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Spare ribs recipe

Spare ribs recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Pork

This is a frequent Saturday night recipe in our house! Choose thick, meaty spare ribs, cook them until they are tender, then finish them off with this deliciously sticky sauce. You can balance out the meal with loads of green veg on the side.

County Antrim, Northern Ireland, UK

80 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 1.5kg pork spare ribs (or rib rack)
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (60ml) white vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons (60ml) soy sauce
  • 1 pinch dried chilli flakes (optional)

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:1hr30min ›Ready in:1hr40min

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C / Gas 3. If you purchased a rack of ribs, separate them into single ribs to cook.
  2. Arange the ribs in a large roasting tin and cook for 1 hour. You can cover with foil if you like but the juices from the pork will keep them moist.
  3. Remove the ribs from the oven and turn up the temperature to 200 degrees C / Gas 6. Carefully drain off all the liquid in the roasting tin.
  4. In a cup or a bowl, mix the sugar, vinegar, soy sauce (and chilli flakes, if using) until sugar has dissolved. Pour this sweet-sour mixture over the ribs in the roasting tin, making sure each rib is well coated. Return the ribs to the oven and cook for another 20 or 30 minutes until the ribs are sticky.

AGA Tip:

Place the roasting tin on the grid shelf on the bottom runner of the roasting oven. If your oven is cooler - remove or raise the grid shelf and cook the ribs on the oven floor.

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Servings 4

Preheat your smoker to 275°F. Make sure you are burning a clean oxygen-rich fire.

Trim any loose fat on the ribs. Remove the skirt meat from the back of the spareribs—or it can be left on, it's your choice.

Apply olive oil to the ribs as a binder and begin seasoning the meat with your rub mixture. Make sure the meat has an even application of rub repeat the same process on the back side.

Place the seasoned ribs on the smoker and don't open it for another 3-4 hours. Once the ribs have been on for 4 hours, spritz them with either water, apple juice, or apple cider vinegar. Check for color and close the smoker lid. Once the ribs reach an internal temperature of 200°F, remove from the smoker, wrap in foil, and let the ribs rest for 30 minutes. Once they have rested, they are good to serve.

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!

    1. First remove ribs from package, drain and pat dry with paper towels.
    2. Next, you will want to remove the membrane on the backside of the ribs. This can be done by sliding the handle of a spoon under the membrane to loosen it up and get it started.
    3. Once you have the membrane started, grab a hold of it and pull firmly and gently, until you have the membrane removed. If it breaks, just start again until you have it removed.If you are not wearing rubber gloves, using a paper towel helps to provide better grip.
    4. Now that you have the membrane removed, it is time to apply your rub. Apply the rub to both sides of the ribs. I personally like a heavy even coating.
    5. Cover the ribs with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to marinate, either overnight or for 3-4 hours.
    6. After the ribs have marinated, bring them up to room temperature. This will help lessen the temperature drop, when you put them in the Bradley, and speed up the heat recovery from the loss of heat when you opened the door to put the ribs in.

    The Smoking Process

    While your ribs are coming to room temperature, preheat your smoker and generator. It is helpful to preheat 25°F to 50°F higher then you plan to smoke/cook at. Doing this also helps with heat recovery. Once ribs are loaded adjust your heat to the actual temperature you will smoke/cook at.

    • Once your Bradley has come up to temperature and the smoke has started to roll, put the ribs in the smoker. I like to smoke them at 225°F. I apply 3 hours of Hickory, but you can use the flavour of your choice.
    • After 3 hours of smoke shut off Smoke Generator. Wrap your ribs in foil with a splash of Apple Juice &ldquoMy Favorite&rdquo is Apple Raspberry.
    • Return the rib packets to the smoker for 1 or 2 hours (1 Baby Backs, 2 Spares). After the ribs have spent their time in the foil wrap, remove them from the smoker and remove from the foil. Your ribs are just about done. Might even look done, but there is one more step. You have to sauce them.
    • After putting the sauce on the ribs, place them back in the Bradley for 1 hour. The ribs will stiffen back up and the sauce will set. The meat should tell you when it is ready. The meat will pull back from the bone, as you can see in the picture. The bigger half of the slab didn&rsquot pull back because it sprung a leak while in the foil.
    • Your ribs are now ready to cut up and enjoy!!

    A plate for the one at Baseball Practice, BBQ Ribs, Whistle Berries and Tater Tots.

