How to Make Rib Racks for Smokers

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The smaller your smoker, the more necessary rib racks become, especially when cooking for a crowd. By standing the ribs up instead of laying them flat, you can fit two to four times as many racks of ribs in the smoker — and the smoke time stays the same. Commercial rib racks can be found at any home and garden center or big=-box retailer, but if you find yourself in need of a speedy rib rack with items you probably have on hand, you can easily do it yourself.

Prepare the ribs for smoking as your recipe directs or rub with a mixture of salt, pepper and paprika.

Hold a rack of ribs on a sheet of foil so it stands with the long, flat side on the bottom. Push a stainless steel skewer through the top left corner of the ribs between the bones.

Slide a second rack of ribs onto the skewer through its left corner with the flat side on the bottom, stopping about 2 inches from the first rack. Add one or two additional racks of ribs in the same manner. At this point, the ribs will be connected but won't stand on their own.

Push a second skewer through the bottom left corner of each rack of ribs. Repeat on the right side of the racks. Thread two more skewers between the bones on the bottom, halfway between the ends and the centers of the racks, then add a skewer above each of them so a total of eight skewers hold the racks together.

Adjust the rib racks on the skewers. The racks should be at least 1 to 2 inches apart and should stand vertically in a row.

Carry the racked ribs to the smoker on a platter. Place them in the smoker and readjust with barbecue tongs until they stand vertically.