Rib lovers can enjoy that delicious sweet and smoky flavor found in their favorite restaurants when they prepare spare ribs at home. Whether the sauce is sweet, hot, or left off in favor of a dry rub, nothing beats a tender plate of ribs paired with baked beans and slaw or a green salad. Great spare ribs can be prepared at home for a fraction of what one would pay in a restaurant. Open a can of baked beans and stir up a quick cabbage slaw and let the good eating begin!
Start with a fresh, high quality product
The best spare ribs start with the best product. Choose fresh ribs with a nice pink color and some white fat. Fat that is yellowish or gray means that the ribs might not be fresh. Ribs have a high fat content and when foods with high fat content are frozen, they can develop rancid, off flavors. For this reason, avoid ribs that have been previously frozen and thawed before being displayed for sale. Purchase enough ribs for at least one pound per person.
Choose a rub, a sauce, or both
A simple but flavorful dry rub for a rack of ribs can be made by mixing together 4 tablespoons of brown sugar, ½ tablespoon of kosher salt, ½ tablespoon of chili powder, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and ½ tsp of garlic powder. Mix all ingredients well and spread on both sides of the ribs. Place the ribs in a baking pan and bake uncovered in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes. Cover with foil (be careful not to burn hands) and reduced heat to 350 degrees F. Bake the ribs until they are tender and the bones can be easily separated. Remove foil and brush with bottled sauce if desired. Return to the oven for 5-10 minutes or until ribs have a nice glaze.
Ribs may be parboiled prior to grilling
Some people choose to par boil ribs until just tender before they grill them. Par boiling is a good way to remove some extra fat from the ribs. To par boil a rack of ribs, cut it into sections to fit into a large pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat and cover with a lid. Cook the ribs until they are just tender. Drain well. The ribs may grilled immediately, or cooled and refrigerated for grilling later. Cook ribs on a gas or charcoal grill until nice grilled marks appear. Brush each side with sauce and grill for a few more minutes until ribs are nicely glazed with a slight char but not burned. Grill ribs from start to finish
Ribs may be cooked entirely on the grill. This will take a little time and patience. However the result will be a smoky flavor that permeates the meat and tastes great with almost any sauce. Follow the instructions in the grill user’s guide to determine how long to cook ribs on the grill.