Fall off the bone, smokey, tender ribs are one of the best things ever. These Keto Smoked Ribs were so good we didn't even need barbecue sauce. I just asked my ten-year-old to describe the ribs we had the other night. His description word for this Smoked Ribs Rub BBQ Recipe was "delicious".
My husband has wanted a smoker ever since he first tasted our brother-in-law Dan's homemade smoked pulled pork. It is amazing. We love good barbecue which isn't that easy to get in NJ. A few weeks ago he ordered a smoker. I am so glad he did.
We got this Smoke Hollow Propane Smoker and it served us well for many years. All we did was buy the cheapest 30" smoker Amazon had and we weren't disappointed. There are a few more great options for sale if this one is not available.
Since then, we have upgraded to a Traeger pellet grill and have started a second website primarily featuring grilling and smoker recipes! Check out A Grill for All Seasons for more great recipes after you try the best keto smoked ribs ever.
Keto Rib Rub Ingredients
This sugar free bbq rub is so versatile it is great on any type of meat. We love it on pork and chicken thighs. It is also excellent on Keto Chicken Wings!
Salt - Salt is great for using in a rub as it helps to tenderize meat as well.
Paprika - If you are not smoking the ribs I recommend using smoked paprika.
Garlic powder - Garlic powder is great for pork, chicken, and beef.
Onion powder - Adding onion powder pairs really well with garlic powder and the other simple ingredients.
Chili powder - This adds a little heat but it's not over the top.
Cayenne pepper - Another way to add heat and flavor.
Black pepper - Simple black pepper really enhances the natural flavors.
Sweetener - This is my favorite homemade sweetener to use and gives the ribs that sweet and spicy mix.
How To Make Keto Smoked Ribs
We used cherry wood. It has a mild smokiness and gives a sweet flavor to the meat. You can use whatever flavor of wood chips that you'd like so try it out and see what you think once you taste meat cooked with a few types of wood.
Step One: Combine the sugar free bbq rub ingredients in a small bowl or mini blender.
Step Two: Rub the smoked ribs rub on the rack of ribs.
Step Three: Preheat the smoker to 225. Use a handful of cherry chunks that have been soaked in water for 30 min. Put ribs on the rack for 3 hours at 225. Remove the ribs and wrap them in foil adding 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. Put ribs back in the smoker for 2 hours at 225. Remove ribs and unwrap them from the foil. Put them back in for 1 hour on 225. Be careful and gentle as moving the ribs at this point, they are completely falling apart.
Change up the spices - You can easily use any spice rub or flavors that you want to include in the keto rib rub. You can include herbs such as rosemary or thyme, or sweeter spices like nutmeg and ginger. I've even seen black coffee grinds used in sugar free bbq rub before.
BBQ sauce - Skip the dry rub altogether and slather up those pork ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce after they've been smoked! I like making a few types of sugar-free bbq sauce and letting my family choose their favorite to go on their keto smoked ribs.
Yellow mustard - A great way to ensure the rub sticks to the ribs is to brush them with mustard first.
Oven - Prefer to cook ribs in the oven? Try these Dry Rub Baby Back Ribs.
Can I eat BBQ spare ribs on keto?
Of course! These ribs are loaded with protein and are perfect for anyone on the keto or a low carb diet. Just be sure to pay attention that you're using sugar free barbecue sauces and not having added sugars so that you don't add in that extra worry.
Do dry rub ribs have carbs?
They can! You have to read the ingredients carefully if you're not making your own dry rub at home. Look for added sugars as one of the main reasons that carbs are higher. Many rubs have zero net carbs because they are just salt and herbs.
What is the best way to reheat ribs?
You have to be careful when you're reheating keto smoked ribs so that you don't overcook them in the process. The easiest way to reheat ribs is to wrap them in aluminum foil and warm them low and slowly in the oven or on the grill. Super low heat and slow warming process will have them perfectly warmed and still tender!
What to Serve with Ribs
Some of our favorite side dishes to go with keto smoked ribs are keto broccoli casserole, keto coleslaw, keto broccoli salad, and keto caesar salad. Any of those plus these amazing smoked ribs and I know dinner will be a success!
- 5 lb rack of pork ribs
- 2 tablespoon Joy Filled Eats Sweetener (or see alternatives in recipe notes)
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Combine rub ingredients. Rub the rub on the ribs.
- Preheat the smoker to 225. Use a handful of cherry chunks that have been soaked in water for 30 min. Put ribs on rack for 3 hours at 225.
- Removed the ribs and wrap them in foil adding 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. Put ribs back in the smoker for 2 hours at 225.
- Remove ribs and unwrap them from the foil. Put them back in for 1 hour on 225. Be careful and gentle as moving the ribs at this point, they are completely falling apart.
Originally Published September 9, 2016. Revised and Republished May 18, 2022.