Smoking Ribs And Brisket Together [A Complete Guide]

Smoking is daunting in itself, especially briskets. Smoking ribs and brisket together is a step above that. For someone with moderate smoking experience, smoking ribs and brisket together isn’t going to be that tough.

Keep reading our guide to getting all you need to know about smoking ribs and brisket together.

Can You Smoke Ribs And Brisket Together?

Yes, you can smoke ribs and brisket together. All you need to do is time it well. Basically, the only major point of difference in smoking brisket and ribs is the cooking time. The temperature required to smoke both brisket and ribs is the same which is around 225°F. So, you won’t have issues in maintaining the temperature of your smoker. 

As you start gaining experience as a smoker, smoking a variety of items together will come naturally to you. It is a handy skill to have without which  BBQ parties would be a nightmare to arrange. The combination of smoking brisket and ribs together is easier as they are the same type of meat. So, even if you aren’t the most experienced of smokers, there’s no reason to be daunted by this task. 

Note: You can also read Why Brisket taking too long to be cooked.

How To Smoke Ribs And Brisket Together?

It’s not much you’ll need to do differently than when you cook them separately. You can follow your favorite brisket ribs recipe to season the brisket and ribs to smoke them together.

You’ll just need to add the ribs to the smoker 6-8 hours after putting the brisket in the smoker. Place the brisket on the bottom rack and the ribs on the top one if you have layered racks.

It can happen that your ribs are done before the brisket and that is fine. Take out the ribs first in that case and wait for the brisket to be done next. The opposite can also happen based on how you timed your cooking.

Keep the tips given in the next section in mind to get the best results while smoking ribs and brisket together.

7 Things To Keep In Mind While Smoking Ribs And Brisket Together

Here are some general pointers for you to look out for in case you want to smoke ribs and brisket together.

1. Preheat Your Smoker

In my opinion, a good smoky brisket can’t be cooked without preheating to 225°F. Always preheat. It takes time for a cold smoker to transmit the necessary heat. When using a preheated smoker, the cooking process begins immediately.

Second, converting the water in the pan into a stream necessitates a high temperature. Assume you haven’t warmed up your electric smoker. It would take the wood chips 5-6 minutes to smoke while the food would gain instant heat. Water, on the other hand, will not turn into a stream until the temperature of the stream reaches a certain point, which will disrupt the food smoking combo. So, Preheat.

2. Smoker Temperature

The smoker should be at 225°F throughout the duration of the cook. This temperature suits both ribs and brisket. This is an advantage of pairing ribs and brisket together. 

3. Cooking Time Difference

The cooking time needed by your brisket will depend on how many pounds it weighs. It could take anywhere between 10-16 hours in general. Ribs on the other hand take 4-6 hours. Recently, I smoked a 16 lb. brisket and 2 racks of ribs together. The brisket took about 13 hours, while the ribs took almost 5 hours.  

You can’t just rely on time alone to tell you whether your briskets and ribs are done. You’ll need to check the internal temperature of the meat as well. 

4. Internal Temperature

The first thing you need to know is that there is no exact temperature where all briskets and ribs are going to be done every single time across the board. There’s a temperature zone that you have to hit in order to start rendering the connective tissue and making sure that you get a nice tender delicious brisket.

The temperature zone is 195°F-203°F for briskets and 175°F-180°F for ribs. You want to ensure that at a bare minimum, you leave the meat inside of that temperature point for at least 30 minutes to allow that connective tissue to start rendering.

5. Go By Feel

Apart from internal temperature, you also have to do the second test which is going by feel. Get Nitrile gloves and put some cotton gloves underneath the Nitrile gloves. 

To test briskets, put your fingers underneath the brisket and lift it up. If it feels really floppy and wobbly like a big piece of jello, then it’s probably indicating that it’s done.

For ribs, the meat retracts and exposes the edge of the rib bones by approximately 1/2 inch or more when done, and each rib portion may be easily torn apart. Twist a rib bone in your hand. The ribs are done when it releases or comes near to releasing from the meat.

6. Meat Probe Test

You can try another test to see if your ribs and brisket are done. For the brisket, insert the probe into the point muscle and into the flat muscle because they might be finishing at different temperatures. 

You can check the ribs by inserting the probe between the bones. If it goes in without much resistance like room-temperature butter, then it’s done.

7. Resting 

After taking the brisket and ribs off of the smoker, you’re going to have to rest them for at least two hours. Put them on the counter, cover them up with a towel and let them rest for two hours. 

Otherwise, there won’t be the chance to settle all those moisture molecules down and when you cut into them all the moisture is just going to gush out.

Also, resting helps to finish the rendering process and continue cooking as the meat comes down slowly in temperature. This will render out all of that fat and connective tissue. So make sure you rest the meat and then you’re going to have an awesome brisket and amazing ribs.

What Are The Best Smokers For Ribs And Brisket?

These are our top picks:

  • Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker
  • Cuisinart Vertical 18-Inch Charcoal Smoker
  • Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker
  • Dyna-Glo Signature Series Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Smoker

FAQs:

What to put on ribs before smoking?

Put a rib rub on the ribs. I like using ¼ cup of brown sugar, a ¼ tsp. of cayenne pepper, 2 tsp. salt (kosher), 2 tsp. of freshly ground black pepper, 2 tsp. paprika (smoked), 1 tsp. powdered onion, 1 tsp. powdered garlic, ½ tsp. celery salt, 1 tsp. mustard powder and ½ tsp. of cinnamon.

Do you put BBQ sauce on ribs before smoking?

No. The BBQ sauce goes on the ribs about 15 minutes before the ribs are taken off the smoker. Use a brush to lather the BBQ sauce on both sides of the ribs. It will help to form a crisp and flavorful layer in your cooked foods when smoking is over. 

Can you smoke pork and brisket together?

Yes, you can. Select cuts that are around the same size if you want to smoke beef brisket and pork at the same time. You’ll need to time the cook to ensure both pork and brisket are done cooking at almost the same time.

How long should rub be on ribs before smoking?

Refrigerate the rib racks overnight to allow the flavors of the dry rub to infiltrate the flesh. If you don’t have time to rub the ribs the night before, do it at least 1-2 hours before smoking.

Conclusion

The fun thing about smoking and cooking, in general, is that you get to play around with the ingredients and the technique of cooking. Smoking ribs and brisket together is no exception.

Get to know your smoker, your taste buds, and the meat you’re cooking by experimenting and exploring. That’s the beauty of smoking.

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