Steps 1 through 3 should be accomplished several hours before you plan to start cooking the ribs. Ideally, the rub-coated, uncooked ribs should rest in the fridge overnight.
1. The night before you want to barbecue the ribs, prepare the rub: Combine all ingredients, and mix thoroughly until well blended.
2. Then coat the ribs: Remove the spare ribs from their packaging. Rinse the ribs and pat them dry. Cut off any excess fat. To make the ribs easier to handle, you may want to cut them in half (just slice between two ribs). With your hands, pat the rub onto both sides of the ribs, going heavier on the meaty side. You’ll want to use at least ¼ cup of rub, but you can use more if you wish (see Notes).
3. Place the ribs in a heavy food-storage bag (I use freezer bags), squeeze out as much air as possible, and fasten the top. Refrigerate overnight.
4. Half an hour before you want to begin cooking the ribs, preheat the oven to 225 degrees F and remove the ribs from the refrigerator to warm up.
5. Wrap the ribs in aluminum foil (see Notes for an alternative, unwrapped cooking method). Place the ribs on a sheet pan, bone side down (meaty side up), and put them in the preheated oven. Set the timer for 3 hours.
6. When the timer goes off, remove the sheet pan with the ribs from the oven. Gently peel back part of the foil, and insert the probe of an instant-read thermometer in the fleshy part of the ribs between a pair of bones (don’t touch the bone with the probe; it will read hotter than the meat). If the thermometer reads 170 degrees F, proceed with the next step. Otherwise, cover the ribs and return them to the oven. Check them again in half an hour or so. (You need to use your judgment as to how much extra time to give them. Obviously if the ribs are 165 degrees they’ll need much less extra time than if they’re 150.)
7. Once the ribs reach 170 degrees F, reduce the oven temperature to 180 degrees and set the timer for 2 or 3 hours. (The ribs are “done” at this point, but longer cooking melts away more cartilage, making them more tender.)
8. When the timer goes off, remove the ribs from the oven. Turn the oven to the broil setting. Remove the aluminum foil from the ribs (be careful — there will be some juices), apply a thin coating of barbecue sauce, and place the ribs under the broiler until the barbecue sauce just begins to char — perhaps 10 minutes or so. If you really like charred ribs (I sometimes do), you may want to keep the ribs in a bit longer.
9. OR skip the broiler part if you wish: When the timer goes off, just proceed to the next step.
10. Remove the ribs from the oven, place them on a cutting board, and chop them into individual servings (the meat should almost be falling off the bone at this point, so this will be easy). Serve with barbecue sauce. And loads of napkins — eating ribs is a messy, but thoroughly pleasurable, experience.
See the website for other helpful notes.
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|Serving Size: 1 Recipe (43g)|
|Recipe Makes: 1 Serving|
|Calories from Fat: 27 (26%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 3g||4 %|
|Saturated Fat 0.4g||2 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 0.5g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 1.7g|
|Cholesterol 0mg||0 %|
|Sodium 3641.1mg||126 %|
|Potassium 621.6mg||16 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 20.8g||6 %|
|Dietary Fiber 8.5g||34 %|
|Sugars, other 12.2g|
|Protein 5.3g||8 %|
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Calories per serving: 105
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