Traeger Country-Style Ribs (8 Options to Pair With)

Iva Carter
Published by Iva Carter
Last Updated On: December 5, 2023

As a professional chef with years of experience in the culinary industry, I have spent countless hours smoking on a Traeger pellet grill.

To help you make an informed choice, we've curated a list of the best Traeger grills that embody durability, precision, and innovation.

Here, I will share my recipe for country-style ribs - a classic and delicious cut of pork that is perfect for smoking on a pellet grill.

I will also suggest what to serve alongside the ribs for the ultimate BBQ meal.

Traeger Smoked Country-Style Ribs Recipe

Traeger Country-Style Ribs
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds of bone-in or boneless country-style pork ribs
  • 1 cup dry rub
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice

Instructions

Traeger Country-Style Ribs on a plate
  1. Preheat your Traeger grill to 225°F heat, and make sure you have enough wood pellets to smoke for at least 4 hours. Hickory pellets work well with pork.
  2. Pat dry the country-style pork ribs with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. This will help the dry rub stick better.
  3. Apply your favorite BBQ rub generously to all sides of the pork country-style ribs, ensuring an even coating. You can use a premade dry rub or make your own dry rub and combine salt, brown sugar, chili powder, and other spices.
  4. Place the country-style pork ribs on the grill grates and smoke for 2 hours. This slow-smoking process will infuse the meat with a delicious smoky flavor.
  5. While the country-style pork ribs are smoking, prepare a large roasting dish or disposable pan. Line the bottom with aluminum foil to make cleanup easier later.
  6. After 2 hours of smoking, remove the ribs from the smoker and place them in the roasting dish or pan. Increase the smoker temperature to 275°F heat.
  7. Pour apple juice and chicken stock over country-style pork ribs to add moisture and enhance the taste. Add butter to the ribs as well. This will also help create a nice balance between the smoky, sweet, and tangy flavors.
  8. Cover the roasting dish or pan tightly with a lid or aluminum foil, ensuring there are no gaps for the steam to escape. This will help braise the meat, making the ribs tender and juicy.
  9. Place the roasting dish on the grill rack and cook country-style ribs for one hour to two hours. The low and slow cooking process will result in amazingly tender Traeger smoked country-style pork ribs.
  10. After one hour to two hours, carefully remove the foil cover and brush the pineapple juice and your favorite BBQ sauce over the ribs in the pan. Be generous with the barbecue sauce; it will add great flavor and a sticky glaze.
  11. Put the country ribs back on the smoker, uncovered, and let the ribs cook for another 30 minutes to allow the barbecue sauce to caramelize and create a nice crust.
  12. Check the internal temperature of the country ribs using a meat thermometer. They should reach an internal temperature of 195°F for fall-off-the-bone tenderness. If needed, continue cooking for another 15 minutes and check the temperature again.
  13. Once the country ribs are slow-smoked to perfection, remove them from the smoker and let them rest for 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
  14. Season with salt as needed. Then serve the Traeger smoked country-style ribs hot and put your favorite BBQ sauce on the side for dipping.

"Country-style ribs may not be the most glamorous cut of meat, but they are certainly one of the most delicious. Smoke them on your Traeger grill for an unforgettable BBQ experience."

- Danielle Bennett (Diva Q), World Champion BBQ Pitmaster

Recipe Notes

Traeger Country-Style Ribs with chips
  • The 195-degree F temperature in this recipe is well above the USDA-recommended 145-degree F heat needed to prevent food illness for pork chops, ribs, and other meat [1].
  • Country-style pork ribs are an affordable and delicious cut perfect for smoking and slow cooking. Often mistaken for traditional pork ribs, country-style pork ribs come from where the pork shoulder and pork loin meet [2]. While they can be bone-in, these Traeger smoked country-style pork ribs are typically boneless, offering tender meat perfect for smoking.
  • You can place a smoke tube filled with wood pellets inside the smoker while making the country ribs for extra smoke flavor.
  • These smoked country-style pork ribs are incredibly moist, so be careful when using tongs to handle them, as they may fall apart coming off the grill.
  • Use a disposable aluminum pan if you don't have a roasting dish. The pan should be tightly covered with foil to prevent the half cup of apple juice, stock, and butter from evaporating.
  • You can use any quality BBQ rub or BBQ sauce you prefer in this recipe - experiment with different flavors to find your favorite barbecue sauce combination.
  • Don't forget to braise the meat - this makes the smoked country ribs tender.
  • You can also finish these country-style pork ribs in the oven if you don't have a Traeger pellet grill. Simply follow the same instructions, but place the wrapped ribs in a roasting pan and bake at 225°F for the same amount of time.

