Pork spare ribs are our favorite to smoke and to eat

Posted on July 5, 2016

Pork spare ribs out of the smoker

We live in Kansas City, Missouri. It’s important to get the Missouri-part correct. We grew up here. We spent some time elsewhere. Eventually, we returned to Kansas City. We did not come back for the barbecue, but if we had, that would have been a worthy excuse.

Kansas City has the most delicious barbecue anywhere. We understand that some may quibble with this fact. They might favor Memphis or Texas or North Carolina. Sometimes in life, though, people are wrong.

We view Kansas City as tops because it tastes the best. Equally impressive is the fact that Kansas Citians don’t limit themselves to a specialty. They’ll smoke anything and everything and do it very well. We enjoy brisket and pulled pork. We love burnt ends. Our favorite are pork spare ribs. They are big and meaty with tons of fat and connective tissue that melts when cooked low and slow. They are a barbecuer’s barbecue.

Of course, we can drive down the street and buy championship-level grub, so why would we insist on smoking our own? Because challenges should be confronted. Because we like to customize and experiment. Because, well, sleep is overrated.

Smoked pork spare ribs, grilled corn and roasted carrots

Last Sunday, we hosted family for dinner to celebrate Independence Day. We roasted carrots. We grilled corn on the cob. We smoked pork spare ribs. Have you ever seen such a beautiful meal?

Smoked Pork Spare Ribs


  • Two racks of pork spare ribs


  • Half gallon of apple juice
  • One cup of kosher salt
  • One cup of brown sugar
  • One tablespoon of maple syrup
  • Rub

  • One cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of paprika
  • One tablespoon of onion powder
  • One tablespoon of garlic powder
  • One tablespoon of kosher salt
  • One tablespoon of white sugar
  • One tablespoon of ground mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon of chili powder
  • One teaspoon of curry powder
  • One teaspoon of cinnamon

Pork spare ribs with rub applied


Brine ribs overnight. Remove from brine, and pat dry. Apply rub. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature. Heat smoker to 220°F. Smoke ribs until they reach an internal temperature of 170°F—about four hours. Spray and/or inject with apple juice every hour. Heat smoker to 250°F. Finish ribs to an internal temperature of 190°F to 200°F.

Remove ribs. Let cool for 30 minutes. Slice slab into individual ribs. Either sauce and serve; or serve dry and allow guests to sauce.

Pork spare ribs are our favorite to smoke and to eat

We use a Bradley Digital Smoker. We’ve tried many a sauce, including our own. The best, what we used here, is Cowtown BBQ Original Sauce.

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