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Last Updated July 15, 2021

If you’re running short on time but still want awesome barbecue, try smoking hot and fast ribs. You’ll cut your time in half.

When you think of barbecue, you probably think about dishes that require you to watch over the pit all day long. With pork ribs for instance, most people follow the 3-2-1 method, which takes a good 6 hours. 

There is an alternative. It’s called the hot and fast method. Instead of smoking slow and low, you’ll crank the heat to 300F degrees and smoke them for about an hour and 15 minutes, spritzing occasionally. 

sliced sauced St. Louis Style ribs in a vertical row on black slate

Cook to color

Start by seasoning your ribs. I like to use mustard as a binder followed by my award-winning Pork Rub

As with most barbecue, I start by cooking to color. What that means is that I’m looking for that moment with the barbecue rub begins to caramelize with the meat proteins and fat to form a mahogany outer shell. 

For 3-2-1 ribs, that will take around 3 hours. For hot and fast ribs, it’ll take just over an hour. 

Once the mahogany bark forms, wrap the ribs in foil with butter, brown sugar and juice or soda. Then, cook them for another 45 minutes. 

They’ll braise in the foil and start to get nice and tender. 

For the final step, remove the hot and fast ribs from the foil and place them back on the smoker. At this point, the meat inside is nice and juicy, but we need to build the bark back, because some of it likely steamed off.

Brush the ribs with barbecue sauce and let them ride for another 10-15 minutes minutes.

How to know when the hot and fast ribs are done

Rib doneness is in the eye of the beholder. Some prefer fall-off-the-bone, while others like a little tug with their bite. 

If you like a little tug, using a pair of tongs, grab the ribs in the center and pick them up. If they’re bendy, but don’t break, they’re ready. The internal temp will be around 200F. 

If you like them to fall off the bone, cook them a little longer so that when you pick them up, they almost break in half. The internal temp will be about 205F. 

sliced sauced St. Louis Style ribs in a vertical row on black slate

Hot and Fast Ribs

If you're running short on time but still want awesome barbecue, try smoking hot and fast ribs. You'll cut your time in half.
4.63 from 83 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6


  • 2 slabs St. Louis Style Ribs
  • yellow mustard
  • Christie Vanover's Pork Rub
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • brown sugar
  • honey
  • 1/4 cup apple or grape juice
  • your favorite sauce


  • Flip the ribs, so that the bones are facing up. Using a paper towel, pull off the membrane and discard.
  • Trim off the flap of meat on the backside. Trim and remove any excess fat.
  • Rub the backside with mustard and pork rub. Let rest in the fridge for 15 minutes. Flip and rub the topside with mustard and pork rub. Let rest in the fridge while you heat your grill to 300F degrees.
  • Place the ribs on the grill meat side up. Smoke with the lid closed for 1 hour and 15 minutes. At the 30-minute and one-hour marks, spritz with apple cider vinegar.
  • Place two sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil on the counter. Top with 4-5 pats of butter, 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar, a liberal drizzle of honey and 2 tablespoons juice. Place the ribs on the butter, meat side down. To the bone side of the ribs, add 4-5 more pats butter, 1-2 more tablespoons brown sugar and another drizzle of honey. Wrap tightly, crimping up the ends.
  • Place back on the smoker for 45 minutes to one hour. The ribs should bend when you pick them up.
  • Remove from the smoker, and unwrap from the foil. Flip the ribs over. Brush with sauce. Return to the smoker for 10-15 more minutes to set the sauce.
  • Remove from the smoker. Let rest a few minutes and slice.


Nutritional content will vary, depending on how much mustard, sugar, honey and BBQ sauce you use.


Calories: 639kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 58gFat: 43gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 242mgSodium: 256mgPotassium: 964mgVitamin A: 260IUCalcium: 68mgIron: 2.6mg
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  1. Bryce July 26, 2019 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    This is an absolute masterpiece of a recipe! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  2. Arthur Hicks July 2, 2020 at 8:41 am - Reply

    Great video and recipe. Trying it out for the 4th of July.

  3. Doris Richard August 27, 2020 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    Love this

  4. Hannah J Parrish January 12, 2021 at 2:16 am - Reply

    Whenever I want to thaw meat, I always use cold tap water. Cover it, change the water every 30 minutes until thawed. I thawed some bacon yesterday, and it only took about 20 minutes in the water. I would imagine that ribs would only be 30-45 minutes… if they’re not completely thawed by then, they’d be pretty darn close and you could toss them on the egg.

  5. Mark Ellioitt March 28, 2021 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Wow! I followed your directions and these were awesome. Only way I will make ribs from now on. The only thing I didn’t do was put on sauce, I let my eaters put on whatever sauce they wanted. I ate mine without any sauce….just great and thanks. I am going to try this on loin chops and beef T-bones adjusting times as needed but I bet this will be a great all-around recipe.

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