Everyone loves a good rack of pork ribs, and these smoked spare ribs are fantastic. This smoked spare ribs recipe creates a moist, flavorful rib, that comes off the bone easily with every bite.
In this post, I'll outline everything you need to know about spare ribs, including how to prep spare ribs, which spices to use, and how and when to sauce spare ribs. After reading if you feel like I left something out. Send me an email, I wanna know!
Smoked Spare Ribs Prep
The first thing we need to do is season our ribs. About 30 minutes before you're ready to smoke the ribs, take them out of the refrigerator. Remove the silverskin on the underside of the ribs if it's still there. That silverskin can be stubborn sometimes; use the back edge of a butter knife to get under it, and then grab the skin with a paper towel.
Once the silverskin is removed add your rub. I use my pork and poultry rub and love the flavor it imparts. Premade rubs are great here too. One I really like is Whiskeybent's "The Old Fashioned Pork and Rib Rub". Season both sides of the ribs, and then let them sit out for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes hit the ribs with another dusting of rub, and then they're ready to take on smoke!
Smoking Spare Ribs
Prepare your smoker to cook using indirect heat at 250 degrees. I use cherry or apple wood when I'm making smoked spare ribs. When your smoker is up to temp place the spare ribs meat side up on your smoker.
After 90 minutes open the lid of your smoker and spritz the ribs with a 50/50 solution of apple juice and apple cider vinegar. Repeat this process every 45 minutes until the ribs have been on the smoker for a total of 4 hours.
A rich mahogany colored bark should be forming on the surface of the ribs. At the 4 hour mark I switch from the spritz, to mopping the ribs with a sauce. If you're not going to sauce the ribs, keep spritzing them!
Spare Rib Sauce
The mop sauce is easy to make, and similar to what I use for my Chicken Lollipops. In a small bowl combine the following ingredients:
- ½ cup Ketchup
- ½ cup Brown Sugar
- ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- ½ cup barbecue sauce
- 2 Tbsp of the rub you used to season the ribs
This sauce will be thin, and that's by design. Every 45 minutes mop the ribs with the sauce. The ribs are ready when they pass the bend test.
The bend test. Pick up the slab with a pair of tongs and bounce them slightly. If they are ready, the slab will bow until the meat starts to crack on the surface. A small crack means you need a little more time. It should be close to breaking when you lift the slab. You'll get the feel for this with practice.
Smoked Spare ribs typically take between 4.5-6 hours to finish. There are a lot of variables in play, so it's best to test your ribs using the bend test at the 4.5-hour mark. Don't expect perfection the first time you make ribs following this method, but over time you'll get a better feel for when the ribs will be done.
These Smoked Spare Ribs are loaded with flavor. I like the bark and sauce combo that this recipe creates. These ribs have a different finish than my 321 ribs, and I really like the end result!
Smoked Spare Ribs
- 2 racks of Pork Spare Ribs
- 4 tbsp of bbq rub
- ½ Cup Barbecue Sauce
- ½ Cup Ketchup
- ¼ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- ½ Cup Brown Sugar
- Remove the silverskin from the underside of your ribs and then season both sides with bbq rub.
- Let the ribs sit for 30 minutes and then dust with the rub again.
- Setup your smoker to smoke using indirect heat at 250 degrees.
- Smoke the ribs at 250 for approximately six and a half hours.
- After 90 minutes of smoke spritz the ribs with a 50/50 combo of apple juice and apple cider vinegar every 45 minutes until the 4 hour mark.
- At the 4 hour mark start mopping the ribs with your mop sauce every 45 minutes.
- The ribs are done when the internal temp of the ribs hits 190-200 degrees or they pass the bend test. Typically takes about 6 hours, but it's different for every rack of ribs.
Love ribs? Check out my recipes for Honey Garlic Ribs or Beef Ribs.
James Marsh says
Will this work for baby backs as well?