Imagine this — a smoky, sweet, and acidic aroma filling the corners of your kitchen. You open your oven, and you have beautiful, juicy, and perfectly tender ribs just waiting to be slathered in sauce and broiled to a perfectly sticky consistency.
That’s the recipe I’m sharing with you today: a smoky, sweet, and delicious pork spare ribs recipe. To make these, you need about 5 minutes to prep and 2 hours to cook. They are great for a Friday after-work meal, a simple Saturday “BBQ,” or a Sunday supper.
I found inspiration for this recipe about 2 months ago. I was at the local farmers market and came across a pack of these ribs. I purchased the ribs and threw them in the freezer, almost forgetting about them. Last week, I defrosted them, threw together a quick rub, and placed them in the oven to cook. They came out so good that I decided to perfect the recipe a bit. The recipe you have below is the result!
The trick to getting the smoky flavor in the oven is the smoked paprika. If you’ve never used smoked Spanish paprika, you need to start. It will change your life.
The rub for these takes only a few minutes. You start with a base of dark brown sugar and add in an abundance of spices (a.k.a. flavor) and then finish the rub with olive oil and some apple cider vinegar.
Pop them in the oven at 275°F and let the oven do the rest. They cook for 2 hours in the oven. Put as much or as little BBQ sauce on top as you’d like and finish them under the broiler for a few minutes. They’re tender, delicious, and require very little hands-on effort.
I served these with coleslaw and green beans.
Smoky, Sticky and Easy Pork Spare Ribs
Pork ribs cooked low and slow in the oven. The smoked paprika imitates the smoky flavor traditionally found by cooking on a smoker.
Notes: Carolina style BBQ sauce was used in this recipe but can be replaced with your sauce of choice. Dark brown sugar and smoked paprika can be swapped out for their more traditional counterparts (light brown sugar and traditional paprika).
- 5 lbs Bone In Pork Spare Ribs (Pre-Cut)
- 2/3 cups dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Smoked Paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1 teaspoon parsley flakes (crumbled to a fine powder)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bottle BBQ sauce (optional)
- Preheat oven to 275°F.
- To create the rub, combine the brown sugar and all spices in a large bowl.
- Once the rub is well combined, add the apple cider vinegar and olive oil to make a thick paste. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- In the large bowl with the paste, add in the Pork Spare Ribs, making sure all ribs are fully coated with the paste.
- Place the spare ribs on a large baking sheet and cover with foil, making sure the foil is tightly sealed around the edges.
- Bake for 2 hours.
- Remove from oven and drain any excess liquid.
- Turn on the oven to broil.
- Brush all sides of the ribs with as little (or as much) BBQ sauce as you’d like and place under the broiler. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until the BBQ sauce is bubbly but not burning.
- Remove and let cool for a few minutes.
- Serve with extra BBQ sauce.
Updated July 1, 2023