Smoked Spare Ribs
How to make smoked ribs; the food that almost everyones heart yearns for.
  • 1 rack of spare ribs, preferably meaty (4-7 lbs)
  • 8½ cups wood chips, wood chunks, or a mixture of the two (pecan or oak are good choices. I used pecan.)
Dry Rub:
  • 2 teaspoons each of salt, optional coconut sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon each black pepper, cacao powder
  • ½ teaspoon each onion powder, cinnamon, chipotle chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  1. Combine all ingredients for the dry rub in a small bowl and mix until well combined. Rinse and pat dry the spare ribs then remove the membrane from the underside of the ribs. You can do this by carefully using a paring knife to loosen it and then working your fingers under it and it should eventually peel off fairly easily. (Refer to the image in the post and do not skip the membrane removing as it won't cook properly if you do not remove it). Rub the ribs with the spice rub and place in the fridge for 45 minutes and up to overnight.
  2. Soak 2½ cups of the wood chips in water for at least 20 minutes. Preheat your smoker to 225-250 degrees. Fill your water pan with some water so it's halfway filled. Add 3 cups of dry chips to your smoker, once it begins to smoke place your ribs in the smoker and smoke for a total of 5-6 hours. Checking every once in a while for the smoke to stop. Once the smoke has stopped emitting from your smoker add 1 cup of dry chips with a handful of wet chips to your smoker and continue smoking for the remaining time. Continue replacing the chips with the same ratio of wet and dry chips when the smoke stops emitting from your smoker until you run out of chips and continue to cook the ribs in your smoker making sure to maintain a temperature of 225-250 for the remaining time (this should leave you with around 3 hours of actual smoking and 5-6 hours total time in the smoker cooking).
  3. Your ribs are done once you can see the ribs poking out from the meat and they loosely wiggle around when you twist them. Let rest lightly tented with foil for 30 minutes and serve immediately or wrap in foil and leave in a oven preheated to 225 degrees for up to 3 hours. (If you leave them in the oven to stay warm for at least another hour the ribs are even better FYI)
Notes about coconut sugar use: I made the coconut sugar optional but I highly recommend not skipping it despite what you might think about the sugar content it's very low since there is only 2 teaspoons which totals at 8 grams of sugar for the whole rack of ribs, so whatever residual sugar is left on the ribs is negligible and the sugar is what helps create the caramelized crust known as the bark around the ribs. Plus coconut sugar is lower glycemic than other sweeteners like honey, cane sugar, maple sugar, etc, so in my opinion it's nothing to worry about.
Recipe by Slim Palate at