How long to let the ribs rest after smoking? A complete guide

Last Updated on: 29th May 2023, 08:46 am

Smoking ribs effectively is really worth the effort .

Ribs can be as good as premium cuts of meat if smoked properly.

But there is more to smoking ribs than just smoking them in a smoker.

You need to be careful about how long you let your ribs rest before serving.

Honestly, it is one of the most confusing topics about smoking ribs due to insufficient information available online.

But after testing different ribs with different resting times, I now have a predefined range for resting ribs and today I am going to share that with you.

As per general rule, the resting time of the ribs depends on the type of ribs you are smoking.

If you are smoking pork ribs, then 10-15 minutes will do the trick.

In the case of beef ribs, you should allow at least 30 minutes before serving.

As is obvious by the above mentioned time , the time required for resting depends on the size of the ribs you are smoking.

The larger the ribs, the more time they will need to rest.

For example, beef ribs require more time to rest due to being thicker than pork ribs.

How long to let the ribs rest after smoking?

As was previously noted, the length of time ribs should rest depends on their size.

Smaller ribs can be smoked for 10 to 15 minutes, while bigger ribs need at least 20 to 45 minutes to rest.

The length of time spent resting is mostly determined by the size of the ribs.

The size of the ribs depends on the size of the cow or other animal when it is killed.

As a result, smaller ribs suggest softer ribs that need less rest.

When the internal temperature of the ribs rises above boiling during smoking, the moisture starts to evaporate.

Another term for it is the stall period.

The moisture in the ribs is thereby drawn to the surface via evaporation.

As a consequence, moisture gathers on the surface of the ribs, leaving the deeper section of the ribcage dry.

If you slice the ribs soon after smoking, the meat juices will flow out and affect the appearance of the ribs. As a result, we relax the ribs.

so that the moisture on the ribs’ surface would soak through and be reabsorbed by the meat’s fibers.

Before making a decision, examine the size of the ribs since this approach varies depending on their size.

In short, the ribs should be rested for at least some time in a butcher paper or other things before slicing to allow them to become tender and juicy.

Depending on how big they are, the ribs will need to rest for a different amount of time.

We shall examine the most typical rib sizes in relation to their resting duration later on in this text.

Pork ribs

Pork ribs are usually shorter in size than beef ribs.

Due to being shorter in size, they don’t require much time for resting.

The moisture present on the surface of ribs will sink in quickly and will be reabsorbed by the meat fibers.

Due to being shorter in size , they usually need to rest for at least 10–15 minutes before serving.

It will provide the ribs with enough time to reabsorb the meat juices from the surface.

In addition , you also need to be careful about resting for too long because it can result in a cooling down of the ribs .

Beef ribs

While in the case of beef ribs, you need to be more patient because they are larger in size than pork ribs.

Due to this, the meat juices present on the surface of ribs will take more time to sink in and be reabsorbed by the meat fibers.

You need to let beef ribs rest for around 30 minutes to get the most of the smoking.

The reason is that the beef ribs are tougher in texture than the pork ribs.

So they will require more time to absorb the meat juices.

What does “carryover cooking” mean while resting ribs?

When ribs continue to cook after being taken out of the smoker, this is referred to as carryover cooking.

During the resting stage, carryover cooking typically happens.

Depending on the size and texture of the ribs, the temperature might rise by 5 to 15 °F.

So it’s crucial to remember that even after you take the ribs out of the smoker, the cooking process will continue.thats why your ribs are kept warm for longer time

The ribs can be taken out of the oven 5–10°F before they reach the desired temperature.

For instance, it is a good idea to remove the ribs around 185°F and set them aside for resting if you want to cook ribs at 190°F.

In any other case, carryover cooking will raise the temperature and overcook the ribs.

Really, smoking requires a lot of rest. It’s important to pay attention to the ribs’ minimal and maximum resting ranges.

The meat juices will leak out of the ribs if you slice them too soon.

The ribs will continue to cook or chill if you leave them out to rest for a long time.

Therefore, it’s crucial to establish a certain range for rib resting.

Depending on size, ribs need to rest for at least 30 and up to 45 minutes.

For ribs to rest, this range is crucial.

Every rib cannot be rested for 30 or 45 minutes at a time.

Consider the ribs’ size before making a choice based on the above-mentioned ranges.

However, you shouldn’t let decision-making overwhelm you because it’s the only way to effectively master smoking.

Why should the ribs be rested?

For ribs, resting is an extremely crucial stage.

Every rib must rest before being cut, thus it is not an optional step.

Ribs might rest for a variety of reasons. Below are a few of them.

the ability to distribute meat fluids

The meat fluids may be distributed more evenly by resting the ribs.

The meat fluids penetrate and are reabsorbed by the meat fibers while the ribs are resting.

As a result, when the meat is cut, the fluids won’t leak out.

One of the most crucial components of smoked ribs is the meat fluids. Usually, the moisture in the ribs is responsible for this.

When smoking ribs, the surface of the ribs are pierced to determine the color of the meat fluids and the degree of doneness.

So now you are aware that when you poke ribs, meat fluids are present on their surface and leak out.

Do you know where these fluids originate, though?

The moisture in the ribs themselves is what is pulled to the surface during evaporation, is the correct response.

In the stall phase, it is attracted to the surface.

However, the sauce is still visible on the surface after the ribs have finished smoking.

Therefore, the meat fluids will leak out and change the texture of the ribs if they are cut into slices right away after smoking.

increases the ribs tenderness

Resting also contributes to the softening and tenderization of ribs in addition to the redistribution of meat liquids.

