sticky ribs

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sticky ribs


  • Buy St. Louis-style racks , which are more manageable than untrimmed pork ribs. We prefer our sauce recipe (see related recipe), but store-bought works, too (Texas Best and Bull’s-Eye are our favorites). If you're not keen on tending a grill for 4 hours, our ribs will still taste good even if they spend the last 2 hours of cooking in your oven, see optional step 6.
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 full racks pork spareribs , preferably St. Louis cut, trimmed of any large pieces of excess fat, membrane removed, and patted dry (see photo 1)
  • 2 cups wood chips
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce (see related recipe)


1. Combine paprika, sugar, pepper, salt, and cayenne in small bowl. Massage spice rub into both sides of rib racks.

2. Soak wood chips in bowl of water for 15 minutes; place in small disposable aluminum pan. Place pan directly on primary burner of gas grill, turn all burners to high, and preheat with lid down until chips are smoking heavily, about 15 minutes. Turn primary burner to medium and shut off other burners, adjusting temperature of primary burner as needed to maintain average temperature of 275 degrees. Position ribs over cool part of grill.

3. Place sheet of aluminum foil directly on top of ribs (see photo 2) and cover grill. Barbecue 3 hours, turning and rotating ribs after each hour.

4. Brush ribs liberally on both sides with sauce, wrap tightly with foil (see photo 3), and barbecue until very tender, about 1 hour longer.

5. Transfer ribs (still in foil) to cutting board and rest 30 minutes. Unwrap ribs and brush with additional barbecue sauce. Slice ribs between bones and serve with remaining sauce.

6. To Finish in the Oven:
In step 3, after two hours, wrap ribs tightly in foil, place on baking sheet, and bake in 250-degree oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven, brush both sides with barbecue sauce, rewrap with foil, and bake until very tender, about 1 hour longer. Proceed as directed in step 5.

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