Kansas City Barbecue Spare Ribs

There is no arguing that Kansas City Barbecue Spare Ribs have a distinctive quality all of their own. These ribs are cooked low and slow, with just the perfect amount of smoke flavor. These sweet and sticky Kansas City space ribs are absolutely mouth-watering.

Kansas City BBQ Spareribs

Kansas City Spare Ribs

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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American BBQ
Keyword: barbecue ribs, Kansas City Barbecue, pork ribs, spareribs
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Servings: 4 people
Author: Derrick Riches


  • 1 full rack pork spareribs
  • Apple juice optional
  • Spray bottle optional
  • Aluminum foil


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika do not use smoked
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper use less if sensitive to flavor
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt or another coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper use less or omit if preferred

Barbecue Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1-2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper


  • To prepare sauce: Heat olive oil in a medium-sized pot. Add garlic and cook over medium heat until it becomes fragrant; about 30 seconds. Stir often.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, ketchup, and vinegar to the pot. Stir in add brown sugar, molasses, chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Turn up the heat to high and bring to a quick boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer for 20-22 minutes. Stirring occasionally. The sauce should be thick.
  • Whisk in butter right before removing from heat. This will provide a silkiness to the sauce. Cover and keep sauce warm.
  • For ribs: Preheat grill or smoker for a 225 degree F. low and slow cook of 6 hours. Follow manufacturer's guidelines.
  • Blot ribs dry with paper towels, and remove the membrane from the back, and cut away any straggling pieces that might otherwise burn on the grill.
  • Combine rub mixture and apply to ribs. You only need what sticks to the ribs and no more. Don't overpack the rub.
  • Place ribs in grill and smoker, close lid, and leave it be. Watch for temperature fluctuations. If using a smoker, after 3 hours, begin spraying with apple juice, every 30 minutes, until ready to sauce. If using a grill, wrap the ribs in aluminum foil after 3 hours of cooking time, place back onto the grill for 2 hours, and then unwrap.
  • During the last 30 minutes of cook time, apply sauce every 10 minutes until they register an internal temperature of 185 degrees F. At that point, they ribs are done.
  • Carefully remove from the grill or smoker, and place onto a large cutting board. Cut into individual ribs and enjoy.


Photo by: Sabrina Baksh

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