How To Cook Spare Ribs? | Tips And Tricks For Beginners

Spare ribs are an all-time favorite for many people because of their rich flavor, juicy texture, and fall-off-the-bone tenderness. However, cooking them to perfection can be daunting for some people. In this post, we’ll show you how to cook spare ribs like a pro in five simple steps. Whether you are a seasoned cook or a beginner, this guide will equip you with the skills you need to make delicious ribs at home.

What Is A Spare Ribs?

Spare ribs are a cut of pork that come from the lower portion of the rib cage, near the belly. They have more fat than baby back ribs, giving them an extra-juicy texture and rich flavor.

Cooked Ribs with Fries on Plate
Cooked Ribs with Fries on Plate

The Differences Between Ribs And Spare Ribs

When buying spare ribs, you’ll also come across the term “country-style” ribs. These are actually not ribs at all but rather a cut of meat from the shoulder area, which is why they’re sometimes called pork shoulder blades. They are larger than baby back and spare ribs, with more fat for flavor.

Ingredients To Cook Spare Ribs

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup fajita seasoning (such as Fiesta®)
  • 2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 2 racks pork spareribs, fat trimmed
  • 1 cup beer
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon prepared brown mustard

How To Make Seasonings For Spare Ribs?

The secret to perfectly-seasoned spare ribs is to use a generous amount of spices or rubs. Spices and rubs are the best way to season your ribs, as they not only give them flavor but also help form a delicious crust on the outside.

When it comes to seasoning your ribs, there’s no right or wrong way to do it. You can make your own rub, use store-bought seasonings, or mix and match different spices for a unique flavor. Commonly used spices include garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cumin, chili powder, oregano, thyme, black pepper, and brown sugar.

To create a rub, simply mix together the desired spices in a bowl until evenly combined. Rub your ribs with the spice mix and let them rest for at least thirty minutes before cooking. The longer you let it sit, the more intense the flavor will become.

Ribs Grilling on Barbecue
Ribs Grilling on Barbecue

How To Cook Spare Ribs?

Choose The Right Ribs

The first step in cooking perfect spare ribs is choosing the right ribs. Go for meatier ribs that have plenty of marbling, which adds flavor to your dish. Pork spare ribs are the most common type of ribs use for barbecue, and they come in two types: St. Louis cut and baby back. St. Louis cut spare ribs are fattier, meatier, and more flavorful. Baby back ribs have a tender texture, but they are not as meaty as St. Louis cut ribs. Look for pink meat and white bones when selecting your ribs.

Preparing The Ribs

Before cooking the ribs, you need to prepare them. Remove the membrane that covers the bone side of the ribs using a knife or your fingers. The membrane toughens during cooking and can make the ribs difficult to eat. Also, trim off any excess fat that is more than 1/4 inch thick to avoid flare-ups when cooking. Rub your ribs with a generous amount of spice rub, if desired, or simply season them with salt and pepper.

Cooking The Ribs

Cooking spare ribs can be done by grilling, smoking, or baking.

To grill the ribs, preheat your grill to medium heat and oil your grates to prevent sticking. Place the ribs on the grill, bone-side down, and cook for five minutes on each side.

Alternatively, you can bake your ribs in the oven by preheating your oven to 275°F. Place the ribs on a baking sheet, bone-side down, and cover with foil. Bake for two hours or until tender.

Lastly, you can smoke your ribs by using a smoker or smoking them on a charcoal grill. Smoking gives the ribs an intense smoky flavor and a great caramelized crust.

Checking For Doneness

Cooking ribs to perfection is all about getting the timing right. You can check the doneness of your ribs by using a meat thermometer. The temperature of the meat should reach 180°F when cooked. You can also check the doneness by wiggling a bone. If the rib meat is fully cooked, the bone should slide out with little resistance.

Resting And Serving

Resting the ribs is an essential step in allowing the juices to settle and absorb into the meat. Let your ribs rest for fifteen to thirty minutes before serving. This will also help keep the meat juicy and tender. Serve your spare ribs alongside your favorite sides, such as cornbread, slaw, beans, or potato salad.

Watch this video to know how to cook spare ribs.

Which Method Is Best To Cook Spare Ribs?

The best method to cook spare ribs depends on personal preference. For a smoky flavor, smoking the ribs is the way to go. Grilling gives them a great char and baked ribs are juicy and tender. Whichever method you choose, following these steps will ensure that your ribs turn out perfectly every time.

Tips To Cook Spare Ribs

  • Make sure to season your ribs with a generous amount of spice rub or salt and pepper.
  • Preheat your grill, oven, or smoker before cooking the ribs.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.
  • Allow the ribs to rest before serving them.
  • Choose butcher cut spare ribs for the best flavor.
  • Cook the ribs slowly to ensure that they are tender and juicy.
  • Don’t forget to oil your grill gr or baking sheet before cooking.
  • Make sure to keep an eye on your ribs while they are cooking. They can burn quickly if left unattended.
  • Let the ribs rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. This ensures that the juices settle and absorb into the meat, giving you juicy and tender ribs.
  • Use a good quality charcoal or wood chips for smoking your ribs.
  • For an extra flavor boost, try marinating the ribs overnight before cooking.
  • Have fun experimenting with different spice rubs and glazes to make your spare ribs truly unique.

By following these steps, you can enjoy delicious and perfectly cooked spare ribs every time. Whether you opt to grill, smoke, or bake your ribs, you’ll be sure to please everyone at your next meal. So, fire up the grill and get cooking.

