Don’t let the name fool you. These ribs are anything but dry. I like them because spare ribs have more meat and fat than loin back ribs (and everyone knows that “Fat is Flavor”). When properly rendered, spare ribs produce the most succulent meat you’ve ever eaten. Here’s how I like to cook them:
First off “What is a St. Louis Cut Rib?”:
The St. Louis cut is simply a rack of spare ribs with the backbone and any extra cartilage trimmed off. When trimmed they almost look like a perfect rectangle. You can easily do this yourself, but your butcher will be glad to do it for you. Also, be sure to remove the tough membrane on the backside of the ribs. (It’s too tough to eat and acts as a barrier keeping the seasonings from getting to the meat)
1 slab of St. Louis Cut Spare Ribs
2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
1/2 cup Dry BBQ Rub*
*recipe to follow
Rub each side of the ribs with a thin coat of Regular Yellow Mustard (helps the rub stick to the meat).
Liberally coat each side with dry bbq rub and gentle massage into the meat. Wrap the rack with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
Remove the ribs from the refrigerator 1 hour prior to cooking, allowing the meat to come to room temp. Prepare a charcoal grill or smoker for indirect cooking. Bring the temperature to 250 degrees w/ light smoke. I use cherry or apple wood chunks for a mild, sweet flavor.
Once the grill or smoker is at proper temperature, place the ribs on the cooking grate. Mop the ribs with baste every hour. The baste keeps the ribs from drying out and builds layers of flavor. It will take approximately 4-5 hours for the ribs to cook. The ribs are done when the meat pulls back from the bones and a toothpick can be inserted with little resistance.
Mop the ribs one last time and dust with the dry bbq rub. Give them about 10 more minutes and remove from the cooker. Serve with your favorite bbq sauce on the side. This is my personal favorite way to enjoy ribs. The dry seasoning brings out the natural flavor of the pork, and if you want a sweet, sticky sauce, you can add it yourself.
Dry BBQ Rub
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c packed dark brown sugar
1/2 c Kosher Salt
1/2 c Sweet Spanish Paprika
1/4 c Garlic Salt
2 TBSP restaurant ground black pepper
1 TBSP Chili Powder
1/2 tea Cayenne Pepper
Mix it all together and store in an airtight container for up to a month.
4oz Apple Cider Vinegar
4oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 TBSP Dry BBQ Rub
1 tea Worcestershire Sauce
1 tea Soy Sauce
Whisk all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and apply with a BBQ mop.