BBQ Pork Spare Ribs are a slow cooked, delicious, tender slab of BBQ ribs that are the embodiment of Summer.
Even better, they are an easy BBQ pork spare rib recipe to make on a smoker or in the oven.
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PORK SPARE RIBS
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I love a good rack of ribs. I’ve ruined a fair share in my life, though. Ribs need to be cooked low and slow with a fair amount of liquid or steam to braise the meat. Whether you cook your ribs in the slow cooker, on the grill, or in the oven, your ribs will turn out dry and tough unless you follow a good recipe
What are BBQ Spare Ribs?
BBQ pork spare ribs are spare ribs grilled on the smoker or cooked in the oven. They are deliciously covered in yellow mustard, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and whiskey BBQ sauce (or any other BBQ sauce you may prefer). The spare ribs are easy to make and go well with salads to make a great summer combo!
How do you prepare BBQ Pork Spare Ribs?
You will prepare the pork spare ribs by removing the membrane that may be attached to the underside of the ribcage. This may have already been done for you by the butcher, but if not, then you will have to do it yourself.
The next step would be to rub both sides of the spare ribs with the mustard and brown sugar. Afterwards you will wrap the ribs and store them in the refrigerator for at least six hours, though you can skip this step if you need to make them right away. The next step would be to cook the pork spare ribs in the oven or grill them on the smoker.
How do you cook pork spare ribs in the smoker?
You will want to smoke the ribs for 3 hours, so set your smoker to smoke and use hickory pellets. Afterwards, you will need to increase the temperature of the smoker. When you’ve done this you will put the ribs in Heavy duty foil with the apple cider. After two hours, cover the pork spare ribs with BBQ sauce and then cook them for another hour. In the end you’ll get some delicious, tender smoked spare ribs.
How do you cook pork spare ribs in the oven?
Like with the smoker ribs, you will want to wrap the pork spare ribs so that you can cover them with apple cider before sealing them up.You will need to bake the BBQ pork ribs in the oven for three hours. Afterwards, you will cover the pork spare ribs with BBQ sauce before broiling them. You will know your BBQ pork spare ribs are done when the sauce is slightly browned and firm.
Immediately after I took the photo above, I set my camera down and ate more ribs than I care to admit to the internet. I didn’t even bother taking the time to get a plate and I licked my fingers clean. They were that good.
Watch me make some babyback ribs in the recipe video below:
BBQ Pork Spare Ribs Recipe
(all ingredients are approximate and don't really need to be measured)
- 1 rack pork spare ribs
- 1 cup yellow mustard
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup barbecue sauce whiskey barbecue sauce recommended, link in notes
- Prepare ribs by removing membrane which is usually attached to the underside of the rib cage. Sometimes the butcher does this before you buy them. Rub both sides of ribs with mustard and brown sugar. Wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator 6 hours to overnight. If you're in a real hurry, you can skip the refrigeration and just start the cooking process.
If cooking on a smoker like I did for these ribs:
- Using hickory pellets, set smoker to smoke with the lid open for 5 minutes. Smoke ribs for 3 hours.
- Open lid. Increase temperature from smoke to 225 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil (the thin stuff will tear) twice the length of the ribs and transfer the ribs to the foil using tongs. Wrap the foil up around the ribs to make a bowl. Pour the apple cider vinegar over the ribs. Apple juice works as well, but I find the vinegar makes the meat even more tender. Wrap the ribs in the foil taking care not to let the vinegar spill out. Cook for 2 hours.
- Remove ribs from foil and place back on the grill. With the heat still still set at 225, cover the ribs with the barbecue sauce and cook for one additional hour.
- The ends of the bones should be exposed and the meat should be extremely tender. Take great care lifting them off the grill so as not to have them fall apart.
If cooking ribs in the oven:
- Wrap ribs in heavy duty aluminum foil in such a way that the package can hold liquid. Before sealing up, pour vinegar over ribs. Bake in preheated 250 degree F oven for 3 hours.
- Remove the ribs from the oven and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Cover with barbecue sauce.
- Set the oven to broil and place ribs back in oven until sauce is slightly browned and firm but not burned.
This post was originally created in August 2014 and has been updated with more fun facts and tidbits for your reading pleasure.