Pork or beef ribs often are smoked to add flavor to the meat. Easy and versatile, smoking allows for a variety of spices and herbs to be added and absorbed into the meat while it slowly cooks. Although smokers traditionally are wood-based, their gas counterparts are more affordable and require less effort while cooking.
Cover the ribs with the rub and let them sit, refrigerated, for 24 hours before smoking.
Place the wood chips in a large bowl. Cover them with water, and let them soak for at least half an hour.
Turn the smoker to high, and add the soaked wood chips to the designated smoke box. Close the lid, and allow the smoker to fill with smoke, about 10 minutes.
Reduce the heat to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, and place the ribs on the smoker.
Continue to add more soaked wood chips every half an hour while cooking.
Cook the ribs for a minimum of three hours, or until they reach a safe internal temperature for eating -- 160 degrees Fahrenheit for pork, and 145 degrees Fahrenheit for beef.
Hickory or mesquite wood chips are the best for ribs because they add a strong and sweet flavor to the meat.
Wood chips also can be soaked in other liquids for added flavor -- this can range from beer to juice to wine.
The longer the ribs are smoked, the more intense the smoke flavor will be -- some suggest smoking them for at least six to eight hours.
Never leave the smoker unattended.