BBQ Ribs – Whole, Smoked Pork Spare Ribs Recipe
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Whole Spares or “Belly Ribs” are the lower portion of a hog’s rib cage. They’re typically 12-13 bones long and still have the breast plate attached (once removed, you have St. Louis cut ribs).
For this recipe I’m using Compart Duroc spares, but you can find Whole Spares at just about any grocery store.
Once you get them home, remove the membrane from the bone side of the ribs. Sometimes whole spares will have the inner skirt or flap meat still attached. It turns into pretty good bark on the under-side of the ribs once cooked, but you can trim it off if you desire.
The seasoning is kept to a minimum on these ribs. You need Kosher Salt and a little BBQ Rub for color and that’s it. The pit and the wood do all of the magic, and Pork flavor is the star of the show.
Now it’s time to fire up the smoker. The temp needs to be in the 250⁰ range with a few chunks of dry Hickory wood to the fire for smoke.
Place each slab on the smoker and let the temp creep up to 250⁰. At this point all you have to do is hold it steady. It’ll take in the neighborhood of 4-5 hours for these ribs to get there.
Check on them at the half way mark (2.5 hrs) but don’t leave the door open too long. These ribs are done when a good bark has formed on the outside and the meat pulls back from the bones.
I use the bend test. Lift up on the outer edge as if you were folding the rib. It should flex and start to break on top; this is a sure fire way to know that they’re tender.
Remove the ribs from the smoker and give them a few minutes to cool down before serving. A good knife will slice through the entire slab and you can serve them in individual bone pieces.
I do like to add a little extra dry rub to the top and keep the sauce on the side for dipping for these smoked spare ribs.
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