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All-American BBQ Spareribs

Posted by sbulloch on May 4, 2013

All-American BBQ Spareribs

Ribs are such an iconic part of American BBQ, and for good reason. They not only taste divine, but they are just downright fun to eat. Most people feel more comfortable with the compact baby back ribs, but if you are looking for big flavor and incredible texture look no further than spareribs. Competition style BBQ chefs prefer the sparerib because it is much meatier than a baby back. When BBQ judges see spareribs on their plate, they know they are going to eat well. Bring competition style ribs to your own kitchen table with this fantastic recipe for All-American BBQ Spareribs.


All-American BBQ Spareribs


Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: around 4-5 hours
Serves: 3-4
Recommended Pellets: Alder, Apple, Cherry, Hickory, Maple, Pecan


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. When trimming your ribs, you can just trim the fat and leave the ribs as is.

Otherwise, you can slice off the end and rib tips, as shown below. This will make your spare ribs into St. Louis Style ribs. Be sure to use a very sharp knife and cut trough the cartilage where your ribs are pliable. Your rib tips can be smoked alongside the rest of your ribs and used later in these Pork Lover's Baked Beans, or as a midnight snack.

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.

All-American BBQ Spareribs