Recipe of the Week
Kansas City BBQ Spare Ribs
February 17, 2011

I make the some of the best BBQ ribs that I have ever tasted. Well, at least in our area. I actually hope to be a contestant in a barbecue competition someday.

This creation is a combination of many different recipes as well as hours and hours of trial and error. For most people, this is definitely a weekend venture.

Begin your Saturday by visiting your favorite butcher and then spend a very fun afternoon with your charcoal grill. You may want to invite a few friends and you can be sure that they will be properly impressed!


6 racks of baby back spareribs
2 gallons of apple cider (reserve some for spraying the ribs during cooking)
2 whole lemons
1 cup of Basic BBQ Dry Rub (See recipe)
3 cups of your favorite homemade or commercial barbecue sauce
Smoking wood for the grill soaked at least 1 hour before cooking. (I prefer plum, pear, peach or a combination thereof)


Trim each rack of ribs as necessary removing the membrane on the back. This is very important.

Place the ribs in a large non-reactive roasting pan. Pour the cider over the ribs so that they are completely covered. Squeeze the juice from the lemons over the ribs catching the seeds with your fingers. Or, wrap the lemon in cheesecloth and squeeze. The cheesecloth filters the seeds.

Turn the ribs several times to make sure they are well coated with the cider. Let them set in the refrigerator covered for 3 hours.

When ready, drain the ribs and blot them dry with paper towels. Sprinkle dry rub to cover both sides of the ribs, patting it into the meat with your fingers. Let the ribs stand in the refrigerator covered for 3 hours.

Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. Place a large drip pan in the center between the coals and fill halfway with water. Place the wood chips on top of the hot coals on each side of the grill.

Place the ribs over the drip pan (away from the direct heat). Cover the grill and cook them at 250 degrees for approximately 3 hours. Spray the ribs every half hour with the reserved apple cider during the cooking process. You will need to add charcoal and additional wood chips every hour during the cooking process to maintain the temperature.

I start my new charcoal each hour in another grill or in a chimney starter can. Transfer the hot coals to the cooking grill as they are needed to maintain the desired temperature of 250 degrees.

During the last 20 minutes of cooking time, lightly brush the ribs on both sides with 1 cup of the sauce. When the ribs are fully cooked, the meat will have shrunk back from the bones about inch. The meat will be tender enough to tear apart with your fingers. Perfectly cooked ribs are tender enough to take a defined bite, but are still firm enough to not pull off the bone.

Be very careful not to overcook them! If the ribs start to dry out during the cooking process, wrap them with aluminum foil to keep them moist. Even the pros use this trick during BBQ competitions.

When the ribs are finished, transfer them to a platter and let them rest for a few minutes before serving. I accompany the ribs with extra BBQ sauce and more Basic BBQ Dry Rub.

They are perfect every time!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Temperature is one of the most important aspects to successfully smoke cooking ribs. It is very important that the ribs are cooked at approximately 250 degrees throughout the entire cooking process. You will have to check your charcoal grill frequently to achieve this.