Corn Cob Smoked Ribs

Corn Cob Smoked Ribs

A good friend of mine in South Dakota sent me a message recently. He told me that they regularly use leftover corn cobs as fuel and flavor to smoke ribs. Naturally, I had to try it out. When it comes to smoking ribs, you don’t have to ask me twice!


How to Prep the Ribs for the Smoker

Always start by looking for ribs with enough meat to where there are no bones showing. The meatier, the better!

When you get home, unwrap the ribs and press a spoon under the edge of the membrane on the back and pull the membrane completely off. This will allow the seasoning to really get into the meat.

Always remove the membrane on the back of the ribs. You can loosen the edge up with a spoon and pull it free.

Once the ribs are seasoned, place them in the ice box for about 24 hours. This will have a sort of dry-brine effect.

Place the ribs up on a wire rack if you’re using a cooking sheet to allow for airflow all around the rack of ribs.

How to Prep the Corn Cob to Smoke Ribs

The corn cobs need to dry out before you can use them as fuel. Dry corn cobs have always been a good fire starter, and for people with an abundance of corn, they’re fuel for food and heat.

Corn Cobs are both a heat and flavor source for these ribs. I lightly seasoned with Original Seasoning and that is it – I want the corn smoke flavor to be there when I take a bite.

Bring the smoker to around 240 and it should take a good 3-4 hours or so. You know they’re done when you can bend them a little and they split apart. Look at this beauty right here:

The flavor is more mellow, kind of like a pulled pork. It’s slightly different from ribs smoked with other woods. I would definitely use corn cobs again – the heat was easy to maintain as far as heat goes and there is a definite different flavor in the meat. Give it a try and let us know what you think.

All five taste tasters approve of this recipe

Side Dishes to Serve With Corn Smoked Ribs

More Rib Recipes

Products Used in this Video

Corn Cob Smoked Ribs – Cowboy Kent Rollins

Prep Time 12 hours
Total Time 16 hours
Servings 4


  • 1 side baby back ribs
  • Kent’s Original seasoning or all-purpose seasoning of your choice
  • Corn cobs for smoking


  • Remove the ribs from the package. Peel the membrane off of the back of the ribs and discard.
  • Season the ribs with the Original seasoning, or substitute. I don’t season these too heavily, because I don’t want the seasoning to overpower the corn smoke.
  • Pace the ribs on a wire rack on top of a baking pan. Place in the ribs in the refrigerator, uncovered, for at least 12 hours.
  • Fill the smoker basket half full of hardwood lump charcoal and preheat to 230 degrees F. Add 10 to 12 dried corn cobs to the charcoal. Place the ribs on the smoker/grill and smoke for about 4 hours, or until the ribs are tender. Add 10 to 12 more cobs halfway through cooking.
  • Remove the ribs from the smoker and let cool slightly before cutting and serving.
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