ribs on your Traeger, the best way is to use indirect heat by placing the ribs on the grate away from the heat source. This will help prevent them from burning and allow them to cook evenly.

To ensure that your beef ribs are perfectly cooked, use a meat thermometer to observe the internal temperature. For example, you should cook baby back ribs at 145 degrees Fahrenheit of internal temperature for the best results.

In comparison, you should cook St. Louis-style and spare ribs to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once your ribs have reached the desired level of doneness, you can remove them from the pellet grill and let them rest for 5-10 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute evenly, resulting in juicy, flavorful ribs that will thrill your family and friends.

Don’t have a Traeger yet or want to upgrade?

CLICK HERE to see the Current Prices on Traeger’s website!

Can you do Traeger ribs quickly?

Yes. Traeger’s ribs are the perfect summertime BBQ meal. They’re easy to make, and they’re even easier to eat! But if you’re also short on cook time, you can prepare Traeger ribs fast and easily by following some step instructions.

The first step is to preheat your Traeger grill to 400 degrees. The next step is to take the ribs out of the packaging and liberally rub them with your preferred BBQ or homemade dry rub. After that, the ribs must cook for 30 minutes on the grill grate and another 30 minutes after you turn them over.

Remove the smoke ribs from the grill once they are fully cooked, and rest for 5 to 10 minutes. The ribs should then be sliced into individual servings and served with your preferred barbecue sauce and, if you choose, a Worcestershire sauce.

Also, if you want to avoid long hours of smoking, you can use a quick-cooking process like the 3-2-1 method and get your cooked ribs in about 3 hours.

All you have to do is place your ribs in the smoker 3 hours before you want to eat, wrap the ribs in aluminum foil or butcher paper 2 hours before you want to eat, and 1 hour before you want to eat, take your 3-2-1 ribs out of the smoker and put them on the rimmed baking sheet in a preheated oven.

When the ribs are done, they’ll be moist, tender, and flavorful.

And you’ll have Traeger pork ribs ready to be served with your preferred homemade BBQ sauce in a fraction of the time it would take to make them in a traditional smoker.

Traeger grills, of course, use both electricity and wood pellets to operate. But if there’s not an outlet nearby, can you use an extension cord with a Traeger?

If you have a similar question, visit my most recent article for answers. Here I explained how a Traeger grill is powered and when and how you can use an extension cord.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

How do you season ribs before smoking?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer for seasoning; however, applying a thin layer of yellow mustard on both sides and rubbing in your seasoning will do.

To get the best flavor out of your ribs before smoking them, you’ll want to season them generously with a dry rub, creating a flavorful crust outside the ribs that will trap in all the juices and flavors.

When choosing a dry rub, you can use a store-bought blend or make your own. If you’re making your own, include a mix of sweet, savory, and spicy ingredients. Some good options include brown sugar, salt, paprika, black pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.

Once you’ve mixed up your dry rub in a small bowl, generously coat the ribs on all sides. You can then wrap them in a foil packet, paper towel, or plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least an hour or overnight. This will give the flavors time to penetrate the meat.

If you are using a wet marinade including great recipes like apple juice, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil, a foolproof method is to ensure you don’t marinate your ribs for too long—aim for marinating your ribs for at least 4 hours, but no more than 24 hours.

No one wants a house full of smoke and the smell of burnt meat. But, if you’ve ever had a Traeger catch fire, you know it’s a real possibility. 

If you are wondering how this is possible, I explained them well in my most recent article. Here I addressed the main reasons your Traeger might come up in flames and the solutions to preventing that. You may also wonder how to put out a Traeger fire; the article also addressed that.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

What wood pellets go best with ribs?

Hickory wood pellets. Many types of wood pellets are available, and the best ones for smoking ribs depend on your preference. However, hickory pellets are the most popular for smoking ribs on wood pellet grills as they have a smoky, great flavor that is perfect for ribs.

Mesquite wood pellets are another popular option for smoking the best ribs on your pellet smoker.

Mesquite wood has a sweeter, smokier flavor that is perfect for ribs. In addition, the mesquite pellets impart a robust smoke flavor to the back of the ribs, which is ideal for various rib recipes that demand a little more.

Apple wood chips are a sweeter option for smoking ribs, especially for pork ribs (or any pork).

Applewood pellets have a light, fruity flavor that is perfect for ribs. In addition, apple wood pellets provide a delicate fruity smoke that works well with mildly flavored foods and raises the awesomeness of your smoker recipes to a new level.

You may experiment with different pellets for your smoker recipe to find your favorite flavor. But, no matter what wood pellet you use, smoking ribs on a Traeger is a great way to get delicious smoked ribs.

Traeger makes 13 different flavors of pellets. Their pellets are made from 100% natural, food-grade hardwood.

CLICK HERE to see the best-selling Traeger pellets on Amazon

Final Thoughts

Smoking ribs on a Traeger grill is a great way to get that classic smoked flavor without having to deal with a charcoal grill.

The ribs come out tender and juicy, and the flavor is fantastic. Plus, it’s a relatively easy process, so even if you’re new to smoking meats, you can still produce great results. Who knows, you can be the next Aaron Franklin in the making.

When smoking ribs on the gas grills or the Traeger, it is important to have a great recipe card.

This will help make sure that the ribs are cooked properly and delicious. There are many different recipes available, so find one that you like and that works well for you.

Looking for the best ribs (and beef, chicken, or pork) and unhappy with what your local store has?

Now thanks to FarmFoodsMarket, you can get 100% heritage pork ribs or 100% grass-fed beef ribs delivered right to your door.

Once you try it, you’ll be astounded at how much better the quality is! Imagine the taste of those delicious ribs fresh off your grill!

Enjoy 10% off your first order with code WELCOME on FarmFoodsMarket.com!

No doubt you’ve seen FarmFoodsMarket raved about by Forbes and The Washington Post. Now it’s your turn!

Just chose the rib offer that’s right for you, or their value pack combination boxes; beef, chicken, or the best of both. Flash-frozen and vacuum-sealed means it will be farm fresh whenever you’re ready!

With every purchase, you support building a better food system for the animals, the planet, and us. Humanly raised and processed.

CLICK HERE to see all their amazing offerings on their website.

Check out all the grilling products and accessories I recommend on my recommended BBQ items page.

I take the mystery and headaches out of having to do extensive research. I only recommend stuff I’ve used and/or owned, and only list things that are 4-stars and higher.

CLICK HERE to see that page on my website.


Image by -Rita-👩‍🍳 und 📷 mit ❤ from Pixabay

Jeff Campbell

Jeff was a leader for Whole Foods Market for over 2 decades and is now a recovering foodie. When he's not spending time in the kitchen, he can usually be found with 3 daughters, practicing martial arts, making music, or blogging on his other sites. Click to learn more about me

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