    Hopefully this little pictorial will help you make
    &ldquoThe Best Ribs Ever Dad. Or Mom&rdquo

    3-2-1 Barbecued Spare Ribs

    Steven Raichlen

    We’re excited to partner with Reynolds Wrap® for this sponsored recipe.

    If your idea of the perfect barbecued rib is smoke-infused meat that practically slides off the bone, the popular (and easy) 3-2-1 method of cooking ribs is for you. Never heard of it? It breaks the cooking of the ribs into three timed segments.

    Meaty, well-seasoned spareribs are smoked (indirect grilled) for three hours at 225 degrees F. It’s during this segment that the ribs acquire the smoky flavor that is a hallmark of true American barbecue. Next, the bones are completely enclosed in Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil and returned to the grill or smoker for 2 more hours (still at 225 degrees F). In this moist environment, the meat fibers break down and become supernaturally tender, yet juicy. Finally, the ribs are unwrapped, brushed with barbecue sauce, and returned to the grill for an hour to firm up the exterior bark and complete the cooking.

    You’ll be rewarded with ribs that have multiple layers of flavor. The predictable time frame is a bonus, too. Family and friends will declare you a barbecue genius when they taste these superlative bones.

    Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil is indispensable for this recipe. You can rely on sturdy, dependable Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil because of its durability. Proudly made in the USA.


    Ingredients for the dry rub

    • 100 gram brown caster sugar
    • 30 gram paprika powder
    • 15 gram fine salt
    • 1 tablespoon black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon white pepper
    • 1 tablespoon cayenne powder
    • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon onion powder

    Ingredients for the wet rub

    • 80 ml of honey
    • 60 ml of soy sauce
    • 30 gram brown caster sugar
    • 3 cm fresh ginger root
    • 3 cloves of garlic
    • 15 gram tomato paste
    • 1 red chilli pepper
    • pinch of cinnamon powder
    • 5 gram dried rosemary
    • few drops of Worcestershire sauce

    &uarr click on the photo to enlarge

    Kitchen equipment

    • A blender.
    • Chef's knife
    • Big cutting board, preferably a wooden one
    • A bowl
    • Cling film
    • 2 big plates, at least big enough to hold half of the spare ribs each
    • Oven
    • aluminium foil
    • Baking plate

    View the original recipe via:

    Making the dry rub

    Very easy, just add all of the ingredients together in a bowl and mix together.

    Making the wet rub

    Remove the peel of the ginger root and garlic cloves. Remove the red chilli pepper seeds. Cut the ginger, garlic and red chilli pepper into chunks.

    Add all of the ingredients for the wet rub into the blender and blend until smooth paste forms.

    Removing the membrane from a spare ribs rack

    Preparing the spare ribs

    Remove the membranes which are located at the hollow side of the spare ribs. You can make a start by using the chef's knife, if all goes well you can rip off the membrane in one go. Do this for both pieces, if you've bought spare ribs in one piece you can cut it in half now.

    One half will have the wet rub, while the other has the dry rub. By using your hands, rub all of the wet rub marinades onto the spare rib. Be sure to cover all of the areas. Repeat this step for the other half, but use the dry rub this time. Put in a big plate and cover with cling film.

    Set to rest in the refrigerator for a minimum time of 4 hours. The longer you let the spare ribs marinate, the better! For up to 2 days max, otherwise the meat will start to deteriorate!

    Spare ribs with dry rub

    Cooking the spare ribs

    Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius or 338 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the cling film and place the spare ribs onto a baking plate with the hollow side facing down. Add a small layer of water and cover with aluminium foil.

    Cook the spare ribs for about 2.5 hours in the oven. Be careful when removing them from the oven since they can fall apart easily! It's that good! Enjoy!

    Recipe Notes

    • 2 racks spare ribs, each rack about 2 1/2 pounds
    • 2 tablespoons tablespoons Asian (dark) sesame oil

    For the rub:

    • 1 tablespoon coarse salt (kosher or sea)
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon freeze dried chives

    For the glaze:

    • 2 cups canned pineapple juice
    • 1 cup dark or regular soy sauce
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
    • 2 tablespoons Thai chili sauce
    • 2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed with the side of a cleaver
    • 2 slices ginger (1/4 inch thick), crushed with the side of a cleaver
    • 2 scallions, trimmed, white part crushed with the side of a cleaver, green part finely chopped

    Recipe Summary

    • 2 tablespoons paprika
    • 2 tablespoons chili powder
    • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • Salt and black pepper
    • 1 rack (5 pounds) pork ribs, trimmed of excess fat, rinsed, and patted dry
    • 1 can (14 ounces) tomato puree
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine spices with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper reserve 1 tablespoon of the mixture for the sauce. Rub both sides of ribs with remaining mixture.

