Competition-Style Pork Spare Ribs Recipe


The steps below outline the process a competition pitmaster takes towards preparing pork spare ribs for judging.


Pork Spare Ribs

4 slabs pork spare ribs, St Louis Style
1 bottle ConAgra Parkay Margarine Spray
½ cup Smokin' Guns Hot Rub
1 cup Cimarron Docs Rib Rub
1 cup water
¼ cup local honey
½ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cayenne powder
1 food-safe spray bottle
4 sheets aluminium foil
4 gallon size bags


  1. The longest bone is where the flap turns, so cut a straight line down from there, then over and up to create a rectangle.
  2. Trim the skirt/flap.
  3. Remove the first bone (or bones too small to turn in).
  4. Flip over, lift up an edge of the membrane, grip with a paper towel and remove.
  5. Trim the edges for neatness.
  6. Flip over and remove the fat cap.
  7. Bag
  8. Apply a medium layer of Smokin’ Guns Hot Rub and a heavy layer of Cimarron Docs Rib Rub at 7:30 am to the bone side first.
  9. Pat the rub, flip and repeat on the meat-side.
  10. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  11. 8:00 am: Place meat in the smoker close to the exhaust, meat-side facing up. Once on the grates, push the ends together.
  12. 8:30 am: Spray with water.
  13. 9:00 am: Distribute one Parkay bottle evenly over the four slabs.
  14. 9:30 am: If Parkay appears melted and the meat looks dry, spray with water.
  15. 10:00 am: Remove ribs from smoker and wrap, using tweezers to remove any leftover pieces. Layer four lines of light-brown sugar and one line of honey on aluminium foil. Then, place ribs meat-side down and apply a lighter layer of brown sugar and honey on the bone-side. Double-wrap the meat and place back on smoker for two hours.
  16. 11:55 am: Remove from smoker. Bones 3 or 4 should show 1½ – 2 inches of blowout when finished cooking. Next, pour the liquid from the foil into a ½ pan and discard. Then, dust the bone-side with finishing powder and brush with warmed sauce. Flip over, dust lightly with cayenne powder, apply the sauce and dust with finishing powder. Close the foil, crimp and set aside until 12:15 pm. Repeat with each slab.
  17. Cut and taste one rib from each slab, then dust, rub and sauce as-needed.
  18. Bone-side up, cut ribs so they are straight, regardless of bone curvature.
  19. Select ribs to turn in and arrange on cutting board. Then, pick-up with knife or spatula and slide into the turn-in box, dusting and touching-up as needed. Now, spray sides of ribs liberally with water.

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