3-2-1 Smoked Spare Ribs

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6:20 - Prep 0:20 / Cook 6:00

If you like your ribs extra tender and incredibly juicy, you’ll love this 3-2-1 Smoked Spare Ribs recipe. These St. Louis style ribs are coated with a sweet and savory rub, smothered in sauce and smoked to perfection. The 3-2-1 method delivers those fall-off-the-bone ribs everyone loves. They may not follow competition rules, but they’ll win the admiration of your friends and family.

4-6 Servings


  • 2 slabs pork spare ribs, St-Louis cut
  • handful hickory wood chunks
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
Lemon Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 5 1/4 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
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Step 1 Of 9
1. Preheat your smoker to 225°F.
2. Insert a butter knife between the membrane and one of the rib bones. Grab and pull the membrane with paper towels to remove it completely.
3. In a bowl, combine the salt, brown sugar, paprika, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Season the ribs on both sides with the dry rub mixture.
4. Place the ribs in your smoker and toss 2 to 3 wood chunks onto hot coals for smoking. Close the lid and cook for 3 hours.
5. Remove the ribs from your smoker and wrap in FDA approved peach butcher paper. Place the ribs back into your smoker and cook for another 2 hours.
6. In a saucepan, whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, molasses, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Boil for 5 minutes.
7. Remove ribs from smoker, unwrap, brush with barbecue sauce and place back in the smoker. Cook for another hour, brushing the ribs with barbecue sauce every 20 minutes.
8. Remove the ribs from your smoker and let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.
9. Cut between the bones and serve with some smoked sweet potato fries and smoked corn on the cob.
Up Your Game: 8 Tips for Smoking Meat
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