Smoked Pork Spareribs, Fab Rubs for Spare Ribs

The is an absolutely classic smoked spareribs. The meat is succulent through and through, getting a pop of flavor from a savory spice rub, then hanging out for three or four hours with a bunch of hickory chips and a low fire. The chips slowly give it up for the rack of ribs, and they in turn happily soak up all the smokey goodness. At the last possible moment they are doused with a sweet sauce that becomes one with the outside and cloaks the interior in another layer of flavor.

Get out the big roll of paper towels when you serve this one - or better yet just be ready to hose everybody off. You may not want to stop eating long enough for a napkin.

1 cup BBQ rub

1 5 lb rack of pork spareribs

Mop Sauce:

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup apple juice

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp black pepper

BBQ Sauce*

Generously coat both sides of the rack of ribs with the spice rub, rubbing it into the surface of the meat well. Refrigerate the rack for a couple of hours.

Preheat smoker or grill to 225F, and either fill the smoker’s chip holder with hickory chips, or use a metal pan on the grill. Remove rack of ribs from the fridge and place on the coolest part of the grill, or over indirect heat on the smoker. Using a spray bottle or a pastry brush, mist the ribs with the mop sauce, being careful not to wash off the spice rub.

Repeat the mop sauce about every thirty minutes or so. Allow ribs to smoke for 3-4 hours or until very tender.

Twenty minutes before the ribs are done, generously coat both sides with the barbecue sauce. Increase the temperature to medium, to caramelize the sauce. Be careful not to let the ribs burn at this point – the sugar in the sauce will burn quickly. You want sweet, smoky and sticky – not carbonized. The ribs will be very tender, juicy, and easy to pull apart, but should not fall off the bone.

*Use your favorite bottled sauce, or make your own. Start with a base of tomato sauce and brown sugar, then add mustard, honey, Worcestershire sauce, onion and green pepper. Adjust to your liking and simmer it down!

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