Hot and Fast Baby Back Ribs on a Pellet Grill {Three Hours!}

I got a late start yesterday and realized that I didn’t have time to cook the baby back ribs I had bought the other day.  I usually smoke ribs “low and slow for 5-6 hours and I simply didn’t have that kind of time.

But I really wanted some ribs.

I had heard of people having success smoking ribs “Hot and Fast” and decided that it was something I was going to have to give a try.  It turns out that not only are Hot and Fast Baby Back Ribs on a pellet grill easy, they are also delicious!

Keep reading and I will show you my setup along with cook times.

Smoke Ring on Hot and Fast Baby Back Ribs

Set Up Your Pellet Grill for Hot and Fast Smoking

I wanted to help the ribs stay moist while also giving them the opportunity to soak up plenty of smoke flavor.

I placed an aluminum pan filled with hot water on the primary cooking grate along with a small smoke tube filled with smoldering hickory wood pellets.

I was using a Z Grills pellet grill burning charcoal pellets and set the temperature to 325F.

Give the grill about 30 minutes to come up to temperature and preheat.  While you are waiting you can get the ribs prepped!

Hot and Fast Baby Back Ribs Set Up

Prepare the Baby Back Ribs for the Smoker

The rib prep is pretty standard except I changed up the dry rub.

Take the ribs out of the packaging, remove the membrane on the back of the ribs and pat dry with paper towels.  Once the ribs have been cleaned up give them a liberal coating of dry rub.

I like to use our Award Winning Rib Rub when cooking ribs Low and Slow but I was concerned that the high amount of sugar in the rub might scorch at the high cooking temperature I was using.

Instead the ribs were seasoned with a modified version of our All Purpose Rub which was lower in sugar and has a more savory flavor profile.

Modified All Purpose Rub

  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 2 tbsp granulated onion
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp oregeno
  • 1 tsp cayenne

Get the rub onto the ribs and let them rest for at least 30 minutes so the rub has time to work its way into the meat.

Smoke the Baby Back Ribs at 325F

Place the ribs on the upper cooking grate so that they are above the water pan.

Close the lid and let the ribs smoke for one hour.

After an hour of smoking give the ribs a spritz of water with a spray bottle.  Continue to spritz the ribs every 15 minutes.

Continue to smoke the ribs for a total time of 2.5 hours.

My ribs came out a little darker than usual and I suspect it was from the small amount of sugar in the rub.  That’s alright though…the final color comes from the barbecue sauce!

Baby Back Ribs Smoked at 325F

Sauce the Ribs and Test for Doneness

After the ribs have smoked for two and a half hours baste them with barbecue sauce.

You can use a sweet sauce like Sweet Baby Ray’s or Blues Hogs if desired.  You could also use our Award Winning Rib Baste if you wanted a more interesting flavor profile.

Start checking the ribs for doneness at this point.  You are looking for the meat to be slide through tender when you push in your instant read digital thermometer.  The internal temperature of the meat will be around 200F at this point but the tenderness is the main thing you are checking.

Once the ribs are done remove them from the grill and allow them to cool for 15-20 minutes so you don’t burn your fingers when you slice them.

Hot and Fast Ribs with BBQ Sauce

Slice and Serve the Baby Back Ribs

I get the best results slicing the ribs when I flip the ribs over so the meat side is down as you can clearly see where the bones are and you can get nice cuts.

These ribs had an amazing smoke ring, were incredibly tender and still stayed juicy despite being cooked so quickly at high temperature.

The flavor was not identical to traditional low and slow baby backs but given how easy these were to prepare I was perfectly satisfied with how they turned out,

I would make these again in a heartbeat!

Quick Baby Back Ribs

Quick Baby Back Ribs

Hot and Fast Baby Back Ribs on a Pellet Grill

baby back ribs are seasoned with a modified dry rub then hot smoked for 2.5 hours.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 385 kcal


  • 1 rack Baby Back Ribs About three pounds
  • BBQ Sauce of Choice
  • All Purpose Rub
  • 1/2 cup Paprika
  • 1/4 cup Salt
  • 2 tbsp White Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Granulated Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Granulated Onion
  • 1 tbsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper


  • Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Season the ribs liberally with the All Purpose Rub and allow the ribs to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature before going on the grill.
  • Turn on your pellet grill and set the temperature to 325F. Add a water pan and a smoldering smoke tube to the primary cooking grate.
  • Place the ribs on the elevated secondary cooking grate above the water pan.
  • Smoke the ribs for one hour.
  • After one hour spritz the ribs with water and repeat every 15 minutes.
  • After the ribs have smoked for a total of 2.5 hours apply the barbecue sauce and start testing for doneness.
  • The ribs are ready when they reach an internal temperature of 200F and a probe easily slides through the meat.
Keyword Hot and Fast Baby Back Ribs