Not-Your-Everyday Smoked Pork Spareribs

May 23, 2023 | Corner

Prep Time: 20 mins     Cook Time: 3 hrs 30 mins     Additional Time: 4 hrs     Total Time: 7 hrs 50 mins     Servings: 6


Our family’s favorite are these smoked spareribs. The cider-based mop sauce, which is light and slightly sweet and spicy, doesn’t overpower the delicious meat that falls off the bone. We’ve also made pork shoulder with this recipe. Divine! It is never necessary to use barbecue sauce, but if you must, use your preferred brand.




½ cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon jalapeno seasoning salt (Optional)

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

6 pounds pork spareribs

3 cups apple wood chips, soaked

Mop Sauce:

1 cup apple cider

¾ cup apple cider vinegar

1 medium jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (Optional)

3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste



1. Make the ribs: Mix brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, salt, cumin, cinnamon, jalapeño seasoning, and cayenne pepper together in a small bowl.

2. Place spareribs into a glass baking dish and rub generously with seasoning mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

3. When ready to cook, prepare an outdoor charcoal grill for indirect heat, or preheat a smoker to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).

4. While the grill is preheating, make the mop sauce: Stir cider, vinegar, jalapeño pepper, hot pepper sauce, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, lemon juice, salt, and pepper together in a medium bowl.

5. When the coals are gray and ashed over, place two handfuls of soaked wood chips directly on them. Place ribs onto the grill grate, bone-side down. Cover and cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Every hour, baste ribs with mop sauce and throw handfuls of soaked wood chips onto the coals. Add more coals as needed to ensure the cooking temperature doesn’t drop below 225 degrees F (110 degrees C). Discard any leftover mop sauce.


Editor’s Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of seasoning rub and mop sauce. The actual amount consumed will vary.


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