This Smoked Ribs recipe is juicy, succulent, and so flavorful. These smoked spare ribs are perfect for your next summer BBQ and cost just $1.85 per serving to make!
My summers are always busy with family celebrations. Between my little family and my extended family, we have 5 birthdays and 2 wedding anniversaries to celebrate in one month. Basically, this means we party ALL. MONTH. LONG.
Now that summer is upon us, that means 3 things for our family celebrations:
- Good food.
- Great company.
- We’re most definitely grillin’!
These ribs are at the top of my list for summer grilling. They are moist, tender, full of flavor, and like magic, they fall off the bone! Isn’t that how you want your smoked spare ribs to taste? I know I do! This Smoked Ribs recipe will help you achieve that EVERY.SINGLE.TIME!
There are a couple of secrets to making these smoked pork ribs. The first secret is the dry rub. This helps magnify the flavor when smoking the ribs.
The next secret is to cook the Smoked Ribs on low and slow. This is key! You do not want to rush this process, otherwise, the ribs will be too tough and not the tender bite we are looking for.
With a little bit of work, you can have amazing tender smoked spare ribs at home that taste like you just spent too much money on pork ribs at your favorite restaurant!
Do you flip ribs when smoking?
Yes, you should flip the ribs after 1 hour of smoking them. You’ll flip them every 30 minutes until they’re done.
The only time you don’t have to flip ribs is when you use a rib rack. This is my prefered method because I can do other things besides make myself available to flip ribs every 30 minutes for HOURS! $24 for a rib rack is a great investment that will save you time!
Why are my smoked ribs tough?
My guess would be that the ribs were cooked too fast at high temperatures. Cooking them at a high temperature for a short amount of time results in tough meat.
It’s best to go low and slow when smoking ribs (low temperature for an extended amount of time). This will ensure that juicy fall off the bone meat that we all love.
How do you check if ribs are done?
Ribs will be done when the meat starts to shrink away from the bones, and they’re dark brown and tender.
Cook’s Note – Sweet Smoked Spareribs:
- To achieve moist, tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs, it’s really important to plan ahead and allow yourself time to cook these smoked ribs “low and slow”.
- For this Smoked Sweet Ribs recipe, I like using either hickory, mesquite, apple, or cherry wood pellets. I find they compliment the ribs nicely.
- smoker (this is the one that I have)
- wood pellets
- grilling tools
- mixing bowl
- baking sheets
- rib rack – this is a great time saver for this recipe!
- pastry brush
How much will this smoked spare ribs recipe cost to make?
RECIPE COST: $18.52
PER SERVING COST: $1.85
NOTE: The recipe prices are used calculating name brand products from Walmart’s website. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what your pantry is already stocked with and current grocery prices.
***In recent weeks I’ve seen the price of ribs decrease by 50%. If you get the ribs on sale, then the price of this recipe will decrease substantially.
- 2 large racks spareribs about 5 pounds each $17.40
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar $0.24
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder $0.16
- 2 Tablespoons paprika $0.20
- 2 Tablespoons salt $0.06
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin $0.10
- 2 cups barbecue sauce $0.36
Side Dishes to Serve with Smoked Ribs:
- Buttery Smoked Corn on the Cob
- Slow Cooker Boston Baked Beans
- Zesty Italian Pasta Salad
- Baked Mac and Cheese
- Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
- Cowboy Caviar Dip
- Crockpot Cheesy Potatoes
- Easy Pasta Salad
- Food Truck Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
- Homemade Crispy Baked Oven Fries
- Oven Roasted Broccoli
- Panera’s Mac and Cheese
How to make the best Smoked Ribs:
- 10 pounds pork spare ribs from 2 racks
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 2 Tablespoons paprika
- 2 Tablespoons salt
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- ½ cup barbecue sauce
- In a medium bowl, combine sugar chili powder, paprika, salt, and cumin.
PREP AND RUB RIBS:
- Pull the silver membrane from the back of the ribs.
- Transfer ribs to 2 large rimmed baking sheets.
- Use your hands to distribute the rub over both sides of the ribs and rub it into the ribs.
- Cover the baking sheets with foil and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
PREPARE FOR SMOKING:
- If you’re using wood chips, soak wood chips in water 1 hour before smoking. If using wood pellets, skip this step. When ready, fill the smoker box with wood chips or pellets.
- 15 minutes before smoking, remove ribs from refrigerator and preheat smoker to 180° F with the lid closed.
SMOKE RIBS (RIB RACK INSTRUCTIONS):
- Place rib rack on the grill. Place ribs in the rack.
- Smoke for 4 ½ hours. At the end of the 4 ½ hours, move to the "COOK RIBS IN FOIL" instructions.
SMOKE RIBS (NON-RIB RACK INSTRUCTIONS):
- Lightly oil grates, and place the ribs (meat-side up) on the grill. Smoke for 1 hour.
- Flip ribs so they’re meat-side down. Close grill and smoke 30 minutes. Repeat this process every 30 minutes for a total of 2 ½ more hours.
COOK RIBS IN FOIL:
- Remove the ribs from the grills. Increase the grill temperature of 350°F and close the lid.
- Place each rack on a piece of heavy-duty foil. Brush both sides of the ribs with barbecue sauce.
- Seal the ribs in the foil.
- When the grill reaches 350°F, place the foil packets of ribs on the grill and cover. Cook for 40 minutes longer.
- Take the ribs off the grill and let them rest for 15 minutes before removing the foil, slicing, and serving.
This Smoked Ribs post first appeared on Food Folks and Fun on July 24, 2017. I have since updated the pictures, but one of the originals is below.