Nutrition Facts:

  • Calories: 380
  • Total Carbs: 13g
  • Protein: 33g
  • Fat: 20g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Net Carbs: 13g

What to Pair With Traeger Country Style Ribs

Traeger Country-Style Ribs cut in pieces

Traeger country-style ribs are a classic and delicious main course that pairs well with a variety of sides.

Here are some ideas for what to pair alongside your smoked country-style pork ribs:

  1. Creamy Coleslaw: Creamy coleslaw provides a refreshing and creamy contrast to the smoky and savory flavors of the ribs. The cool and crunchy cabbage, combined with the tangy dressing, adds a delightful texture and a hint of sweetness that balances the meat's richness.
  2. Southern Baked Beans: Southern-style baked beans are a classic barbecue side dish that complements smoked country-style ribs and sauce perfectly. The sweet and savory flavors of the beans, infused with molasses, brown sugar, and smoky bacon, create an amazing contrast to the smokiness of the meat.
  3. Cornbread: Cornbread is a staple side dish in Southern cuisine and pairs wonderfully with country-style ribs. Its slightly sweet buttery flavor provides a comforting and crumbly accompaniment to the rich, tender meat.
  4. Grilled Vegetables: Vegetables on the grill, such as zucchini, bell peppers, and onions, add freshness and color to the plate. The charred flavors from the smoker complement the country ribs while providing a lighter and healthier element to the meal.
  5. Macaroni and Cheese: Indulgent and creamy macaroni and cheese is a comforting side dish that pairs exceptionally well with smoked country-style ribs.
  6. Grilled Corn on the Cob: The charred kernels and the corn's natural sweetness complement the ribs' savory flavors, creating a harmonious combination.
  7. Vinegar-based Slaw: The slaw's bright and acidic flavors cut through the meat's richness, providing a refreshing and palate-cleansing element. The crunchy cabbage and the tangy dressing add a zing that evens out the flavors.
  8. Roasted Sweet Potatoes: Roasted sweet potatoes bring a touch of sweetness and earthiness to the meal. The potatoes' natural sweetness complements the cooked ribs' savory flavors, creating a delightful balance.

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FAQs

Should You Wrap Ribs on a Pellet Smoker?

You can wrap ribs on a pellet smoker, but it’s not mandatory. Wrapping the pork ribs in foil or butcher paper during cooking can help retain moisture and create a more tender texture. However, if you prefer a firmer bark on the pork ribs, you can choose not to wrap them.

Do Country-Style Ribs Get More Tender the Longer They Cook?

Yes, country-style ribs do get more tender the longer they cook. These pork ribs are typically a tougher cut of meat, but with low and slow cooking methods and covered for a good braise, they become increasingly tender. It's important to cook them for sufficient time to allow the connective tissues to break down and the meat to become tender.

Why Are My Country-Style Ribs Tough?

There are a few reasons why country-style ribs might be tough. One common explanation is undercooking. These pork ribs require a longer time to become tender. Additionally, not using enough moisture during cooking or not properly marinating or seasoning the ribs can result in a tougher texture.


References:

  1. https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2020/06/05/summer-grilling-how
  2. https://pork.org/cuts/pork-ribs
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About the author

Iva Carter
Associate Editor
Iva Carter is a FBP certified foodie and influencer who loves to share delicious yet quick dinner recipes. When she's not in the kitchen concocting meaty delights, you'll find her playing with her dog, Sylvie.
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