Ribs is a favourite meal enjoyed by many people. There are different recipes you can follow in preparing this delicious dish. The smoked pork spare ribs are adding an even tastier smoke flavor to this popular dish. However, if smoked incorrectly, they can turn an otherwise great meal in a pretty bad one.
There are several different techniques used for producing great ribs. In order to find out which one you prefer, the best way is to experiment and practice with different available recipes. This is our version and we will share the preparation and cooking style we use. The purpose of this article is not to go in details on how to cook them but rather to explain how to smoke them. We hope you’ll have great results by following our guidelines.
Choosing The Ribs:
Some beginners are still wondering if it is better or not to remove the membrane. The issue here is that in case you choose to not remove the membrane, the cooked ribs migh not be as tender as wanted. For this reason it is recommended to always remove the membrane when you cook pork spare ribs. By doing so your end product will be much more tender. It is very easy to remove the membrane, which is a shiny envelope located on the bone side.
In order to remove the membrane you’ll have to use a sharp paring knife. Start at one end and make short cuts by sliding your knife under the membrane while lifting the membrane from the rib bones.
The next step consists in separating the membrane from the ribs. You should be able to easily remove the membrane from the ribs if you can cut a large enough flap. While removing the membrane try to not cut the rib meat in the process. Grab the pork spare rib membrane and remove it from the bones. You’ll get good at it after some practice.
The next step consists in applying the rub. Always prepare the pork ribs a night before you plan to smoke them. This is an important step. If you apply the rub in advance this will allow it the time to work its magic. You can choose from a variety of available rub recipes. The goal of a rub is to add flavor while not overpowering the natural flavor of the meat.
Wet the rack of ribs with mustard or olive oil, before applying the rub. This way you ensure that the rub stick better. Because the mustard flavor is never noticed when you consume the meat, I prefer to use mustard all of the time. A great crust will form and the rub will stick well by wetting the ribs. Some people prefer to boil their ribs, marinade them, etc. You may choose whatever fits your taste and preferences. But one thing is for sure, you’ll love them as they will turn out great every single time.
Smoking Pork Spare Ribs:
About 45 minutes before cooking, remove the ribs from the refrigerator so they are closer to room temperature. It would take longer to cook them if you put a cold rack of ribs on the pit, and you waste time, wood and charcoal.
Seasoning is the next step of the process. When you smoke the ribs add a mixture of 3/4 apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cooking oil. This will help tenderize the meat and also add a good flavor. Spray the ribs with this mixture every 45 minutes.
Smoke the ribs for about one hour per pound, at a consistent temperature of 225 degrees F, but usually no more than 6 hours.
There are many different cooking methods. We recommend you to smoke a 5 pound rack of spare ribs for approximately 4.5 hours. During this time keep spraying them down with the mixture of vinegar and oil every 45 minutes. When you smoke your ribs place them bone side up in the smoker. At the end of the 4.5 hours, wrap them in foil for one more hour.
By smoking them this way you will be able produce a very tender rack of ribs. Due to the foil wrapping they will not turn crispy on the outside. If you prefer, you may apply some BBQ sauce the last 30 minutes of smoking. If you do this, after you apply the sauce watch your ribs because the tomatoes and sugar contained in the BBQ sauce will tend to burn quickly.
The ribs are done when each rib section will tear apart with ease and the meat retracts and exposes the edge of the rib bones. You can check by grabbing a rib bone and twisting it. In case that it easily releases from the meat, your ribs are done.
By using different types of woods you can achieve different meat smoke flavors. We prefer using charcoal, apple, and mesquite. But make sure not to add too much mesquite which can give too much of a smoky flavor to the ribs. Oak and hickory are also some popular choices of woods for smoking ribs.