Smoked BBQ Ribs in the Digital Electric Smoker

Smoked BBQ Ribs in the Digital Electric Smoker


The Char-Broil® Digital Electric Smoker is an easy smoker to use when smoking BBQ ribs. It manages heat, air and moisture so that your ribs are perfectly smoked, tender, juicy and ready to eat after five to six hours. Try this recipe by Chef Ben Vaughn for your next party or just a special meal for family or friends.

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Serves 4-6
For the ribs
racks of St. Louis style pork ribs, about 3 pounds each
wood chips
For the rub
cup brown sugar
tablespoon chili powder
tablespoon cracked black pepper
tablespoon smoked paprika
teaspoon ground mustard
tablespoons kosher salt
cup apple juice
tablespoons apple cider vinegar


Prep: 30 Minutes, Cook: 5 Hours

Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. Insert a paring knife under the membrane. Loosen the membrane with the knife. Grab the membrane with your fingers and slowly peel completely off.


Combine the brown sugar, chili powder, pepper, paprika, ground mustard and salt in a small bowl. Rub the ribs with apple cider vinegar. After applying apple cider vinegar, rub the rubs with the spice mixture. Place in a large roasting pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Refrigerating overnight is best.


Remove the ribs from the refrigerator 30 minutes before smoking. Let stand at room temperature.


Add wood chips to the chip box and fill up the water pan to the suggested amount. Preheat your Digital Electric Smoker for 40 minutes.

Hot Tip: Whiskey, hickory, apple or mesquite wood chips are suggested.

Meanwhile, combine the apple juice and remaining vinegar in a small spray bottle. Shake.


Once the smoker is preheated, set the temperature to 250°F. Placing the ribs in the smoker meat-side up, spray the ribs with apple juice mixture. Close the door and smoke for 1 hour.


Flip the ribs meat-side down. Spray with the apple juice mixture. Close the door and smoke for an additional hour. Repeat this process every hour for 2-3 more hours. Replenish wood chips as necessary. Total smoke time is approximately 5 hours or until the ribs reach an internal temperature of 180-190°F.


Remove ribs from smoker and let rest 15-20 minutes before carving.

Hot Tip: Giving your meat the time it needs to rest allows juices to redistribute, retaining moisture for tender meat. The internal temperature will continue to rise 10 to 15 degrees until it levels out and then begins to fall.
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  • Otool | Mar 11, 2018

    Best ribs I have ever smoked. Mmmm mmmm mmm they were good. Great recipe

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  • TJ Hanna | Jun 16, 2019

    I usually move them around each time in the racks. Like to different places so all of the decks cook evenly.

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  • drew | Apr 19, 2020

    250 F is too cold they came out raw and needed another 45 in the oven

    great rub mix but up the heat.

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  • Scott | Jun 28, 2020

    3 - 2 - 1 method works best.
    3hrs. Smoking @ 225°, 2 hrs. Wrapped in aluminum foil @ 225°, pull out and smoother in bbq sauce, leave foil open, put back in for 1hr. @ 225°

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  • Kyle | Jun 28, 2020

    Will these same cook times apply to back ribs?

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    • Char-Broil | Jun 30, 2020

      We recommend that you determine doneness based on the internal temperature of the meat. For baby back ribs, like the ribs in this recipe, you're looking for an internal temperature of 180-190°F. Time estimates are included only as a guideline.

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