spare pork ribs in pan with dry rub seasoning and tongs laying on a table

EASY SMOKED RIBS SMOKED SPARE RIBS

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These delicious quick and easy smoked spare pork ribs are sure to be a hit at your summer cookout! Made with simple ingredients and all natural wood for smoking.

spare pork ribs in pan with dry rub seasoning and tongs laying on a table

Spring is in the air here in Arkansas and while we still have a few cold days ahead of us before it stays warm I will take any opportunity I can to cook outside! We recently had a beautiful crisp sunny morning and my husband I decided to get the smoker going.

Being outside while tending to food on the smoker just makes for a fun family day! We all end up outside working on projects, tending to our animals, making plans, or running around playing ball. The air is filled with smoky goodness while we excitedly anticipate dinner!

WHICH TYPE OF SMOKER IS BEST?

smoke rolling out of electric smoker

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We use a simple electric smoker. The key is to keep it loaded with wood chips and make sure there is enough water to last through the smoke time.

WHAT KIND OF WOOD CHIPS SHOULD YOU USE FOR SMOKING MEAT?

man clipping twigs for meat smoker

You can buy wood chips of just about any type wood you can think of. Our favorite is hickory and oak. If you have access to trees its fun to clip your own. We go out in the yard and find twigs from our hickory or oak trees to cut in small pieces to use in the smoker.

Be sure to find twigs that have dried out already. You don’t want to use them when they are freshly cut and green because they tend to have more moisture and sap and that can make the meat taste funny.

man adding wood clippings to wood chip tray in smoker

There are certain types of wood you want to avoid for smoking due to the high levels of sap and terpenes (basically very aromatic plants). These can make the food taste funny or even make you sick! Wood to avoid for smoking: any conifer – fir, spruce, pine, redwood, juniper, cedar ect.

Best wood for smoking:

  • Oak
  • Hickory
  • Apple
  • Cherry
  • Mesquite
  • Pecan
  • Persimmon

TIPS FOR SMOKED PORK SPARE RIBS

smoked spare pork ribs on cutting board
  • Whether you are cooking spare ribs or baby back you will have much better results if you remove the membrane (silverskin) off the back. Just place your knife under the edge of it and cut it back until you can grab it and peel it off. (sometimes we skip this step if we are short on time and its fine, but the seasoning and texture will be much better if you remove it)
  • To take the prepping a bit further you can also soak in an apple-cider vinegar / water mixture for about 20 minutes. This cleanses the meat removing any gamey flavor and letting the yummy flavors shine through.
  • Whether you do the vinegar cleanse or not it is very important to rinse the meat thoroughly and dry with a towel or air dry. Water and smoke don’t mix! If your meat is left with the juices on it or still wet when you put it in the smoker the smoke won’t penetrate the meat very well.
  • The first 30 minutes of smoke is key! You want it rolling in those first 30 minutes so the meat gets good and smoky before it develops the bark – that will keep the smoke from soaking in as much.
  • Allow meat to come to room temp for about 15-20 minutes before cooking.
  • Preseason with a dry rub ONLY – sweet, little heat, and salt are key!
  • If clipping your own twigs clip them ahead of time so they aren’t green, but you don’t want them to be dead or rotten either. After a few days they should be good to use.
  • Always let ribs rest 10-15 minutes before cutting

HOW TO MAKE A DRY RUB

dry rub mixture in bowl for smoked ribs

Making a dry rub is super easy. Just mix together your seasonings and massage into the meat thoroughly. You can even use an apple-cider vinegar spray down after applying the rub to insure everything stays put. These are our favorite seasonings to use in our dry rub:

man rubbing dry seasoning on spare ribs
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning (make your own here)
  • Brown Sugar (you can use a sugar alternative like stevia or monk fruit sugar)
  • Chili Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Garlic Salt
  • Cayenne
  • Black Pepper

HOW TO MAKE SMOKED SPARE PORK RIBS

man turning over ribs to season the back with dry rub
  1. Start by peeling the membrane (silverskin) off the back of the slab of ribs. Rinse and dry thoroughly. Cut into two sections to fit in smoker if needed. Allow meat to come to room temp for 15-20 minutes.
  2. In the meantime mix together dry rub ingredients.
  3. Set your smoker to 240, add water to the water pan, fill wood chip tray with oak and hickory (or your favorite) wood chips.
  4. Massage dry rub into meat thoroughly.
  5. When smoker has reached temp place meat on racks and close the door. No peeking for at least 4 hours.
  6. Once internal temp has reached 200-205 degrees F (after 4.5-5 hours) and meat has begun pulling back from bone remove from smoker and allow to rest 10-15 minutes.
  7. Slice to individual portions and enjoy!

HOW LONG AND WHAT TEMPERATURE SHOULD YOU SMOKE SPARE RIBS?

two racks of spare ribs in a smoker

Always cook ribs low and slow. We like to cook at about 240 for at least 4 or 5 hours. No peeking until at least 4 hours. You can keep an eye on the internal temperature which needs to reach around 200-205 degrees F . The meat should easily tear and you will see the meat begin to pull back from the bones when they are almost done.

DELICIOUS SIDE IDEAS:

Quick and Easy Ribs Smoked Spare Pork Ribs

smoked spare pork ribs on cutting board
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Rack of Spare Ribs
  • Dry Rub
  • Oak and/or Hickory Wood chips

Apple Cider Vinegar Soak (Optional)

  • 3/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3 cups Water

Dry Rub Ingredients

  • Montreal Steak Seasoning (DIY link in post above)
  • Brown Sugar (you can use a sugar alternative like stevia or monk fruit sugar)
  • Chili Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Garlic Salt
  • Cayenne
  • Black Pepper

Instructions

  1. Start by peeling the membrane (silverskin) off the back of the slab of ribs. Rinse and dry thoroughly. Cut into two sections to fit in smoker if needed. Allow meat to come to room temp for 15-20 minutes.
  2. In the meantime mix together dry rub ingredients.
  3. Set your smoker to 240, add water to the water pan, fill wood chip tray with oak and hickory (or your favorite) wood chips.
  4. Massage dry rub into meat thoroughly.
  5. When smoker has reached temp place meat on racks and close the door. No peeking for at least 4 hours.
  6. Once internal temp has reached 200-205 degrees F (after 4.5-5 hours) and meat has begun pulling back from bone remove from smoker and allow to rest 10-15 minutes.
  7. Slice to individual portions and enjoy!

Notes

Purpose of Apple Cider Vinegar soak: This cleanses the meat removing any gamey flavor and letting the good flavors shine through.

PIN IT FOR LATER

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1 Comment

  1. Michelle

    I’m drooling! I love smoking ribs, these look delish and they’re perfect for summer!

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