What you’ll need to get started:
6 pounds pork spareribs
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup salt
2 1/2 tablespoons ground black pepper
3 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 tablespoons garlic powder
Later in the process you will need:
5 tablespoons pan drippings
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 cups ketchup
3 cups hot water
4 tablespoons brown sugar
cayenne pepper to taste salt and pepper to taste
1 cup wood chips, soaked
What to do:
- If I have to tell you how to prep the meat, stop. Go to your local restaurant; one that truly slow cooks their ribs. You’ll be happier. J
Now, in a medium to large sized bowl mix together the sugar, salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. Coat the ribs with spice mix and place the ribs in two 10×15 inch roasting pans, piling two racks of ribs per pan. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. I usually suggest you do this the morning you actually want to cook up the ribs (even better the night before you want to cook them). The longer the rub gets a chance to work over the ribs the better.
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (this is for a “normal” altitude, if you live in a higher altitude you will have to adjust this a bit). Bake uncovered for 3 to 4 hours. You will know the ribs are ready to transfer to the grill when they tender and nearly fall apart when trying to pick them up.
Remove at least 5 tablespoons of drippings from the bottom of the roasting pans the ribs were in and place in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the onion in the pan drippings until lightly browned and tender. At this point you will add the ketchup and heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Mix in water and brown sugar, and season to taste with cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour, adding water as necessary to achieve desired thickness.
Preheat grill your CHARCOAL grill. (okay fine, you can use propane it’s just not going to taste the same!)
When you are ready to grill add soaked wood chips to the coals (or to the smoker box of a gas grill *sigh). Lightly oil grill grate (can’t stress this enough); seeing as your ribs should already be falling apart you don’t want them sticking to the grill. Place the ribs on the grill two racks at a time so they are not crowded. Cook for 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Baste ribs with sauce during the last 10 minutes of grilling. This will keep the sauce from burning. If you want you can do it from the beginning just ensure the fire isn’t burning too hot if that is the case.
So if you add all this up, this process can take anywhere from 8-15 or more hours. The longest part is waiting for the rub on the ribs. After that this process really is about 3-5 hours.
Tip: I also add garlic powder to my BBQ sauce and/or honey depending on how I’m feeling. Those of you that have had my ribs complain you can’t seem to get the same flavor(s) as I do. That’s because my BBQ sauce is “my” sauce. The above is the basics for you. J
Hope you enjoy!