Party Ribs – 3 Hour Rib Recipe!

Delicious party ribs covered in caramelized custom sauce by Kent Rollins

Want to serve delicious smoked ribs in just three hours, start to finish? Look no further, the cowboy’s got you taken care of! This is an easy recipe, full of tips and tricks so you can sleep in and still serve ribs for lunch.

Prepare the Ribs

Get a nice rack of baby back ribs, and start by removing the membrane.

Tip: Place the spoon under the membrane just so you can get a good grip on it with a paper towel, then pull. It’ll come right off.

Next, marinate well with some lime juice. Lime juice is a natural tenderizer. This will not affect the flavor of the meat. We have an outstanding rib rub, but it will stick better if we use a binding agent. I am using yellow mustard, but if you really LOVE some extra flavor, give our Sweet & Spicy Hatch Chile Mustard a try!

Next, generously add Rib Rub.

Set in the ice box for about an hour.

After one hour, cut the ribs into individual ribs. This will allow you to add more flavor by seasoning all around each rib, and will cut your smoker time by hours.

As Seen on Some Delicious Baby Back Ribs

Get the Fire Hot

For this recipe, I’m using the Roughneck Smoker that we custom designed with Hasty Bake. You can use any smoker, or – if you have a grill, pile all the wood over to one side and use the indirect heat side of the grill.

Kent Rollins' Roughneck Smoker by Hasty Bake Grills, Made by skilled craftsman in Oklahoma
Kent Rollins Signature Grill Series by Hasty Bake

For ribs, I like cherry and mesquite wood. These two have a great flavor blend.

Tip: Oak and Mesquite can be bitter if not paired with a fruit wood.

Preheat the smoker to 250 degrees. Smoke the ribs for 45 minutes, leaving the lid shut. At 45 minutes, flip them over and shut the lid again. Leave ’em alone, and use every bit of that wood-generated heat to cook these ribs. They’re getting a smoke bath and are just fine without you checking on ’em.

When the ribs are 165 (check after the second 45 minutes), get them out of the smoker and get ready to slather them with some delicious sauce.

Special Sauce to Pour Over Cooked Ribs

You can use your favorite barbecue sauce – we hope that’s our Red River Mud or our Tequila Lime sauce – but dressing it up a little bit to match the flavor of the ribs and the smoke will add even more flavor. Take your BBQ sauce, some apple juice, hot sauce, and brown sugar, and mix them up real well. Taste and add more hot sauce or sugar to your liking. When well mixed, pour right over the cooked ribs and let all of that goodness sink in.

Steam the Ribs

Once you’ve added the sauce, cover with foil and put them back on the smoker. The smoker should still be at 250. Let those ribs steam in the sauce for about an hour, and it’ll be time to party.

Trust me, all of our taste testers approved of this recipe!

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Kent Rollins

Party Ribs - Cowboy Kent Rollins

Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 to 8 servings


  • 2 sides baby back ribs
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Yellow mustard for rubbing
  • Kent’s Rib Rub seasoning or your favorite BBQ seasoning
  • 2 sticks butter
  • Sauce
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup Red River Mud BBQ sauce or your favorite bbq sauce
  • ¾ cup apple juice
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons Texas Pete hot sauce or your favorite sauce


  • Remove the ribs from the package and peel the membrane off. Generously coat one side with lime juice and rub in. Spread a light coating of mustard on the ribs and rub in. Generously season with the Rib Rub. Repeat on the other side. For even more tenderness, cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour (optional).
  • Remove the ribs from the refrigerator and let warm to room temperature. Preheat the smoker to 250 degrees F.
  • Slice the ribs individually and coat again with mustard and seasoning to get all sides seasoned.
  • When the coals are white hot, add some cherry or apple wood chunks. Place the ribs on the smoker and cook for 45 minutes, then flip over and cook for another 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees F. You can also do this on a grill, over indirect heat.
  • Remove the ribs and place in a large foil pan. Cut the butter into slices and evenly place on top of the ribs.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients. Evenly pour the sauce on the ribs. Cover the pan with tin foil and place back on the smoker for 1 hour.
  • Remove the foil from the pan and let them cook for another 30 minutes. Place the ribs on a platter and pour the sauce from the foil pan over the ribs. Serve.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!