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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