Usually, two factors contribute to the tenderness of ribs: carryover cooking and moisture retention while covered.

One of the most underappreciated occurrences in the realm of smoking is carryover cooking.

The temperature will continue to rise for a while after you remove the ribs from the smoker.

The flesh will become more soft and the fibers will be broken down by the rise in temperature.

Second, if the ribs are covered while they are resting, the moisture will be retained and they will be cooked by steaming for a while.

The ribs will become even more delicate and juicy as a result.

The ribs will be easy to remove once they have slept for a while.

increases flavor

Ribs’ taste can also be improved by resting them.

It’s like giving the rub and other ingredients one more chance to fully penetrate the ribs.

Along with the meat juices, the rubbed particles will penetrate the ribs more deeply.

Rubs are really important for enhancing the flavor of ribs. usually you need to apply hem before smoking. but you can also spritz ribs during smoking to increase the flavor.

Additionally, resting can enhance taste even further if you brushed sauce onto the ribs while they were being smoked.

The sauce and rub that have been applied to the ribs will combine and improve their taste.

Is there a difference between resting and holding while smoking meat?

Usually, the terms “resting” and “holding ribs” are used interchangeably.
Due to the lack of information on these subjects, you can even find professional pitmasters using these names interchangeably.
The interior temperature of the ribs determines whether they are being held or are at rest.
While holding requires maintaining the internal temperature of the ribs for a longer period of time, resting involves cooling the ribs somewhat to enable the redistribution of meat fluids.
We often rest ribs at room temperature so that the surface-adhering meat fluids may seep back into the ribs.
Additionally, we only do it for a 45 minute limit to prevent overcooling.
While holding, we are more concerned with keeping the temperature of the ribs close to 160°F to ensure that they are presented fresh.
In other words, we are more focused on storing than on relaxing.
In order to facilitate the return of the meat fluids, resting can be done at room temperature.
To maintain a steady internal temperature for the ribs, holding should be done in an oven or faux cambro.

Is it bad to let ribs rest for too long?

The answer to this question will always be yes, plain and simple.
Natural law dictates that everything in excess is dangerous, and resting ribs are no exception.
For resting ribs, a certain range must be established.
Ribs should generally not be rested for longer than 45 minutes.
The ribs will start to cool down and stiffen after 45 minutes.
Therefore, you should think about serving your ribs after a maximum of 45 minutes of resting.
As was already said, there are numerous advantages to resting, from the redistribution of meat liquids to the tenderization of the ribs.
These advantages, however, might become drawbacks if overused.
You might think about setting a limit of no more than 45 minutes for rib relaxing.
The most frequent result of excessive lying on the ribs is that they begin to chill and stiffen.
If your ribs are allowed to chill, offering them to visitors won’t be very attractive.
By employing the faux cambro technique or letting the ribs rest in the oven, you may prevent the cooling down of the meat.
But if you leave the ribs out too long to rest, you risk overcooking them.
While ribs are resting in an oven, you need to be extremely cautious about the internal temperature of the meat.
In order to ensure that the ribs maintain their natural texture, you should only rest them for a total of 45 minutes.
If you count your flat segments and resting points individually, the maximum time range is much shorter—3 hours.

Should you wrap the ribs while resting?

Wrapping or covering ribs while they’re resting is another hotly contested subject in the barbecue community.
On this subject, there are countless schools of opinion.
While the other wants to keep their ribs exposed, one prefers to cover them.
And it appears that they are both correct.
Whether or not to wrap your ribs while you’re resting is a matter of personal preference. You are free to choose.
Both strategies offer advantages, so you must choose which one you prefer based on your preferences.
Because it facilitates easier transfer of meat liquids, covering the ribs as they rest makes them more soft and juicy.
Additionally, it cooks ribs by steaming them for a while, which boosts their softness and softens them.
On the other hand, allowing ribs to sit in the open promotes better and crispier bark retention.
As was already indicated, the moisture that is trapped within the foil during wrapping might screw up the bark of the ribs.
So, whether you want to conceal ribs or not is a matter of personal preference.
Cover the ribs if you want them to be soft and delicate.
You may leave the ribs exposed while they rest if you like a crispy and flavorful bark.

do you let ribs rest

yes, resting is really helpful for making ribs tender and more flavorful. it can allow the ribs to absorb the moisture present on its surface and become more tender over time.
but you need to keep in mind that, resting is done for specified time.
if you rest ribs for too long, then it can result in ribs becoming cold. usually , 10-30 minutes is best range to let ribs rest while retaining their tenderness

how long to let pork ribs rest after smoking

Resting times for ribs can vary from ribs to ribs. it usually depends on the toughness of meat you are smoking.
pork ribs are usually rested for 10–15 minutes to make them more tender.
you can rest them for up to 30 minutes depending on their texture. but make sure to not rest them for to long.
if you want to rest them for longer time, then make sure to use faux Cambro technique

how long to let ribs rest in foil

resting ribs is not recommended because it can affect the quality of bark. but if you prefer tenderness over bark , then you can rest ribs in foil.

you can rest ribs in foil for a maximum of 155 minutes, because resting them for longer time can make them wet. while resting ribs in foil you should consider tenting them instead of wrapping them to allow the passage of airflow.


You should rest the ribs for 10–30 minutes, depending on their size.

If you are smoking pork ribs , then you are good to go with resting them for only 10-15 minutes.

In the case of beef ribs, you should rest them for 15-30 minutes for best results.

Jakob miller