This Smoked Rib Sandwich is the perfect homemade McRib recipe – full of flavor and with only a few ingredients, it couldn’t be easier to make. Serve this for lunch, dinner or game day!
What is a Smoked Rib Sandwich (McRib)?
If you haven’t heard of a Smoked Rib Sandwich before or seen the McRib, it’s basically just a sandwich consisting of ribs on bread with bbq sauce, pickles and onions.
It’s a popular fast food item so today we’re making a homemade version of the mcrib sandwich so you can have an even better one at home!
Why make a Smoked Rib Sandwich (mcrib)?
- Simple is best – The mcrib is a really simple sandwich but it allows the flavors to shine – bbq sauce on tender smoked ribs topped with crunchy onion and pickles is the perfect combo.
- Easy dinner idea – With only a few ingredients and mostly hands off prep time, this is an easy meal to make.
- Great for game day – These sandwiches would be great to serve for game day during football Sunday’s or while watching hockey. It would make awesome tailgate food too!
My version of the McRib is made with just a few simple (but very flavorful) ingredients. That’s part of the beauty of this sandwich.
- Smoked Ribs – the most important part of this sandwich is the ribs of course! some people make a patty but instead, I just made a rack of ribs and used that as the meat of the sandwich.
- Pickles – this seems like such a simple ingredient but this adds so much depth to the dish, a welcome contrast to the fattiness of the ribs
- Onion – thinly sliced these onions bring a lot of flavor to balance out the dish
Complete list of ingredients and amounts is located in the recipe card below.
Step by Step Instructions
Before you start: Get the smoker started and ready for indirect cooking. You want it at 250-275 degrees. Once it comes up to temperature, add your preferred wood (I like apple or cherry with ribs).
If you’re using a Big Green Egg, add the plate setter and optionally, an aluminum pan. I like adding an aluminum pan underneath the grate on top of the plate setter to catch the meat drippings.
*In my photo, I don’t have an aluminum pan underneath the ribs. It’s okay if you do it this way but just know that it will be messier.
Step 1. Prepare the ribs. Remove the silver skin on the back of the ribs then rub them with your favorite spices. I like a combination of garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
Step 2. Put the ribs on the smoker. I put the ribs directly on the grate. You’re going to let them cook for about 3 hoursuncovered.
Step 3. Wrap the ribs. After the ribs have cooked uncovered for about three hours and are getting a nice bark, lay out a sheet of foil big enough to wrap the ribs in with a few pats of butter on it and a line of honey.
Take the ribs off the smoker and lay them face down down on top of the butter and honey. Wrap the foil around the ribs and put them back on the smoker for another 2 hours.
Step 4. Sauce the ribs. After the ribs have been on for another 2 hours, you should start to see the bones becoming exposed. Remove the ribs from the foil and brush with BBQ sauce. Put back on the smoker uncovered for 1 hour until the sauce has gotten thick and sticky.
Step 5. Prepare the sandwich toppings. Get ready to prepare your sandwich. Thinly slice some white onion, grab some pickles and toast your bread.
Step 6. Assemble the sandwich. Once the ribs have come off the smoker, slide the bones out of them (double check because some of the bones are smaller). Put the ribs on the toasted bread with white onion, pickles and more BBQ sauce if desired. Enjoy.
FAQs and Tips
What is silver skin on ribs?
It’s a silver / whitish skin covering the bone side of the rack of ribs.
Why remove the silver skin on ribs?
If you leave it on, your seasonings and smoke won’t be able to penetrate the ribs as well and it can also cause a more unpleasant texture.
How to remove silver skin from ribs?
Slide a knife underneath the silver skin anywhere along the rack of ribs. If it’s too difficult in one spot, try another area. Lift it up and begin to loosen the skin with your knife. Once it’s loose, you can grab it and pull it off the ribs (this is easiest to do by grabbing it with a paper towel).
You should be able to get it all off in one big piece but if it rips, just start the process over again in a new section.
Why put mustard on ribs?
It helps your rub adhere better to the meat and the vinegar in mustard helps tenderize the meat.
How can I make this Smoked Rib Sandwich (McRib) Keto or Low Carb?
This is really easy to make keto or low carb. Just use a sugar free BBQ sauce and make your own keto bread (or buy one).
Here’s a quick and easy keto bun recipe. I used this recipe to make keto buns and instead of making them circular, I just made them more rectangular and long. You can do either/or, whatever you prefer!
This Smoked Rib Sandwich (homemade McRib) is full of flavor and with only a few ingredients it couldn’t be easier to make. Great for lunch, dinner or game day!
For the Ribs:
- 1.5 lb St Louis pork ribs
- enough mustard to lightly coat
- favorite BBQ rub to coat
- 1 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp butter
For the Sandwiches:
- 2 Italian sub rolls (or keto buns, see below for notes)
- 1/2 cup pickles
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced white onion
To make the ribs:
- Heat up your smoker to 250-275 degrees. Once it comes up to temperature, add your favorite wood (I like apple for ribs) and set up the smoker for indirect cooking.
- Remove the silver skin from the rack of ribs (if you don’t know how to do this, read more about how in the tips section). Cover the ribs in a thin layer of mustard and then coat liberally in your favorite BBQ rub.
- Add the ribs to the smoker and cook, uncovered, for about 3 hours until they begin to get some nice color and bark.
- Lay down sheets of foil big enough to cover the rack and put down pats of butter on the foil the length of the ribs. Put some honey on the butter on the foil too (enough to cover the rack of ribs). Lay the ribs meat side down on the foil then wrap up. Put back on the smoker for two hours.
- After two hours, your rib bones should have started pulling away and a temperature probe should slide into the ribs easily. At this stage, you want to brush your favorite BBQ sauce on the ribs and put them back on the smoker, unwrapped for 30 minutes to 1 hour until the sauce has gotten thick and tacky.
- Remove the rib meat from the bones and set aside.
To assemble the sandwich:
- Toast the bread or buns. Spread BBQ sauce on both sides if desired.
- Top with rib meat, thinly sliced white onion and pickles. Serve & enjoy.
Depending on how much meat you use, this should make 2 sandwiches with leftover rib meat or you could probably try to stretch it to 3 with leftover meat.
- Category: BBQ
- Method: Smoking
- Serving Size: 1 sandwich
- Calories: 392
- Sugar: 15g
- Fat: 21.9g
- Carbohydrates: 31.8g
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 19.2g
Keywords: homemade mcrib, game day, smoked ribs, smoker recipes
Nutrition Disclaimer: The calculated nutrition is provided using an online nutrition calculator. It does not take into account seasonings added to taste, optional ingredients or specific brands. You can calculate the recipe with your ingredients using an online nutrition calculator for the most accurate information.