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Fall-Off-The-Bone Pork Spare Ribs, Start to Finish

Pork spare ribs are a BBQ classic. A sure way to impress your friends and family at this summer's cookouts is to serve up a platter stacked high with racks of ribs, each packed with tender, smoky flavor. This recipe and how-to for how to cook classic BBQ ribs step by step, from start to finish, is one of our most popular recipes, ever.


BBQ Basics

Ingredients

At least 2 St. Louis style rib racks, 3.5 to 4 lbs each
Canola Oil (or Grapeseed or Avocado)
Head Country High Plains Heat
Head Country Original Championship Seasoning
Light Brown Sugar, Butter, and Coke
Apple Juice
Glaze: 1/2 C. each of Head Country Original, Head Country Apple Habanero, and Honey

Cooking Instructions

These ribs are fall-off-the-bone good. We have received numerous awards for our ribs, including finals at the Houston Rodeo World Championship (HLSR) and numerous top-10 finishes. Pick St. Louis rib racks that are between 3.5 to 4 lbs each in individual packages, deep red in color and preferably with thin striations of fat on the top – not big chunks.

Preheat grill to 300 degrees F. If using charcoal, light a full chimney of coals, then set up a two-zone fire by piling lit coals on one side of the grill, stacking to increase the grill temperature and spreading to decrease the grill temperature.

First, trim the ribs. On the meaty side of the racks, trim the large piece of fat from the thick end of the ribs. Cut the rib rack into a rectangle and down to 10 total ribs. Flip the ribs over and trim any excess fat on the bone side, as well as the flap of meat, if there is one. Remove the back membrane: make a cut down the middle of one of the bones on the end and use a paper towel to remove by pulling it away from the rib rack.

With the meat side down, apply a thin coating of canola oil, then a medium coat of Head Country Original Championship Seasoning. Flip the ribs to meat-side-up. Apply a thin coating of canola, then a medium coat of Original Championship Seasoning. Next, apply a medium coat of Head Country High Plains Heat Championship Seasoning. Spritz the ribs with apple juice to induce sweating. Let the ribs sit for 10 minutes.

Place the ribs, meat side up, with the thickest end of the ribs to the back of the preheated grill (or closest to the source of the heat). Allow to cook for one hour. Reduce the temperature to 275 degrees F if the original weight of the ribs was between 3.75-4 pounds, or 250 degrees F if the weight was closer to 3.5 pounds for two hours. Spritz lightly with apple juice every 30 minutes to keep the ribs moist (not wet).

Use two sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil measuring almost twice the length of the ribs. Using one spatula on each end, pick up the rib rack without touching the top of the ribs, and place one rack on the foil, meat side up. Pour 3-4 ounces of Coca-Cola around the ribs. On top of the ribs, add a light layer of light brown sugar. Add 3-4 thin slices of butter along the rib racks, on top of the sugar, spaced evenly. Wrap the ribs like an A-frame house so that the foil does not touch the top of the ribs. Fold the sides up first, then the ends.

Place the loosely wrapped ribs in the grill, with the thicker side toward the back of the grill (or toward the heat source). Let the ribs cook for another 2.5 hours at 250 degrees F.

Remove the ribs from the grill and open the foil wrapping on each rack. Pour a light coat of glaze on top of the ribs and spread lightly with a basting brush. Place the ribs back on the grill for 5 minutes at 250 degrees F.

Place the ribs on a cutting board, meat side up. Cut the ribs with a long knife between the bones. If you are unsure where to cut, use a toothpick before slicing to mark a safe zone between each bone. Serve immediately and enjoy.