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Urban Smoke Makes Killer Ribs

Low-and-slow buffs will find lots to love at Boise's new barbecue trailer, Urban Smoke. Parked in a lot at Franklin and Five Mile roads, Urban Smoke is run by husband and wife team Amy Bell and Joe Bailey.

"I've been backyard barbecuing for a long time and we just decided to start this. ... I quit my 9-5 job; I worked for the water company for four years and I was a foreman for a construction company for 12," said Bailey. "I quit all that and gave it all up and did this."

Bailey had his smoker custom built in Texas to fit on the back of his shiny black trailer.

"We do a dry rub; we make our own barbecue sauce," said Bailey. "We make everything on the truck—the mac salad, our coleslaw, our beans are amazing."

In addition to slinging super tender pork ribs by the half- and full-rack, Urban Smoke also offers pulled pork sandwiches and smoked pork brats. You need to get there early for the brisket, which sold out by 11 a.m. on a recent Friday.

"The brisket, we put a dry rub on it and then it goes on the smoker," said Bell. "Depending on how large the brisket is, it can take anywhere from 10-12 hours."

Sides include the aforementioned mac salad—featuring large rigatoni noodles lacquered in mayo, slivers of hard-boiled egg and minced onions—along with sweet beans strewn with hunks of pork and coleslaw studded with carrots and shredded red and green cabbage.

"We also offer what we call our Urban wings, which are drumsticks," said Bell. "They're smoked in the smoker and then we put them in either our Urban sauce or hot sauce."

Urban Smoke's tomato-based barbecue sauces, while not technically necessary, are a great compliment to the meat—the Urban sauce is tart with a mild kick, while the hot has a lingering burn.

"We did a lot of testing with our barbecue sauces and some of our dry rubs," said Bell. "We probably went through 60 different recipes with friends and family just trying out what was the most popular."

Urban Smoke is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can also find the trailer at breweries and special events. For more info, call 208-372-6464 or visit

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