Hanging Ribs

Why I hang my ribs on a Pit Boss Vertical Smoker

People were hanging ribs to cook them long before I started doing it, but I can say with great confidence that I was the first person to do it on a Pit Boss Vertical Smoker.  I started doing it long before they released their new rib hooks.  I tried it once because I started seeing the success that people were having hanging their ribs on Gateway Drum Smokers and UDS smokers. After quite a lot of practice, this is the method I used at the World BBQ Championships in Alabama to get a call in ribs.


Won’t they burn since the fire is at the bottom?

The simple answer is no, because of the convection air flow within the smoker, the ribs cook more evenly while hanging than cooking them flat on a grill.  I love that the color is very even on all sides of the rib when cooking them this way.


What if they get so tender they fall?

I like to hang the ribs for about 2 hours and then remove them from the hooks, wrap in foil and then put them on a grill to finish.  I did one time have a rack get so tender that it fell into the water pan, the clean up from that wasn’t very fun because it splashed the inside of the smoker, but if you keep your water pan clean between cooks then the ribs are still good.


What can you use to hang the ribs?

I bought some stainless steel S hooks from the hardware store and using a file I sharpened them on one end.  This has worked pretty good for me, but Pit Boss did just release a line of rib and sausage hooks that work great as well.


Squaring them off

Trimming BBQ meat is always important, but even more so when you are hanging ribs.  By trimming the ribs properly you will allow the hook to securely attach to the end bone and the lowest part will be squared off so that it’s not hanging down into the water pan.


Using BBQ gloves

Getting the ribs onto the smoker is easy because the S hooks won’t be hot (YET!).  It is important to have a good pair of tactile BBQ gloves nearby because getting the ribs off of the smoker can prove to be a bit of a challenge if all you have is oven mitts or tongs.


This isn’t a recipe for how to hang my ribs!

That’s correct, all our recipes are here.

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