    Place ribs, fatty side up, on a rimmed baking sheet, and cover tightly with foil bake until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. (There will be hot liquid in baking sheet when removed from oven.)

    Meanwhile, make sauce: In a small saucepan, combine tomato puree, honey, Worcestershire, garlic, reserved spice mixture, and 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 1 1/2 cups, 20 to 25 minutes.

    Heat grill to medium. Cut ribs into 4 equal parts. Brush ribs generously with barbecue sauce grill until charred in spots, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Serve with remaining sauce.

    The balanced mix of savory and sweet smoke make the Competition Blend a great choice for this recipe.

    Note: This recipe contains Pit Boss Pulled Pork Rub.

    1. Fire up your Pit Boss Platinum Series Lockhart to 325°F, and pull both the side knobs out to ensure the smoking cabinet maintains a temperature of 200°F.
    2. Season ribs on both sides with Pulled Pork Rub, then lay on the racks in the smoking cabinet. Smoke for 2 ½ hours.
    3. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: Brush the bell pepper with oil, season with salt, then place directly on the grill grate.
    4. Open the sear slide and char over direct flame for 3 minutes, turning often.
    5. Remove from the grill, and set aside to cool, then skin and remove seeds.
    6. In a food processor, combine peppers, garlic, ketchup, brown sugar, scallions, tamari, honey, tomato paste, parsley, paprika, salt, and pepper.
    7. Process for 3 minutes, scraping down sides once or twice. Transfer to a jar and set aside.
    8. Lay out 4 large pieces of aluminum foil on a sheet tray. Remove ribs from the smoking cabinet, then lay each rack on 2 overlapping pieces of foil. Spoon sauce over each rack, then tightly close foil around the ribs.
    9. Lower temperature to 275°F. Transfer to the lower grill, then cook ribs another 1 to 1 ½ hours, rotating racks half way through cooking.
    10. Carefully open foil, place racks directly on grates, and cook for another 10 minutes.
    11. Remove ribs from the grill, then rest for 15 minutes, before slicing. Serve warm.

    Bigger. Hotter. Heavier. Tip

    If you prefer to save time on trimming, you can always go with St. Louis Style Ribs which are essentially trimmed Spare Ribs.

    Recipe Summary

    • 2 (2 1/2- to 3-lb.)s slabs St. Louis-style pork ribs (about 10 bones each)
    • 1/3 cup kosher salt
    • 3 tablespoons black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
    • 2 tablespoons chili powder
    • 2 tablespoons onion powder
    • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
    • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes
    • 3 cups chopped yellow onions (about 2 medium onions)
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tsp.)
    • 3 tablespoons salted butter
    • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1 1/2 cup white vinegar
    • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Pat both sides of slabs dry with paper towels. Using a sharp knife, remove thin membrane from back of each by slicing into it and pulling it off with a paper towel.

    Make the Southern BBQ Dry Rub: Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl or large ziplock plastic bag. (You will have about 11/4 cups dry rub.) Divide Southern BBQ Rub evenly among slabs, rubbing on both sides of each (about 3/4 cup). Press gently to adhere. Place slabs, meaty side up, on a wire rack on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet, and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

    Bake in preheated oven until meat begins to pull away from bones but is not yet tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 450°F. (Do not remove ribs from oven.)

    While the ribs are baking, make the Melting Pot BBQ Sauce. Heat a large (12-inch) cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add tomatoes, and cook, stirring often, until skins begin to split and char, 5 to 7 minutes. Add onions and garlic, and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes. Add butter to pan, and cook until melted, about 1 minute. Add brown sugar stir until combined. Cook, without stirring, until edges start to caramelize, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until tomatoes completely break down and mixture is slightly thickened, about 45 minutes.

    Remove from heat, and carefully transfer to a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape) process on high until almost smooth, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. (You will have about 1 quart of sauce.)

    Brush both sides of ribs with 1 cup Melting Pot BBQ Sauce. Bake until ribs are very tender and caramelized, 35 to 45 minutes, brushing with another cup barbecue sauce halfway through baking. Remove from oven, and let stand at least 10 minutes. Serve with remaining 2 cups barbecue sauce.