Slow-Smoked Spareribs with Sweet-and-Sour Barbecue Sauce

Slow Smoked Spareribs

Recipe from Weber's Way to Grill™ by Jamie Purviance

Serves: 8 // Prep time: 30 minutes | Grilling time: 5 to 6 hours | Special equipment: 5 fist-sized chunks hickory or apple wood



  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons pure chile powder
  • 2 tablespoons packed golden brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 4 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 4 teaspoons celery seed
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 racks St. Louis–style spareribs, each 3 to 3½ lb


  • 1 cup apple juice
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • ⅔ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons reserved rub


  1. Prepare your smoker, following manufacturer’s instructions, for indirect cooking with low heat (225° to 250°F).
  2. In a medium bowl mix the rub ingredients. Set aside 2 tablespoons for the sauce. Season the ribs all over with the rub, putting more of it on the meaty sides than the bone sides.
  3. In a small bowl mix the mop ingredients.
  4. Brush the cooking grate clean. Add two of the wood chunks to the charcoal. Smoke the spareribs over indirect low heat until the meat has shrunk back from the bones at least ½ inch and the meat tears easily when you lift each rack. Baste the ribs on both sides with the mop every 2 hours and add 1 more wood chunk to the charcoal each hour, until they are gone. The total cooking time could be anywhere between 5 to 6 hours. Not all racks will cook in the same amount of time. Maintain the temperature of the smoker between 225° to 250°F by opening and closing the vents.
  5. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, mix the sauce ingredients and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
  6. When the meat has shrunk back at least ½ inch in several places, lightly brush the ribs on both sides with sauce.
  7. Cook the ribs for 30 minutes to 1 hour more. Remove them from the smoker and, if desired, lightly brush the ribs on both sides with sauce again. Then cut the racks into individual ribs. Serve warm with the remaining sauce on the side.

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