Sweet & Smoky Whisky Smoked Ribs

These Sweet and Smoky Whisky Smoked Ribs will have your mouth watering and your taste buds clamoring for more. They are absolutely incredible and as a three ingredient recipe, super easy to make too!

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There’s something special about cooking in the smoker that gets the tastebuds going. One of the most popular things to smoke in this household is ribs and these Sweet & Smoky Whisky Smoked Ribs are a great example of a simple but delicious recipe anyone can make.

Smoking the Baby Back Ribs

What You Need to Know to Make the Perfect Smoked Ribs

Using a smoker takes a bit of practice but for the most part, as long as you follow the “low and slow” rule of thumb and keep an eye on things, you shouldn’t have too difficult of a time. To get you started, here are a few things you need to consider when using your smoker to prepare smoked ribs. While I personally use a basic smoker with chips and chunks of wood as opposed to a pellet-fed smoker, the same general rules apply.

  1. Use your water pan to keep the temperature in your smoker even. For pretty much everything, it’s best to aim for about 225 degrees when smoking, no matter the meat. The water pan has a large number of benefits which you can read more about here.
  2. To maximize the smoke, soak your wood chips for about 30 minutes before starting the smoker. Once you do start it, wait for the smoker to start producing smoke (usually 10 minutes or so) before adding the food.
  3. Keep your smoker out of windy areas if possible as the wind can play havoc with your temperatures. I have mine blocked between two sheds which keeps the wind from reaching it, for instance.
  4. Apply a rub or marinade a few hours (or longer) before smoking to let the marinade or rub seep in. You will typically get better flavor this way.
Close up of Smoky Whisky Sliced Ribs

How long does it take to smoke ribs at 225 degrees?

Typically, you should expect to smoke your ribs for upwards of 6 hours. If you are using a marinade or basting the ribs, apply it every hour or so and you should end up with a delicious rack of smoked ribs when they are finished. I usually start mine around 10 am or so if I am planning to eat dinner around 4-5 pm.

How do you know your when ribs are done?

Normally, if you smoke them for 6 hours or so, they should be fine but it’s important to always measure the internal temperature. I personally prefer to use a Thermapen (digital thermometer) to measure meat as it gives very accurate results and a faster reading (whereas using a standard thermometer can take some time and your smoker will be losing heat in the process. If you are in the US, you can use this safe internal temperature guide from the USDA to gauge the readiness of your food. The ribs should also fall apart easily when done, so gauge accordingly.

Basting ribs in the smoker with the sweet & smoky sauce

With this recipe, I recommend keeping some of the marinade aside so that you can use it to baste the ribs throughout the cooking process. Typically, I tend to do so once an hour or so but the timing isn’t finite so if you forget once or twice, it’s not a huge deal. I do recommend doing them as much as you can to keep the flavor up, however.

When the ribs are done, you should have something beautiful like the picture below. Our kids absolutely demolish smoked ribs so we tend to spend quite a bit of the summer (and something even winter) running the smoker to keep the ribs coming!

 Close up of the smoked ribs

If you don’t have a smoker, these can also be done on the BBQ or in the oven, you just won’t get the smoked taste from the wood chips but the sauce is spectacular either way! If you are wanting to try a dry rub for ribs, try our Sweet & Smoky Dry Rub for Ribs.

Happy grilling!


Sweet and Smoky Whisky Smoked Ribs

These Sweet and Smoky Whisky Smoked Ribs will have your mouth watering and your taste buds clamoring for more. They are absolutely incredible and as a three ingredient recipe, super easy to make too!
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
6 hours
Total Time
6 hours 10 minutes
Main Course
Karlynn Johnston


  • 1 rack baby back ribs


  • 1/4 cup BBq sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple whiskey ( Jim Beam) sub in apple juice if wanted


  • Add marinade to ribs, keeping a small amount aside for basting and place ribs in a plastic bag to marinade for a few hours in the fridge before smoking.
  • Fill up and add water pan to smoker.
  • Soak wood chips (we used hickory) in water for 30 minutes, then add to smoker.
  • Start smoker and raise temperature to 225 degrees.
  • Wait for smoke to start and then add ribs.
  • Using remaining marinade, baste ribs hourly. The smoke will run out as the chips will burn completely, do not add more. You simply need to smoke it at the beginning and then let them cook for a long time. 
  • Smoke at 225 for up to 6 hours and cooked to a safe temperature. ( 165 °F ) The ribs will reach this temperature early on, to get fall-off-the-bone meat you have to cook them longer and allow the meat fibers to dissolve further.

Recipe Notes

Make sure that you allow extra time for smoking if needed and remember, low and slow is the trick to great ribs!
To cook these in the oven, just use the marinade and baste them the same. Cook them low and slow in the oven as well at 225 – 250 °F

Nutrition Information

Serving: 100g, Calories: 80kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 125mg, Potassium: 40mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 27IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 12mg, Iron: 1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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These Sweet and Smoky Whisky Smoked Ribs will have your mouth watering and your taste buds clamoring for more. This three ingredient recipe is super easy to make too! #ribs #BBQ #smoker #rib #grilling #smokerrecipe #woodsmoked #porkribs #picnic #summer

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Hey everyone! I'm Mike (Mr. Kitchen Magpie). When I'm not sharing cocktail recipes here and on my Instagram (@mrkitchenmagpie), I'm enjoying a nice bottle of scotch in a vintage glass from my barware collection.

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Site Index Ribs Wood smoker

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. leeanne rivard says

    Do you use both a dry rub. and then baste with the marinate every hour ?

  2. Thomas says

    This recipe is amazing. I use Sweet Baby Ray’s bbq sauce and Johnnie Walker Red Label to give my sauce an extra little smoky kick.5 stars

    • Mike Johnston says

      Hi Jeff

      I’ve used both the Kraft Chicken and Ribs and Bold BBQ sauces with success but most should work as long as they aren’t too sweet.5 stars

  3. Jillian says

    I have had these ribs about 4 times now, and every single time I am blown away! It is literal perfection and if you don’t eat the whole thing, then who doesn’t love sandwiches made from the meat that pretty much fell on the bones. My kids have never eaten a sandwich bun so fast!! lol. Awesome recipe Karlynn. Thanks again from someone who could somehow burn water.5 stars

  4. Ellen Mahoney says

    Is the nutritional information correct for the Sweet and Smoky Whisky Smoked Ribs? I am sure it is a typo – over 3000 calories per serving? Please confirm! Than YOU!

    • Mr. Kitchen Magpie says

      No that’s wrong, I’ve fixed it. Thanks for flagging that5 stars

  5. Embeya says

    Woooow…..Homemade!!! It’s the only thing that taste good! And so easy to do…

    I think I will look for these and try your recipe this weekend. Thank you for sharing!

    Dang Thai from Embeya!5 stars

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