Perhaps there is something fundamentally carnal in all of us, or at least most of us, that dates back to our primal knuckle-dragging, fire-waving ancestors that makes us crave and adore meaty, charred, smoke-kissed ribs. Whatever it is, if you need an excuse it's safe to blame genetics for the reason why you've single-handedly polished off the whole rack.
With these Sweet 'n Smoky Barbecued Ribs you get double the sticky meat by using spare ribs. (or if you're attached to baby backs you could always sub in those - just cook them for less time.) No matter what, with the combo of smoke, pork and a lip-smacking sauce it's a win-win.
PREP TIME: 4 hours up to overnight for ribs to soak
COOK TIME: 4 to 5 hours
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Hickory, Mesquite, Apple or Cherry
SERVES: 6 to 8
2 racks pork spare ribs (2-1/2 to 3 pounds each)
4 to 6 cups apple juice or cider
Traeger Sweet Rub, or your favorite barbecue rub
2 cups Traeger Regular BBQ Sauce, or your favorite barbecue sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
If your butcher has not already done so, remove the thin papery membrane from the bone-side of the ribs by working the tip of a butter knife or a screwdriver underneath the membrane over a middle bone. Use paper towels to get a firm grip, then tear the membrane off.
Lay the ribs in a baking dish and pour the apple juice over them, turning to coat. (Use as much apple juice as you need to submerge the meaty side of the ribs.) Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, or overnight. Remove the ribs from the apple juice. Reserve the apple juice. Sprinkle the ribs on all sides with the Traeger Sweet Rub, rubbing it in with your fingertips.
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 225 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the apple juice to a saucepan and place in a corner of the grill grate. (The juice will keep the cooking environment moist. If the apple juice boils down too far add more or just add some water.) If you have a 3-position controller, you can cook the ribs on either Smoke or Medium: On Smoke, the ribs will likely take longer to cook; on Medium, they will likely take less time.
Arrange the ribs, bone side down, directly on the grill grate. Cook for 4 to 5 hours, or until a skewer or paring knife inserted between the bones goes in easily. Meanwhile, combine the barbecue sauce and brown sugar in a small saucepan. (If you find the sauce a bit too sweet add a little bit of apple cider vinegar or Worcestershire sauce.) Generously brush the ribs on all sides with the barbecue sauce the last hour of cooking.
If you like your ribs saucy, reapply the barbecue sauce just before serving.
Using a sharp knife, cut the slabs into individual ribs. Serve any remaining sauce on the side.
Sweet n Smoky Ribs Recipe.docx (12.86 kb)