Slowly Smoked and Cooked BBQ Pork St. Louis Style Spareribs
The smoker slowly cooks your meal to perfection, while at the same time delivering a cloud of incredible hickory, fruit wood and cooked meat smells to the entire neighborhood. Today we’ll be cooking BBQ pork St. Louis style spareribs that will be sure to bring the neighbors over to see what’s cooking in your backyard. Before we get started let’s acknowledge there are two cuts of ribs which include the spare and baby back. Cut from the belly and breast bone area, spare ribs can typically be found in lengths of eleven to thirteen bones. If you’re looking for ribs that have more fat and meat you’ll want to choice these over the baby back ribs. The other choice, being baby back ribs, are cut from the uppermost part of the rib cage and are much smaller and tenderer than spare ribs.
Instead of heading to a local Chilli’s restaurant for their catchy song about their baby back ribs, we’re going to be making St. Louis style spare ribs by trimming of the breast bone and skirt. There are people who might ask the question of which rib cut, spare or baby back, is the best rib for smoking? However it’s a matter of personal choice, but if you have to ask we prefer St. Louis style spare ribs due to their meat and fat content. Keep in mind if you are set on cooking baby back ribs you’ll need to calculate your cooking method beforehand as they tend to cook faster than spare ribs.
Before we get start you’ll need to remove the membrane which is a clear layer that’s located on the bone side of the ribs. And while people are open to discussing this with a debate of removing it or keeping it, most say it provides for better smoke infiltration, others say it has no affect and serves no purpose to remove it. Simply said we believe it’s always better to go the extra step, and to take a moment to remove this slimy membrane with pliers. Once that’s completed you’ll have the option to use a dry rub or BBQ sauce on the ribs, the best choice is to use the dry rub and offer the BBQ sauce on the side for others to individually choose. If you choose to apply the BBQ sauce make sure you don’t burn the sugars in the sauce, to avoid this only apply it thirty minutes before you’re finished cooking. Before you apply the dry rub, you’ll want to make a small coating of mustard to ensure the dry rub has something to bond to. After all of the ingredients in the dry rub have been mixed thoroughly together, shake them over the ribs for a nice even coating.
Once you’ve finished the initial prep work you’ll need to choose a type of wood that will produce a stream of barely visible smoke. Simply put, if the smoke is coming out like an explosion while cooking it can cause the ribs to develop a very bitter and unpleasant taste. We recommend any sort of combination that includes both hickory and apple wood. Next you’ll want to lay the ribs on the smoker set at two hundred to two hundred and twenty five degrees, and give them plenty of time to slowly cook. This meal takes around five hours to complete however keep in mind that some ribs can take well over six hours. The best way to check to see if you’re cooking process is complete is to take a small toothpick and place it into the meat; if it glides down with no pressure you’ll know they are finished.
For this recipe, here are the things you will need: 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup papriaka (Hungarian), 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon pure ground chili or use a mixture of ancho, guajillo, and chipotle peppers, 2 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon coriander, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, Cayenne pepper to taste add as needed, and finally Yellow mustard.
Credit goes to Jeff Shively who operates on of the best cooking blogs we’ve seen, Culinary Disasters. Jeff’s first hand knowledge comes from hands on experiences by creating some of the best tasting recipes.