Pork Spare Ribs – Smoked To Perfection

How do I make the best smoked spare ribs?

Smoked Spare Ribs


I love to break out my smoker on a long weekend. Today is the Sunday before labor day and i’m going to tackle some pork spare ribs. Spare ribs usually run a bit cheaper that the classic baby backs and contain much more meat for your money.

What will I need?

Smoked Spare Ribs Recipe

The ingredients needed for terrific spare ribs are pretty simple.

The Ribs –

Select a rack with nice marbling spread evenly throughout the meat. I usually go for a full rack. You can also find a Saint Louis cut where the rack has been trimmed. This cut is usually more expensive and you will get less meat on the rib. Doesn’t really make since to me.

The Binder-

This will help the rub stick to the ribs. I’ve seen people use everything from squeeze butter (not sure what this stuff is made of) to honey. I use standard yellow mustard.

The Rub-

Along with the smoke this will give your ribs it’s flavor. My go to is Gordon’s Grub Rub. It has the perfect blend of sweet and heat that I like. You can use your favorite as long as it has some sugar in it.  Here is a basic rub recipe if you want to make your own.

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

The Smoker-

Use whatever smoker you have as long as you can maintain a consistent temperature of 230 degrees and a continuous smoke for the first 3 hours of cooking. I use a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker and an A-MAZE-N Pellet Tray with pecan pellets.

Let’s Put it Together

1 day prior to the day you plan on smoking your ribs you will need to prepare them. Wash your ribs thoroughly and remove the membrane from the rib side of the rack. Next coat the ribs with your mustard and then your rub. You will need to then place your ribs uncovered in the fridge overnight.

Spare Ribs Rub

7-8 hours prior to when you are planning to eat bring your smoker up to temperature (220-250 degrees)and get your smoke going. Once your smoke is ready place your ribs in the smoker and insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the rack. Try to keep the probe away from the bone. Now go grab a beer and wait. We will be monitoring for an internal temperature of 190 degrees. The ribs are “done” at 145 degrees but at 190-200 degrees the fat and collagen melts to give us the juicy, fall off the bone ribs we are looking for.

Smoking Spare Ribs

After about 3 hours take the ribs out and wrap them in aluminum foil. This will seal in the juices and keep our ribs from drying out while we bring  them up to our desired internal temperature. Time to grab another beer. After about 5-6 hours at 230 degrees you should be ready to pull the ribs out.



Smoked Spare Ribs Juicy

Slice the ribs with the bone and serve. I like to pair these with some home made carolina cole slaw. Now all you need to do is practice your humble acceptance off all of the compliments you will receive.

Guest: “These are the best ribs I have ever had.”

You: “Oh, you are too kind . I Know.” 

Pork Spare Ribs - Smoked To Perfection
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1 rack
  1. One day prior Wash your rack of spare ribs and dry them off.
  2. Apply the yellow mustard on both sides of the ribs.
  3. Rub the seasoning on all sides of the ribs.
  4. Leave uncovered in the fridge overnight.
    7 hours prior to meal time
  5. Get the smoker going. Set temperature around 230 - 250 degrees.
  6. Place the ribs on the smokerwith the bone side up.
  7. Remove the ribs when they reach an internal temperature of 190 degrees.

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