I am so excited to share this 3-2-1 smoked spare rib recipe created especially for your super bowl party this Sunday. There's only one thing more important than the game.. it's the food!
If you haven't used the 3-2-1 method to get smoked spare ribs to that coveted “fall off the bone” tenderness, juiciness in every bite and a crust on the outside that will tantalize your tastebuds, then you haven't had ribs at their best.
Be sure to use my original rub recipe on these super bowl smoked spare ribs. They are easy to make using common ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry or spice cabinet and you'll be amazed at how good they are.
I promise you’ll love my dry rub/seasoning recipes and my barbecue sauce recipe or you don’t pay!
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Place the spare ribs bone side up on a cutting board or down in a pan.
First we have to remove the flap of meat called the skirt.. this piece is best removed and cooked alone to allow a more even thickness of the ribs and to allow more smoke to get to the back side of the ribs.
Using a sharp knife, hold it up vertically with one hand and slice it off as close to the bone as you can get.
If you look closely, you will see a thick plastic-like membrane on the outside of the bones. Very carefully, get your fingers under this and with a good grip, pull it clean off. If you need a better grip, you can use a paper towel or some catfish skinning pliers.
It's not important that you get it all off in one piece or even that you don't leave any. Get as much of it as you can.
The one on the left still has the membrane, one on the right has been removed already.
There is a odd shaped bone that runs sort of diagonal on one side of the rack of spare ribs. You don't have to remove it but it does make the ribs much easier to slice when they are done smoking.
I call it bone, but really it's mostly cartilage so a good sharp knife and it will come off with relative ease.
While the meat is still laying bone side up, it's a great time to go ahead and season up this side.
To help the rub to stick really good, apply a good coat of yellow mustard all over.
Leave them sitting there for about 10 minutes to let the rub draw moisture from the mustard and the ribs. You will see a visible change in the rub once they are ready to turn over.
Flip the spare ribs over to meaty side up, bone side down.
Apply a coat of yellow mustard to the top and sides of the ribs to make sure the rub will stick really well.
Leave them sitting there for about 10 minutes to let the rub soak up the some of the moisture.
The rub will get a sort of “wet” look to it when they are ready to go on the smoker.
Set up your smoker for cooking at about 225-240°F using indirect heat. If your smoker has a water pan, fill it up.
If it is cold out, consider allowing your smoker to preheat for an hour or more so the metal can warm up and help reduce the heat recovery time when you open the door to insert the food.
Once your smoker is ready, the spare ribs can be placed in the smoker.
I used the Smokin-it 2D electric smoker for some of these ribs.. I'll be writing a review on this one very soon but I am really liking what I see so far!
I recommend using cherry wood for smoke but pecan, hickory, apple, etc. will work fine. Use the smoking wood that you have available.
Maintain 225-240°F with smoke during this first 3 hours and keep the door/lid closed for better heat retention.
At the end of 3 hours, wrap the spare ribs in a double layer of heavy duty foil. It is best if they are not wrapped extremely tight but it is important that the foil is sealed pretty good so the steam can stay inside and help to tenderize the meat.
Some folks add juice or some liquid to the foil before closing up the foil.. I have done this as well but in my most recent experience, I get better results from omitting the extra liquid.
Once the ribs are wrapped in foil, place them back into the smoker and continue cooking them at 225-240°F for about 2 hours.
At the end of 2 hours wrapped in foil, the ribs will be really tender but the outside will be soft and mushy. To form a good crust it is essential to give the ribs another hour or so in the smoker, unwrapped.
Remove them from the foil and place them back on the smoker grate for 1 hour.
You can also throw them onto a hot grill and get this done quicker. The grill is also a great place to add some sauce and let it caramelize.
I fired up the XL Big Green Egg (325°F indirect) and gave the ribs about 5 minutes on each side while painting on the mustard sauce. I highly recommend this sauce and method.
Once the ribs are finished, place them on the counter with some foil tented over the top for about 20 minutes to let the juices redistribute throughout the meat.
Slice the ribs between the bones and serve right away.
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If you haven't used the 3-2-1 method to get smoked spare ribs to that coveted “fall off the bone” tenderness and juiciness then you haven't had ribs at their best.