All-American BBQ Spareribs

All-American BBQ Spareribs

As someone who has probably barbecued over 200 racks of ribs in the last few years, I think I can say that baby backs, in my opinion, are overrated. Give me the meatier sparerib any day. And the trimmings, such as the rib tips, can be barbecued alongside the ribs and used to flavor beans or chili.

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  • 2 racks pork spareribs, about 6 pounds, trimmed
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Traeger Pork and Poultry Rub, or your favorite all-purpose barbecue rub
  • 1 cup apple juice, cider, or beer
  • 1 8-ounce bottle of Traeger BBQ Sauce, or your favorite sauce
  • You’ll also need: A clean spray bottle


If your butcher hasn’t done so already, remove the tough membrane on the back of the ribs as it will impede the absorption of spices and smoke, not to mention that it isn’t very appetizing.

Sprinkle the ribs on all sides with the rub, applying it to the ends as well.

When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 250 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Arrange the racks of spareribs on the grill grate, bone-side down. Cook for 3 to 4 hours. After the first hour, spray the ribs with the apple juice, and spray every hour after that. When they are tender, the meat will have pulled away from the ends of the bones about 1/2-inch. Another test for doneness is to flex a rack (your hands protected from the heat, of course): the meat at the center should start to shred slightly. Or you can sacrifice an end rib and give it a taste test.

Brush the ribs on all sides with the barbecue sauce and return to the grill for 30 minutes to an hour to “tighten” the sauce. To serve, cut each slab in half or into individual ribs. Offer additional barbecue sauce on the side.