It’s time to break out the red, white and blue and celebrate July Fourth! Cookouts and picnics seem to go hand-in-hand with the holiday and everyone has their favorite foods. Rather than stick with the expected burgers and hotdogs, (and there’s nothing wrong with those!) we decided to break out the smoker to celebrate with smoky, finger-lickin’ good meats and summer sides.

3, 2, 1 Ribs

Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • Wood chips hickory, mesquite, apple or cherry
  • 2 racks spare ribs membrane removed
  • apple juice
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce


  • 1/4 cup Brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder


  • In a small bowl, combine rub ingredients. Place in an airtight jar and set aside.
  • Preheat smoker to 250 F.
  • Put apple juice, beer or water in water tray. Lightly brush olive oil over ribs, sprinkle liberally with rub and pat to help adhere the spices to the rubs.
  • Before putting ribs in smoker, add wood chips. Put ribs on smoker rack and smoke for 3 hours. After 90 minutes, open smoker and spritz with a spray bottle filled with apple juice and water. Spritz every 30 minutes.
  • After 3 hours, wrap ribs tightly in aluminum foil with a bit of apple juice added to the packet. Place meat side down on rack and continue smoking for 2 hours.
  • Remove foil and baste with your favorite bbq sauce, if desired, or skip the sauce and let smoke for 1 more hour. Remove from smoker and let rest.


Nutrition information: 803 calories; 54.3g fat; 1106mg sodium; 39.5g carbohydrates; 36.1g protein.