There are numerous BBQ lovers out there who share a common question: is smoking ribs and chicken at the same time possible, and will it offer the same results that we get while smoking them separately?
If you are also one of them, here’s a short answer for you. Yes, you can smoke these two meat cuts together inside your different kinds of smokers. But the real question that arises here is how to smoke them at the same time.
For this, you will need to go through this detailed and valuable guide for cooking them in the same duration with the perfect balance of flavors and tenderness.
So, let’s begin!
Smoking Ribs And Chicken At The Same Time – A Quick Overview
Smoking ribs and chicken together is an achievable BBQ task that can offer you desired and delectable results if you know how to smoke them together properly.
To ensure a perfect smoking session, I suggest you initiate with the ribs and smoke them for about 2 to 3 hours before you place your marinated chicken into the smoker.
This approach ensures that both of your meat cuts finish cooking around the same time, preventing them from overcooking, undercooking, or drying out.
Recommended Reads: Overcooked Ribs
Moreover, the smoker you choose, smoke intensity, and temperature consistency are the most important factors to consider while smoking ribs and chicken together because they ensure cooking them to perfection with optimal flavors and tenderness.
Lastly, you must be aware of some valuable tips and techniques (mentioned in this article) to ensure a successful smoking session.
Perfect Placement For Ribs And Chicken Inside The Smoker
The optimal placement of ribs and chicken within your smoker is a vital consideration for safety, flavor, and natural tastes.
To achieve the best results, I recommend you place the chicken on the lower rack beneath the ribs, but this placement is more suitable when you’ve limited space.
However, it will prevent any possible cross-contamination from chicken juices.
On the other hand, if your smoker has ample cooking space, arranging a rack of ribs alongside a medium-sized chicken side by side is ideal, offering perfect results and avoiding any mingling of flavors.
So, in short, it is essential for you to understand the proper arrangement of meats to guarantee a delicious taste and optimal tenderness and flavors.
Suitable Temperature For Smoking Ribs And Chicken Together
The ideal smoking temperature for cooking both ribs and chicken together is starting at 225 °F to 250°F and then finishing up at a slightly higher temp, probably around 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
In case you don’t know, the chicken cooks faster than ribs. So, when you increase the smoking temperature, it will help balance out the cooking times of both types of meat.
Also, this temperature setting ensures slow and even cooking, allowing the meats to absorb the smoky flavor nicely while retaining their moisture.
Most importantly, I suggest using a meat thermometer to monitor the meats’ internal temperatures and not relying on any specific cooking duration.
But what internal temperature for these two meat cuts brings out perfect results? Let’s find out.
Recommended Internal Temperature For Chicken And Ribs
Another important to consider is the suitable internal temperatures for the meat you are cooking. There are different internal temperatures that you will come across.
For example, ribs should reach at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit to be safe to eat, but they might not offer desired results and require further cooking.
Therefore, you must take off the ribs from the smoker when their temperature is between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit for ideal tenderness, flavors, and succulence.
On the other hand, a chicken needs to be cooked until it reaches 165 degrees, but you can cook the darker meat in the thighs and wings to 180 degrees for a juicy outcome.
So, there are actually two temperature ranges: one is for safe to eat, and the other is for achieving the desired tenderness and flavor in your cooked meats.
How To Smoke Ribs And Chicken Together – Here’s The Step-By-Step Information
When you are going to smoke chicken and ribs at the same time, the cooking procedure is slightly different. Also, the guide I am going to share with you is based on the fact that you will be cooking a whole chicken, not its parts like thighs and wings.
Start With Marinating Both Types Of Meat
Before you begin the smoking process, marinating your ribs and chicken is crucial to ensure the infusion of flavor inside them while smoking. So, prepare a suitable marinade or rub for both types of meat.
For ribs, mix up brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper to create a flavorful dry rub and apply it generously to the ribs’ surface and ensure all parts are covered evenly.
On the other hand, for chicken, you will also require similar ingredients, such as brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
Preheat Your Smoker To 225 Degrees Fahrenheit
After you have nicely marinated the ribs and chicken, it’s time to move on to the smoking process.
So, start by preheating your charcoal, offset, or electric smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Preheating duration can vary depending on the type of smoker you own, but usually, it takes 20 to 30 minutes.
Place Ribs (Not Chicken) Inside The Smoke And Begin Smoking
After the smoker has successfully reached the set temperature, place your marinated ribs inside it but bone side down because, in this position, the heat penetrates the meat evenly from all sides.
What’s next? Close the lid and begin smoking. As you know, there are several types of ribs, and depending on their type, you will need to smoke them for 2 to 3 hours at a consistent temperature.
Keep Smoker’s Temperature Consistent And Monitor Meat’s Temperature
During the smoking process, you must keep the temperature inside the smoker consistent, which is around 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
At the same time, use a digital meat thermometer and monitor your ribs’ internal temperature to track their performance.
Wrap The Pre-Smoked Ribs And Place Them Inside Smoker With Chicken
After 2 to 3 hours, wrap your half-smoked ribs inside aluminum and place them back in the upper rack of your smoker. While wrapping, you can use apple cider vinegar to enhance the taste and flavor further.
But here comes the most important step, which is to add your marinated chicken to the lower rack beneath the wrapped ribs.
So, to cut it short, when you wrap ribs and place them into the smoker, the chicken also joins them but at a slightly different location.
Smoke Both Meat Cuts Together
Now, smoke both of these meats together at a similar temperature for around 2 hours, and don’t forget to monitor their temperature.
After the suggested smoking duration, unwrap the ribs, let the chicken stay where it is, and increase the temperature to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now, let’s move toward the final smoking stage. Monitor the meats’ temperature because, within 30 to 40 minutes, the ribs will reach 195 °F (recommended) and the chicken 165 to 170 °F.
In case the ribs reach the mark first, take them off the smoker and wait a bit until the chicken completes smoking too.
Rest And Slice
Lastly, rest ribs and chicken for 20 to 30 minutes, slice them the way you prefer, and you can then eat it or serve it to your guest or family members.
Will You Be Wrapping Chicken Too Midway Smoking?
Wrapping the chicken in foil is neither necessary nor beneficial because unlike other meat cuts, such as ribs, that benefit from wrapping during smoking, chicken is a distinct meat with different characteristics that don’t require this step.
However, if you wrap the chicken, it might not develop the crispy exterior that many people prefer. Instead, its outer layer would become soft due to the trapped moisture, affecting the overall texture and flavor.
It is not too challenging to smoke ribs and chicken at the same time. There are just a few important factors or rules you can say that you must follow whenever you are interested in this kind of smoking session.
For example, keep the smoker’s temperature consistent, wrap ribs at the right time, monitor the meats’ internal temperature, place them in an ideal position, and rest them for the required period before slicing.
Have A Wonderful Smoking Session!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are my ribs so dry?
The ribs come out of the smoker or grill dry when you cook them too fast at a higher temperature, approximately above 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
What is the 3 2 1 rule for ribs?
The 3 2 1 rule is popular among BBQ lovers for smoking ribs. It involves 3 hours of smoking, 2 hours of wrapping them inside foil with liquid, and one final hour of unwrapped cooking period.
Caspian James, the Founder and Chief Editor at FaveGrills, is passionate about sharing his knowledge and expertise on the latest Smokers and Grilling Products along with mouth-watering barbecue recipes. He constantly researches new gear with a sharp eye for detail, providing the FaveGrills community with in-depth reviews.