For Spare Ribs, the rib of choice is a St. Louis cut. They are fattier than loin ribs and fat is flavor. The method below will require a 6 hour cook time – 3 hours on the racks with smoke, 2 hours wrapped in foil, and one hour back on the racks with BBQ sauce.
- Remove the membrane on the bottom (or thin side). We found it helps to use a paper towel to help grab and pull the membrane. If you’d like to trim the rib tips at this point you can. The rib tips are the cartilage ends that extend down from the bone. If you trim this, you can also smoke these during the same process and you can serve up a separate portion of Rib Tips.
- Coat the ribs on all sides and edges with yellow mustard. This helps hold the rub and also adds flavor.
- Coat the ribs on all sides and edges with Hawg Nutz rub. Apply evenly and lightly massage in.
- Place in a tin tray or Tupperware container and cover – placing in refrigerator for 4 hours. We like to leave overnight. This gives the rub time to work into the meat.
- Remove ribs from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cook time and allow to come to room temperature.
- Bring your smoker up to temperature. We usually shoot for 235 to 250 degrees. Place ribs in smoker once temperature has stabilized.
- Add your wood flavor of choice – some prefer a fruit flavor like Cherry or Apple and some prefer a more bold flavor like Hickory. It all depends on what flavor you have a hankering for.
- Keep the ribs on the smoker for 3 hours. During this time, every 45 minutes, spray the ribs using a spray bottle with an equal mix of apple juice, pineapple juice and orange juice. This will help keep the ribs moist and help pull flavors from the meat and rub.
- At 3 hours (or close to) you will notice the meat start to pull from the bone. This indicates the ribs are ready to pull off the smoker and wrap. Pull the ribs off at this point and place on a sheet of heavy duty non-stick aluminum foil. Put 2 to 3 table spoons of butter (sliced) on the top of the ribs. Wrap the foil around the ribs creating a tent of air space around the ribs top and sides. You don’t want the foil wrapped tight around the ribs but you want the foil sealed tight.
- Stop smoke at this point.
- Place the ribs back on the smoker for 2 hours (in foil)
- After two hours, pull the ribs off and remove from the foil. Coat the ribs with your favorite BBQ sauce and place back on the smoker – no smoke. Cook for one more hour. This will caramelize the BBQ sauce and give you that award winning appearance.
After 1 hour – pull the ribs from the smoker, let rest for 15 minutes and enjoy the feast.