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4.67 from 15 votes

Uncle Richard's Brown Sugar & Honey Smoked Baby Back Ribs

Tender and juicy, Uncle Richard's Brown Sugar & Honey Smoked Baby Back Ribs don't need any BBQ sauce at all!  They are amazing just the way they are when they come off the smoker and will have everybody licking their fingers and reaching for more!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 847kcal
Author: Amy Nash



  • 2 Tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder


  • 1 liter Dr. Pepper
  • 1 rack baby back ribs
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup cold butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • cup honey

Other equipment

  • Applewood pellets or chips for your smoker


  • On the back side of the ribs there is a thin membrane that some people like to remove. If you want to remove it, trim the membrane by using a very sharp knife to make a small cut under the membrane at one end of the ribs. Use your fingers to peel up part of the membrane, then grip it with a paper towel, which helps to hold onto the membrane, and peel the rest of the membrane off the back of the ribs.
  • Place the trimmed ribs in a large Ziploc bag and pour the entire liter of Dr. Pepper over it, then seal tightly and place in the fridge overnight to marinate.
  • When ready to smoke, start the smoker with the lid open to get a good smoke established (about 3 to 5 minutes on our Traeger), then close the lid and set the heat setting to 225 degrees. Allow the smoker to come up to temperature.
  • Remove ribs from the Dr. Pepper and discard the soda. Pat the ribs dry with paper towels and lightly coat both sides with a little bit olive oil. This will help the dry rub stick to the ribs.
  • Apply rub to both the top and bottom sides of the ribs. Some people like to wrap their ribs up in foil at this point and let them sit with the rub on to penetrate the meat for a while before cooking, but I don't feel like this makes any difference.
  • Place ribs directly on grill, meat side up. Smoke until rib meat ’breaks’ when lifted in the center (2 ½ to 3 ½ hours).
  • Remove from smoker and place on extra large sheet of aluminum foil. Grate butter on top of ribs, then sprinkle with brown sugar and drizzle honey over the top. Tightly wrap ribs with the foil and return to the smoker for another 40 minutes to an hour.
  • Remove from smoker and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing the ribs between each bone and serving.


Calories: 847kcal | Carbohydrates: 96g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 2032mg | Potassium: 498mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 92g | Vitamin A: 969IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 2mg