The next time you are smoking ribs or have extra trimmings laying around, don’t you dare throw them away. Make rib tips!
They are super easy to make and take about half the time of traditional ribs, plus they are loaded with flavor in every bite.
I love all of the little crispy edges, every bite is just heavenly. These are great to snack on and are impossible to mess up.
What are rib tips?
Basically, it’s the leftover meat after you trim spare ribs into the more traditional St. Louis cut where they are squared off and in the shape of a rectangle.
They are smaller, meaty pieces with cartilage and bone still in them. They come from the lower end of the ribs as well as the sides.
If you’re lucky, you can sometimes find them in the grocery store already packaged up and ready to go.
How to trim to get rib tips
On a St. Louis cut of pork ribs, you will need to locate where the longest bone ends which is right by the breast bone. It is the big meaty lower end of the rib section.
With a sharp knife, simply run it all the way across.
Then square off each end to your desired length.
You may run into some cartilage but a sharp knife should be able to cut through them without any problems.
On the back side is a flap that can also be trimmed and smoked along with the rib tips.
After the ribs are trimmed, I make smaller cuts from the trimmings into 1-2″ portions so they can be served and eaten like an appetizer.
How to make smoked rib tips
I prepare the ribs tips like I do my ribs. I use an oil binder and coat each piece. Then I take my favorite bbq seasoning and evenly apply a coat of rub on each side.
I used a 50-50 blend of Honey Garlic and Pitmasters Pick.
I allow the rib tips to sit out with the rub on for 20 minutes before smoking them.
Place the rib tips directly on the grill grates and let them cook
I spritz the tips with water if they start to look like they are drying out.
Once they develop a nice color, at about 190°F internal temperature, I brush on a thick layer of Blues Hog bbq sauce. This is one of my favorite sauces and always makes a shiny glaze.
If you want to make your own you could try our recipe for Homemade BBQ Sauce.
Once glazed, continue to smoke them until they reach an internal temperature of 200°F, let them cool down for a few minutes, and dig right in.
Need some help cooking those ribs?
- St Louis Pork Ribs On A Gas Grill
- How to Smoke Ribs In An Electric Smoker
- Competition Style Pork Ribs
- How To Tell When Ribs Are Done
- The Ultimate Dry Rub For Ribs
- Best Wood for Smoking Ribs
Easy Smoked Rib Tips
- 3 lbs Rib tips Trimmings from 2 pork spare ribs
- 2 tbsp BBQ rub I used even parts of our Smoke Kitchen Pitmasters Pick and Honey Garlic rubs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup BBQ Sauce
- Heat your smoker to 250°F.
- Cut the rib tips into 2" portions.
- Coat them with olive oil and season with your favorite bbq rub and let them sit for 20 minutes.
- Place the tips directly on the grill grates. You are going to cook them until the internal temperature registers 190°F, start checking from the 1½ hour mark. Spritz them with water if they appear to be drying out.
- When the rib tips reach an internal temperature of 190°F, brush on bbq sauce and continue smoking until they reach an internal temperature of 200°F.
- Remove rib tips from the smoker, let them cool off for 10 minutes and enjoy.