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Competition Style Spare Ribs

Traeger Kitchen

Competition Style Spare Ribs

Prep Time

30 Minutes

Cook Time

4 Hours

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When you sample spare ribs at a BBQ competition, take a page from the Pro's and try to one-up your last backyard ribfest. Every time you take to the Traeger it's an enjoyable challenge to try to win the blue ribbon from friends and family. Make your house, the rib crib.


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    • 1

      When ready to cook, set Traeger temperature to 180°F and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes.
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    • 2

      Trim the end bones off of each rack. Next, trim any excess fat down to approximately 1/4 inch in thickness. Remove the membrane from the back side of the ribs.
    • 3

      Season liberally on both sides with Traeger Pork & Poultry Rub, then place on the grill meat side up. Smoke for 2 hours.
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    • 4

      Remove the ribs temporarily from the grill. Increase the grill temperature to 225°F and preheat, lid closed for 5 to 10 minutes.
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    • 5

      On a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil add 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, 1 tablespoon honey and 2 tablespoons of butter cut into small pieces.
    • 6

      Lay the ribs meat side down in the brown sugar mixture. Sprinkle the bone side of the ribs with the brown sugar, honey and butter. Repeat with the second set of ribs. Tightly crimp the foil and return to the grill, meat side down, for 2 hours.
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    • 7

      Test for tenderness by carefully opening the foil and inserting a toothpick into the meat, between the two center-most ribs. You'll want to sense a bit of resistance, but the toothpick should go in fairly smooth. If your ribs are already tender, cook time will be cut down in the next step. If they still seem a little tough, cook time will increase.
    • 8

      Collect the juices from the foil and set aside - it will be used later for the glaze. Remove the ribs from the foil and place back on the grill grate.
    • 9

      Combine the Traeger BBQ Sauce of your choice and Traeger Apricot BBQ Sauce in a small bowl and brush liberally on all sides of the ribs. If the ribs were already tender after the foiling period, cook 20 minutes to set the sauce. If the ribs were tough, cook them for an hour or more. Each rack of ribs has a different marbling and amount of fat, so they will all cook a little differently. Our average cook time for these ribs is an hour after they are sauced and returned to the grill.
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    • 10

      After the ribs have finished cooking, remove them from the grill and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
    • 11

      Take the pork juice (collected from the foil) and spoon the fat off of the top, discard.
    • 12

      Using a basting brush, generously coat the cut ribs with the sticky sweet glaze. This will give them a shiny finish.

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