Smoked Spare Ribs

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Smoked spare ribs are the perfect summertime treat. They’re easy to make, and they’re packed with flavor. 

Smoked Spare Ribs
Smoked Spare Ribs

The key to making great smoked spare ribs is to start with good quality meat. Look for ribs that are well-marbled, and make sure to trim off any excess fat. Once you’ve got your ribs, it’s time to get smoking. Follow the instructions in the recipe below, and you’ll be able to whip up a delicious batch of smoked spare ribs in no time. So fire up the grill, and get ready to enjoy some of the best ribs you’ve ever tasted.

Smoked Spare Ribs

Smoked Spare Ribs

Delicious Smoked Spare Ribs you can try at home.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 5 hrs
Resting Time 30 mins
Total Time 6 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American


  • 2 2-pound) racks pork spare ribs
  • 1/4  cup light brown sugar (or substitute maple, date, or palm sugar)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Barbecue Sauce


  • Let the ribs rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, make the rub by combining the sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, white pepper, and cayenne pepper with a fork.
  • Pat the ribs dry with paper towels. Then coat the ribs with the rub, using your hands to completely cover the surface of the meat with the spices.
  • Following the instructions below, smoke the ribs at 225°F (107°C) for 5 hours (about 1 hour more than the number of pounds of meat). Keep the coals smoldering at low heat so that the ribs don’t burn, catch fire, or overcook. Check the ribs periodically to make sure they aren’t drying out. Flip and move the ribs 90° every hour in order to get crosshatch sear marks across the flesh. The meat is done when it is tender and releases easily from the bone.
    If using a smoker: Put your soaked chips in the smoking basket and your meat on the top racks.
    If using a jury-rigged smoker: If buying a new smoker is too expensive for you, you can build one for yourself with just a large terra-cotta pot and a large terra-cotta bowl large enough to fit a hot plate and a round grill rack, bricks, and an aluminum pie plate. Here’s how to construct it: Raise the pot off the ground with some bricks but leave the hole at the bottom of the pot uncovered for the hot plate cord. Place the hot plate in the bottom of the pot, and pull the hot plate's cord through the hole so you can plug it into an outlet or extension cord. Put your soaked wood chips into an aluminum pie plate and put that on top of the hot plate. Place the grill rack on top of the pot so that it sits inside the pot, but well above the hot plate. Cover with the bowl, which is your lid. Turn on the hot plate and you’re smoking!
    If using a gas grill: Can you smoke meat with a regular gas grill? We’ve done it, and it’s effective if not perfect. This is an unsophisticated version of smoking, and real pit masters frown on it, but we’ve done it many times. The taste is not as intense, but the meat is still tender and delicious. If you want to try it, here’s how: Put your soaked wood chips in an aluminum pie plate and cover the top tightly with aluminum foil. With a butter knife, poke about 10 holes in the foil. Remove the grates from one side of your grill and place the pie plate directly on those burners. Light your grill and set only the burners underneath the wood chips on their lowest setting. If there is a large vent on the side of the grill with the wood chips, plug it with an old rag to prevent the smoke from escaping. Keep your meat on the opposite side of the grill, where the grates are still in place. Wait for the wood to start smoking—at least 15 minutes—before you place your meat on the grill.
  • Remove the ribs from the heat, and let them rest uncovered for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with Texas-Style Barbecue Sauce and lotsa napkins.