Smoked Pork Spare Ribs

Serves 6 (1/2 rack of ribs each)  Ribs are one of those foods that some people lust after. Making decent ribs is super easy to do with a pellet-type smoker. Just rub, smoke and sauce them, and you’ll be savoring bones as easy as 1, 2, 3. This recipe is more general than specific: After all, everybody seems to have a different opinion about which style of BBQ sauce is best. Use your favorite rub and sauce to create your own signature ribs.


  • 3 Pork Spare Ribs
  • As needed: BBQ Spice Rub of your choosing
  • As needed: Apple Cider
  • As needed: BBQ Sauce of your choosing


  1. Using a sharp boning knife, remove the white membrane from the underside of the ribs. This layer of silver skin will toughen and prevent flavor from the rub and/or smoky goodness to penetrate the meat if it’s left intact.
  2. Liberally rub both sides of the racks of ribs with BBQ spice rub. Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow the salt in the rub to cure the ribs.
  3.  Preheat smoker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Aim for a slow smoke setting of around 225 degrees. Once the smoker is hot, lay the ribs onto the rack of the smoker, immediately closing it. After one hour, using a spray bottle, liberally spray the ribs with the apple cider.
  4.  Continue to smoke the ribs, covered, for another hour. Flip the ribs, spray with the cider and continue to smoke for one more hour. By now, the ribs should be fairly tender. One indication is if the ribs are bent. The meat will split at the bend, exposing the moist, pink-from-the-smoke-process flesh, otherwise known as the “smoke ring” that is pulling cleanly away from the bone. If the ribs are not quite there, spray again and continue to smoke for an additional 30 minutes.
  5.  Once tender, mop or slather on some of your favorite BBQ sauce. Close and continue to smoke, turning up the heat a bit if you can (this will basically thicken, caramelize and cook on the BBQ sauce). If desired, sprinkle the ribs with an additional shot of the BBQ spice rub just before serving.
  6. If this process is being done in advance, and then held warm, wrap the ribs in aluminum foil until serving, perhaps placing them on a hot grill to re-crisp the sauce a touch.

 Smoked and Stuffed Jalapeños

See recipe..

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