Ribs being Grilled
Ribs being Grilled

What To Serve With Cooked Spare Ribs?

Cooked spare ribs pair well with a variety of sides. Some popular sides to serve with cooked ribs include macaroni and cheese, potato salad, coleslaw, cornbread, baked beans, and mashed potatoes. You can also serve the ribs with steamed vegetables such as broccoli or green beans for an extra nutritious meal.

For a spicy accompaniment, try pairing the ribs with a jalapeno-infused coleslaw or baked beans.

Whatever sides you decide to serve, cooked spare ribs make for an excellent main dish that will satisfy even your pickiest eaters.

How To Store Leftover Cooked Spare Ribs?

Leftover cooked spare ribs can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to four days. You can also divide the ribs into individual portions and freeze them for up to two months. When you’re ready to enjoy the ribs again, thaw them overnight in your refrigerator before heating in the oven or on the stovetop.

Cooked spare ribs can also be enjoyed cold the next day, making them a great option for picnics or lunch boxes. If you have any extra sauce or glaze that you used on the ribs, make sure to store it separately and reheat before serving as well.

By following these steps, you can enjoy your favorite spare ribs for days to come.

Beef Spareribs
Beef Spareribs

Conclusion: How To Cook Spare Ribs?

Cooking spare ribs can be challenging if you don’t know the right ingredients, cooking techniques, and temperature. But by following these five simple steps of how to cook spare ribs, you can cook spare ribs like a pro at home. Start by selecting the right ribs, prepare them, cook them to perfection, check for doneness, and let them rest before serving. With practice and experimentation, you can create your own distinct flavor and texture that will leave your guests wanting more. So, fire up your grill or oven and enjoy the mouthwatering taste of perfectly cooked spare ribs. Thanks for reading at mollysmtview.

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FAQ: Cook Spare Ribs

How should spare ribs be cooked?

Prepare your smoker, charcoal grill, or gas grill to a precise cooking temperature of 225°F for the best tasting ribs. Cook your ribs slowly for 3 hours using indirect heat for maximum flavor. Enhance the tenderness and juiciness of your ribs by wrapping them in foil with liquid and letting them cook for an additional 2 hours.

How long does it take to cook spare ribs?

Achieve optimal cooking results by following these guidelines for perfectly cooked ribs. For uncovered ribs, aim for a cooking time of approximately 2 hours at 350 degrees. For wrapped ribs, extend the cooking time to up to 3 hours at 300°F. Alternatively, for a quicker cooking time of 1.5 to 2 hours, increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Infuse your pork ribs with mouth-watering flavor and tenderness following these expert tips.

Are spare ribs better in oven or grill?

Experience enhanced cooking control with baking as an alternative to BBQ in achieving perfectly cooked ribs. Enjoy the benefits of oven-controlled temperature allowing you to avoid overcooking or undercooking your ribs.

How long do you cook spare ribs for and what temperature?

To achieve perfectly grilled ribs, slow cook them on the grill at 275 degrees for four to five hours. Don’t leave the final result to chance; ensure your ribs are cooked to perfection by checking their internal temperature. Aim for a range between 190 and 200 degrees. If you don’t have a meat thermometer yet, it’s a worthy investment at under $20. Elevate your grilling game and enjoy perfectly cooked ribs every time.

Should I boil spare ribs before grilling?

Boiling ribs prior to cooking is a simple and effective method to enhance their tenderness and juiciness. This technique not only reduces the cooking time considerably but also makes the meat more palatable and easier to chew.

Can you overcook spare ribs?

Typically, the ribs are seared to a crisp before they’re fully cooked, requiring a delicate balance. Overcooking the ribs results in a soft and mushy texture, although they will remain tender.

Can you cook spare ribs in 2 hours?

Achieve perfectly tender ribs with our tried-and-true method. For spareribs, bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, while baby back ribs require 1 1/2 to 2 hours. To prevent dryness, generously cover the ribs in aluminum foil halfway through cooking before brushing with your favorite barbecue sauce. With just 30 minutes remaining, baste with additional sauce, re-wrap in foil, and complete the cooking process for mouthwatering perfection.

Does the 3 2 1 method work for spare ribs?

Cooking ribs to perfection doesn’t have to be complicated. With the 3-2-1 rib method, you can enjoy juicy, melt-in-your-mouth tenderness every time. This foolproof method is ideal for spare ribs and a great way to introduce newcomers to the world of rib cooking. Try it out and savor the results!

What makes spare ribs tough?

To ensure your ribs are succulent, there are vital factors to keep in mind. For instance, if you encounter toughness, you may have forgotten to rid the membrane from the back of the ribs, or they were not cooked long enough. Alternatively, if your ribs appear parched, the odds are high that you cooked them fast and at high temperatures.

Why are spare ribs not tender?

According to our expert, fall-off-the-bone tender ribs may not actually be the best indicator of perfectly cooked meat. In fact, he notes that overly tender meat can actually be a sign of overcooking. The ideal ribs should have a slight chew to them, but still allow the meat to pull away from the bone easily. Don’t miss these nuances when cooking your next rack of ribs.

Can you cook spare ribs without foil?

When it comes to cooking ribs, there’s no need to cover them. The natural fat present in the ribs is enough to keep them moist and flavorful during the cooking process. While it is possible to use aluminum foil to cover them, this may impact the overall cooking time. Stick to leaving them uncovered and let the fat naturally baste the meat for optimal results.

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