How To Cook Perfect Spare Ribs

One of the big pleasures of the summer is all of the BBQ cooking that is done.  It is the idea way to socialize with friends when the temps are high and the feeling is casual.  And nothing is better on the grill than perfect spare ribs.

The Secret to Perfect spareribs every time!

Summer BBQ Time – How to Cook Perfect Spare Ribs

But foodies know that great spare ribs normally take hours and hours to cook.  Great spare ribs are deliciously crusty on the outside but have extremely tender pieces of meat that literally hang off the bone.

Spare ribs have a high percentage of both fat and collagen, and these cannot be broken down with a quick sear on the grill.  But you can still end up with perfect spare ribs without being a slave to a smoker all day long.

To make perfect spare ribs without the all day cooking, one needs a fantastic dry rub and and a few hours in the kitchen oven at a low heat before finishing the ribs off on the grill.

My favorite rub for barbecue ribs uses these ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of Spanish Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Kosher Salt
  • ¼ cup of garlic powder
  • 1½ tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1¼ tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp onion flakes
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp of ground cumin seed

This makes quite a large amount of the rub.  I store it in a grinder.  See my tutorial for combining these spices as well as a free printable spice jar label on The Gardening Cook.

In addition to the dry rub, you will also later need a generous helping of your favorite barbecue sauce when you sear the ribs over the coals or on a grill.

My perfect spare ribs recipe uses two steps: baked ribs (in the oven) and barbecued ribs (on the grill.)

Step 1. To start, preheat your oven to 325º F.  You want a low oven so that the meat will cook very, very slowly, so that it tenderizes as it cooks. Take two large racks of spare ribs and coat them liberally with the dry rub on both sides.coat the spareribs liberally with the dry rub

Step 2. Place the racks of ribs on two baking sheets, being sure that there is a lip on the pan to collect the juices as the meat cooks.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for at least 3 hours. Seal with aluminim foil and cook in a slow oven

Step 3. The meat will be very tender when you have cooked enough and the meat will easily pull from the bone.Spareribs before cooking on the grill

Step 4. Remove and set aside while you prepare the grill.Tender spare ribs

Step 5. Ribs cook best over charcoal. You can use a gas grill, but the charcoal gives a better crusty coating to the outside of the ribs and that is what you are aiming for.

At this stage you will want a good quality BBQ sauce. I used Weber Real Molasses BBQ sauce Buzz n Honey.  It is really delicious.Weber Molasses BBQ sauce

Step 6. Once the grill is ready, use a basting brush and your favorite barbecue sauce to coat the meaty side of the ribs.  Cook ribs on this side for a few minutes.

Baste the bone side with sauce and flip the ribs.  Continue doing this until the ribs are crusty but not burned, approximately 15 minutes.  We kept basting and turning about every 2 or 3 minutes and they turned out perfectly!The secret to perfect spare ribs is long slow cooking

If you are short on time the day that you want to cook the ribs, they can be cooked the day before in the oven and then kept overnight in the fridge.  Take them out and bring them to room temperature before you put them on the grill.

Be prepared to amaze your friends when you tell them that you didn’t have to cook these all day long!  These are, without a doubt, the best spareribs I have ever eaten.

The rub adds a wonderful touch of spice and the barbecue sauce adds a delicious richness to them. The meat literally falls off the bone.  I promise, you will love them!

To remind yourself of this recipe, just pin this image to one of your BBQ boards on Pinterest.The secret to perfect spareribs is easy. Precooking gives fall off the bones results every time.

Yield: 2 racks

How To Cook Perfect Spare Ribs

How To Cook Perfect Spare Ribs

Nothing is better on the grill than perfect spare ribs. See how I make mine fall of the bone every time.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 rack of pork ribs
  • For the rub (makes a large amount. You will not use all of it on this recipe. Just coat the ribs liberally)
  • 1/4 cup of Spanish Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 cup of garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/4 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp onion flakes
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp of ground cumin seed

To Finish

  • 1/c cup of Your favorite BBQ sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 325º F. Mix the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl. Take two large racks of pork spare ribs and coat them liberally with the dry rub on both sides.
  • Place the racks of ribs on two cookie sheets, being sure that there is a lip on the pan to collect the juices as the meat cooks. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for at least 3 hours.
  • Remove and set aside while you prepare the grill.
  • Ribs cook best over charcoal. You can use a gas grill, but the charcoal gives a better crusty coating to the outside of the ribs and that is what you are aiming for.
  • Baste the cooked ribs with your favorite BBQ sauce. Place on the hot grill.
  • Keep basting and flipping the ribs every 2-3 minutes for about 15 minutes until the ribs have a nice crusty outside but are not burned.
  • Serves four with 1/2 rack for each person.
  • Nutrition Information:


    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 428.6 Total Fat: 33g Saturated Fat: 12.1g Unsaturated Fat: 17.8g Cholesterol: 129.2mg Sodium: 365.3mg Carbohydrates: 4.0g Fiber: 0.4g Sugar: 10.4g Protein: 27.1g
    Nutritional information is approximate due to natural variation in ingredients and the cook-at-home nature of our meals.
     


    Here are some other ideas for cooking perfect spare ribs.  All make use of the oven in one way or another. Most use rubs, and some also smoke as part of the process.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission, but the price will be the same for you. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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