It's outdoor cooking season and time for my brother's smoky ribs. I was lucky enough to get Frank to blog with me and share the secret to making his moist and flavorful pork spare ribs. I'm guessing he would tell you that the secret is in the dry rub but I think it all starts with his insistence on using pork spare ribs, not baby backs or beef ribs. You must use meaty pork spare ribs for this recipe or risk that they will dry out.
The next critical step is to get the dry rub just right. Frank knows by the color. It starts out quite red (chili powder and paprika) but the brown sugar and garlic powder change that. In the end, it's the dry mustard that turns it the rich amber color that you see below. You don't have to worry about that though, just follow the measurements and it will be spicy and delicious.
The prep is easily done, you just have to be patient and let the cooking process take as long as it needs. Give it time. Find something to take your mind off the aroma because 6 hours of that is torture. Gather the family. Tell stories. Re-seed the yard. You've got time.
For this recipe you'll need a smoker. We used hickory chips but apple or cherry are also great with pork. Never having used a smoker myself, I was surprised by the amount of time it took to make them. Oh, was it ever worth it!
Time: Overnight in the rub, 6-7 hours in the smoker
Yield: Serves 4-6
1 Rack pork spare ribs
Approx 1 1/2 cups of Frank's own dry rub:
1/3 cup chili powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp dry thyme
3 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp dry mustard
2 tbsp dry oregano
1 tbsp allspice
Make the dry rub by mixing all of the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
6-7 hours before mealtime...
Preheat the smoker according to manufacturer's directions. Place the meat directly on the shelf and maintain a temperature of 225 degrees for 6 hours.
Test for doneness by poking the thickest part of the meat with a fork. If you can push the fork sideways, and the meat shreds away from the bone easily, it's done.