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Espresso Rub Pork Back Ribs

Espresso BBQ Pork Ribs

Course Main Dish
Cuisine American, BBQ, Deep South, Keto, Low Carb, Southwest, Texas
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12 quarter racks
Calories 655 kcal


  • 3 racks pork back ribs This
  • 1 recipe Espresso Keto BBQ Rub


  • smoker I used an electric smoker.
  • smoking wood I am partial to mesquite in this recipe due to how well it stands up to the heavy coffee flavor.


  1. Pre-heat your smoker according to your normal procedure.
  2. Apply the rub very liberally to the ribs on both sides. This can be done the night before if you like.
  3. Smoke the ribs according to your smoker's procedure for about 4 hours or until they are 185 degrees F between the thickest ribs.
  4. Rest the ribs for a half hour after removal from the smoke. Do not tent them! One of the most amazing aspects is the crust. If you cover them at all, it will steam and get gummy.

Recipe Notes

The normal guidance for "when are ribs done" basically consists of tugging at ribs a bit and seeing if they want to release. I've really never liked this and think it yields a slightly overcooked rib. I don't want to overtoast the Espresso BBQ Rub coating, as well.

My Platonic ideal pork back rib is where it is starting to release but the whole rib will not release cleanly from the meat. Back rib meat is more prone to overcooking than a spare rib, where the rib tug method makes more sense.

I also do not advocate wrapping ribs in foil for this recipe. The rub creates a wonderful toasty crust when applied liberally and cooked at exactly 225 degrees. The cook is gentle enough to not make wrapping unnecessary and it would soften the bark on the ribs.