Smoked Spare Ribs
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A great reason to break out the smoker for a weekend meal.

1 rack of ribs


  • 1 rack spare ribs
  • 1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp. Platte River Rib Rub
  • 2 Tbsp. apple juice
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut in half

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You will need a smoker for this recipe. Pecan or hickory wood chips/pellets work well. If using a wood smoker, soak chips as directed. If using a pellet smoker, do not soak the pellets. Trim the spare ribs into a St. Louis style cut to avoid cartilage and to make an even sized slab of ribs. On the smaller end of the rack, feel for the bone and cut right along it. At the top of the rack, cut between the bone and the cartilage to get an even rectangle. Flip the rack over and remove the excess meat running diagonal and remove the membrane.


Once the rack is trimmed, pat it dry with paper towels. On a sheet pan, thoroughly rub the ribs front and back with 1/2 cup of the Platte River Rib Rub. Cover the pan with foil and refrigerate the ribs overnight.

Before smoking the ribs, set them out for 20 min. before cooking. Mix together apple juice, apple cider vinegar, and mustard. Generously paint this mixture on the ribs, top and bottom. Apply the remaining 3 Tbsp. of seasoning to the ribs and rub it in. It will be very pasty but that is what you want. Smoke the ribs around 225 degrees for 4½ hours. Three hours into the smoking process, paint the ribs with the barbecue sauce.

After 4½ hours, get a long sheet of aluminum foil and sprinkle the brown sugar in line down the middle of the foil. Add the two pats of butter and put the rack of ribs on top of it all. Get another matching size sheet of aluminum foil to put on top of the ribs and bind the two sheets together. Return to the smoker for another 1½ hours. Pull the ribs off of the smoker and remove them from the foil. Let them rest for 20 min. then carve between the bones. Serve immediately.

Abbey Cochran, Savory Spice—South End/Charlotte, NC



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