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I like spares better than baby back

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Winco had a fairly good price on spares - $1.98.  Trimmed the sternum, diaphragm, rib tips, and squared it up a bit.  Used a butt rub containing salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders, paprika.  Then into the Traeger at 225F for about 3 hours, then into foil with butter, brown sugar and honey for about 2 more hours.  Finally glazed for about 45 minutes.  Pellets were GMG's fruitwood blend.




post #2 of 17

Looks excellent, PZ, and I will bet they taste that good too. I prefer to smoke spare ribs too. I just can't see buying the other cuts most times since you pay so much more for less good meat!!


Tis funny I guess, but I, as well as the vast majority of the people I have cooked for, prefer ribs done "dry", without sauce on them. They get basted but not with bbq sauce. They don't like them very sweet too. I put several sauces on the table, but most times no one uses any. I don't foil them either.


I'll have to try some ribs smoked on fruitwood to see if it makes them better. I've got some trimmings from my apple trees which should work. Got some grape wood too.  I've  typically just used oak and maybe some hickory. My "standard" rub is the BRITU recipe that won some contests years ago. BRITU stands for Best Ribs In The Universe, if you've never heard of it. The ratios of most of the spices are different from my butt rub and there is some cumin in it like many other recipes I've seen for rib rub.


Good Q'in to you!



post #3 of 17
Good lookin', PZ. Your color is great and the finish looks really good, too.
post #4 of 17
I too prefer spares to BB. Yours look great! Nice smoke!
post #5 of 17

Agree the spares better then BB. don't wrap anything and 90% of time only use apple wood.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the kind comments, gents!   :icon_wink:

I formerly enjoyed my ribs dry too, drip, but in the past couple of years I've moved to the current method after a friend talked me into it.  I was really hesitant because there was so much honey, but he assured me that it would turn out barely sweet, and actually complement the smoke and spice - he sure was correct, and I've been doing them ever since.


They did turn out fairly good - juicy and very tender but with still with a good mouth feel - not mushy.  As to the GMG pellet blend I used - I prefer them over the old Traeger pellets that were alder based with flavored oils (don't know if they still do that).  The GMG pellets are the most reasonably priced and the easiest to find in my area.


Thanks for the tip on the BRITU rub - will have to give that one a try especially because it contains cumin, one of my favorite spices.

post #7 of 17
I like whatever ribs are served to me,got any to spare!:biggrin
post #8 of 17
Those look really nice. Good color and appear to have great texture.
post #9 of 17

I am putting in my vote for spare ribs. I don't know why but I have a lot of trouble getting the membrane off baby backs but never have a problem with the spare ribs.

For a little while longer on the smoke you get twice the meat from other ribs.

Yours look fantastic.

I do the 3-2-1 method and use brown sugar and honey for my foil. Bcause my rub has some kick to it and my sauce has osme kick to it, the sweetness is tempered quite a bit.

And, yes I do sauce them. My kids and all the grandkids love the sauce (and they are who I am cooking for after all)


post #10 of 17
As I said above, these are great looking ribs. But since there have been several posts on the merits of spare ribs, let me get my $0.02 in. For the last several years, I have been cooking Swifts Premium Loin Back Ribs from Costco. They are basically baby backs with a portion of the loin still attached. They are really tasty and very meaty. They come 3 in a Cryovac and the membrane is already removed.

I'm not going to get into the foil vs. no foil or 2-2-1 or what rub or sauce. That's everyones individual preference. Just give these ribs a try. I think you will enjoy the flavor and texture. Good luck and good smokin', Joe
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

I agree, Joe - the 3 pack cryo at Costco is a good way to go, and I too use them.  They are easier to prep than the spares I purchase at Winco, so my main motivation is cost - whichever is cheaper at the moment, and of course, how many people we need to feed

post #12 of 17

Great lookin plate you have there. 


post #13 of 17
I'm a Spare man ! Not on ly for price but the Tips and trims are a great snack , not only asyou cook , but later while watching TV !

Have fun and . . .
post #14 of 17

Hi IdahoPZ.


I'm kinda the Will Rogers of BBQ...I never met a rib I didn't like!  :drool   But like you, when I have the choice, I generally prefer spares.  But I occasionally have to appease Mrs. Red, who prefers baby backs.  


I have to say yours look delicious!  Makes me wanna make a run to my local meat counter...might have to do some spares myself this weekend!





post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

Great lookin' bones, oldschoolbbq Thumbs Up, and thanks for the comment, DS


Thanks, Red - my missus formerly only enjoyed baby backs so each time I made both.  She eventually came around when she experienced how tender, juicy, and meaty the spares are in comparison :icon_lol:


I have to admit though, that I do enjoy the baby backs from time to time - they are just a different kind of rib experience for me. :icon_biggrin:

post #16 of 17

LOL, PZ! I won't say I never cook some baby backs. Here's a pic of 1 of 2 "dry" BB's I did along with 66lb of butts for Thanksgiving back a couple of years ago, I think it was. The other rack was a bit bigger and was still in the smoker. Don't have a pic of it. They would have fallen apart if I tried to pick them up more on one end. This one almost did!  Used 2 hands to get them out of the smoker. Besides the rub the night before, all they got was spritzing with Apple Juice + Bourbon (50/50) while smoking.





On the BRITU rub, last I heard that recipe was getting hard to find. Seems that some places where it was stored no longer exist. Below is the recipe so you won't have to try to find it. Notice that it has no Paprika as in most butt rubs, but does have the Cumin added. This version has my own notes added to the original.




PORK RIB RUB - BRITU  (a bit over 1.5 pts)


1      Cup     Sugar, White
1      Cup     Salt
1/2    Cup     Brown Sugar (pourable)
5 Tbl + 1 Tsp  Chile Powder
2 Tbl + 2 Tsp  Cumin
4 Tsp          MSG (Accent) (better with it, but can leave out if desired)
4      Tsp     Cayenne Pepper
4      Tsp     Black Pepper
4      Tsp     Garlic Powder
4      Tsp     Onion Powder


Make as many multiples of this recipe you might need. Any extra saves well
for doing things like country ribs in the oven, etc.








post #17 of 17

I guess I'm the oddball. I prefer back ribs. More meat & just as tender if cooked right. Now, baby back ribs are just to die for. so tender and juicy, but those are very difficult to get. So I just settle for plain back ribs.

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