Fire Day Friday: Slow Smoked Spare Ribs

Normally I try to keep my Fire Day Friday posts to short grilling recipes but since it is Labor Day Weekend, I want to post how I like to smoke pork spare ribs. The process is written for 1 rack of ribs, multiply as needed. 
Slow Smoked Spare Ribs
1 rack pork spare ribs trimmed St. Louis style and membrane removed from back
1 Tablespoon peanut oil
2 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
¼ cup BBQ dry rub
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 “long squirt” Squeeze Parkay (See instructions)
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
2 Tablespoons honey
1.5 teaspoons BBQ dry rub
Rub rib on both sides with the oil. Sprinkle both sides with black pepper. Sprinkle both sides evenly with BBQ rub. [Rub note: There are a lot of good BBQ dry rubs available on the market now. If you can’t find one or want to make your own, try the dry rub from this recipe from Chris Lilly on]
The St Louis style trim gives you even portions and quicker cooking.
Build an indirect fire in your grill at 250f. If you are using a charcoal smoker or grill, mix several fist sized chunks of wood in with the coal. If you are using a gas grill here are some options for you from Grill Master, John Dawson of Patio Daddio.
I like hickory wood for flavor and cherry wood for coloring the meat.
Smoke the ribs bone side down in a covered grill for 3 hours, replenishing coals and wood as needed to maintain the temperature. 
Remove the ribs from the smoker/grill. Fold a 3 foot piece of foil in half. Place half the brown sugar and Tiger Sauce on the foil. Squirt one “rib length” squirt of the Parkay on top. Place the rib meat side down on top. 
Place the rest of the brown sugar, Tiger Sauce, and another squirt of the Parkay on top. Parkay sounds weird I know. But a LOT of the pros on the competition BBQ circuit use this trick.
Wrap the foil tightly around the rib rack and seal tightly. Place back on the grill/smoker for another hour.
Remove the ribs from the grill. CAREFULLY open the foil with tongs and oven mitts. Take the ribs out of the foil but keep the juice.
Whisk together the BBQ sauce, honey, and BBQ rub. Add 2 Tablespoons of the juice from the foil pack and whisk into the glaze.
Glaze both sides of the rack of ribs and return to the grill for another hour. The ribs are done when they bend easily like this but don’t fall apart.
If you want “fall off the bone” ribs (which are technically overdone), leave them in the foil for an extra 30 minutes during the foiled portion.
Slice and serve with the leftover BBQ glaze. 
I hope you all fire up your grills and enjoy this holiday weekend!

Love this recipe Chris! Can’t wait to try it… and I will try it!! I know I keep saying it, but St Louis Ribs thwarted me once and I will not allow that to happen again 🙂


Oh yes! Fabulous. These are the kind of ribs that make Labor Day weekend even more fun.

As always, good advice/tips on preparing them right.

Have a great weekend.



I’m telling you, if that darn membrane wasn’t so hard to pull off, I’d make ribs all the time. Instead I’ll have to drool over your wonderful photos.