What happens when you combine pig candy and barbecued ribs? You get bacon ribs – the tastiest new trend for your summer backyard barbecue party.
4.38 from 16 votes

By Christie Vanover | Published May 21, 2018 | Last Updated February 16, 2023

We all know that bacon makes everything better. You’ve probably smoked bacon-wrapped meatballs, bacon-wrapped fatties (sausage) and even bacon-wrapped asparagus. But have you wrapped the luxurious smoked pork belly around ribs? If not, you definitely should.

single rib bones wrapped in bacon

Ribs are already a pretty sexy BBQ dish. I mean who doesn’t love meat on a stick. When smoked slow and low, they’re juicy, meaty and finger-licking good.

Who knew ribs could get even better

One of the most popular methods for cooking ribs is the 3-2-1 method. After 3 hours of absorbing smoke, you wrap them in foil or butcher paper for 2 hours to lock in the moisture, and then you finish them with sauce for an hour.

Instead of using foil, this method uses a much tastier wrapper – bacon. When you wrap the ribs in bacon, they baste in bacon drippings.

As the bacon cooks, the fat melts into the pork ribs

You can use any type of pork ribs, but I recommend St. Louis Style. They’re trimmed from the spareribs, which is located near the belly of the pig – around the same area where the bacon comes from.

Start by cutting each bone off the rack. To do this, lay the ribs on their sides and look for the bone tips. Place your knife between the bones, and slice through the meat. Sometimes the bones are crooked, so take it slowly to make sure you stay between the bones.

Toss each bone in your favorite rub, and then wrap them with a bacon slice and more rub. There’s no need to secure the bacon with a toothpick. It will stay just fine.

single rib bones wrapped in bacon

While the 3-2-1 method takes 6 hours, this method only takes 3 because the surface area of the meat is smaller since we’re smoking individual bones.

Start by smoking the bacon ribs for 2 hours at 275F. The internal temp will be around 190F at this point and the bacon will start to become crispy and darker.

single rib bones wrapped in bacon on grill

But wait there’s more

We can’t stop at just bacon. Oh no. We’ve got to turn this into maple brown sugar bacon. Also lovingly known as candied bacon or pig candy.

After 2 hours on the smoker, make a slurry of maple syrup and hot sauce and baste it onto the bacon ribs. Pat on a generous pile of brown sugar. Smoke for one more hour. If after 45 minutes or so all of the sugar doesn’t dissolve, spritz it with a little water to help it melt.

bacon ribs covered in brown sugar on grill

After you remove them from the grill, and they rest for a few minutes, the bacon will harden like a salty, sweet candy. And depending how much hot sauce you used, you’ll get the treat of a little extra heat.

Pile of bacon ribs on peach paper

Once you take a bite and crack through that crunchy coating, you’ll find a perfectly tender, smoky, meaty rib like none other you’ve had before.

holding bacon rib with bite taken o ut
single rib bones wrapped in bacon

Maple Brown Sugar Bacon Ribs

What happens when you combine pig candy and barbecued ribs? You get bacon ribs – the tastiest new trend for your summer backyard barbecue party.
4.38 from 16 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Servings 12 Ribs


  • 1 slab St. Louis style pork ribs
  • 12 slices bacon
  • 2 tbsp barbecue rub
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 10 dashes hot sauce optional
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar


  • Remove the silverskin from the back of the ribs. Cut the slab into single bones.
  • Sprinkle the ribs liberally with barbecue rub.
  • Wrap each bone with a slice of bacon. Lightly dust with more rub.
  • Smoke on a 275F-degree grill with maple wood chunks until the ribs reach an internal temperature of 190F degrees, about 2 hours.
  • In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup and hot sauce. Brush onto the ribs. Sprinkle each rib with brown sugar. Continue smoking for 1 hour.


Calories: 282kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 17gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 197mgPotassium: 314mgSugar: 11gVitamin A: 30IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 1mg

This estimate was created using an online nutrition calculator

Brag About Your BBQShare it on Instagram using #GirlsCanGrill