For this recipe you are going to need:
- Pork spare ribs. I like to use spares because they are more meatier and cheaper. If you want to use baby back awesome but realize they will probably be done in about 5 hours vs. 6 hours for spares so start checking them for doneness earlier. You can also trim up the ribs but well I am lazy and want as much meat as possible on the smoker. However, if you do trim them up. Throw that meat on the smoker for a little bit, chop it up, and toss it into some baked beans or as a snack while you are patiently waiting.
- Your favorite dry rub (about 1/3-1/2 cup per slab). Relax if you don’t have one because there is one below that works great.
- regular yellow mustard
First things first make the rub and you will need:
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tb paprika
- 1 tb ground mustard
- 1 tb onion powder
- 1 tb garlic powder
- 1 tb celery salt
- 1 tb chili powder (I like to use ancho)
- 1 tb kosher salt
- 1 tb black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Combine everything throughly and set aside.
For the ribs the biggest debate is whether to remove the membrane on the back or not. I never remove the membrane mostly because well if you cook them properly the membrane is not a factor in the finished product and well laziness is a great thing. If you want to remove it on the back using pliers just grab and rip. It should come up in one big piece.
Using the mustard apply a thin layer on the ribs.
Cover the rib with the rub.
After they are rubbed and ready to go I like to get the WSM up to temperature. For ribs I try to stay between 215-225.
When your WSM is up to temperature (if you need help getting it started use the minion method) put the ribs on.
Cook till done and do not peek or baste the ribs. Opening up the smoker causes heat to escape which increases your cooktime. Also temperature swings are very bad when using a smoker. I usually figure spare ribs are going to take anywhere from 5-6 hours. An easy way to check for doneness is to wiggle a bone and if it frees up easily they are done. Another way is to grab one side of the slab with tongs and lift. If the meat starts to break in the middle they are done.
Some people like to cover their ribs with foil while they are cooking. Personally I think this creates a mushy crust and am not a fan of using it.
Finally, keep the BBQ sauce off the ribs never understood why people want to ruin that great rub crust they spent hours working to achieve. If you have to serve it on the side.
Serve family style and enjoy. I like to put a knife in the pan and let people rip off what they want.