Cold Smoking Pork Ribs


When applied to ribs, smoking utilizes low heat smoke to fully cook the meat during a lengthy cooking process. With cold smoking, however, heat does not enter the process. Instead, imparting the smoky flavor to ribs that get cooked later with a different process becomes the desired end result. While you have a variety of options to keep the ribs from cooking during the smoking process, if atmospheric temperatures are too great, a danger of spoilage arises. Cold smoke ribs during cold weather for best results.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood smoker with offset firebox
  • Obtain a wood smoker with an offset fire box. Fire boxes within the smoking chamber send smoke and heat directly to the meat, thus making cold smoking very difficult. Smokers with offset fire boxes allow users to build a fire in one container, then direct the smoke into the smoke chamber housing the meat.

  • Start your fire. Place a few pieces of charcoal in the fire box and ignite them. Add to the charcoal just often enough to maintain a steady amount of coals to burn the wood you add.

  • Create smoke by adding wood chips over the coals. Just as you will add charcoal to keep the coals burning, you will add wood to the pile to keep a constant stream of smoke moving into the smoking chamber.

  • Monitor chamber temperature and maintain between 80 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Smoking in cold weather will help with this process, but it will remain necessary to adjust the fuel in the fire box to stay within the proper temperature range.

  • Cover the ribs with salt and and seasoning rubs and place them in the smoke chamber. Smoke for a minimum of 4 hours and up to 4 days.

  • Remove the ribs from the smoke and cook or refrigerate. While the salt will help protect the meat from bacteria, a danger always remains, so cook thoroughly before eating.

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