The ribs you find in Kansas City are Spare Ribs. And Kansas City Spares are always finished with a sweet, tomato sauce. So today we are smoking a traditional Kansas City Spare Rib.
This recipe is pretty simple because all we are going to use is Spare Ribs, hickory wood, 2 Kansas City dry rubs and a sweet tomato-based sauce to finish them.
I like to remove the membrane from my spare ribs, but that is a personal decision. You can leave the membrane on if you like. The first step is to season the spare ribs with a good Kansas city style dry rub. I am using a 2-part dry rub with Smoking Guns Sweet Heat and Smoking Guns Hot.
Once I’ve got my spare ribs rubbed, I let the rub sit on the ribs for about 4 hours. This allows the flavors to start penetrating the meat and start pulling some moisture out. It will make for a really tacky, pretty rib. But you need to put your ribs back in the fridge or in a cooler during this time.
After the spare ribs have set for 3.5 hours, it’s time to fire up your smoker and pull your ribs out so they can come up to room temperature. Once your smoker has stabilized and your spare ribs are at room temp, it’s time to start smoking these Kansas city spare ribs.
I like to smoke my Kansas City-style Spare ribs at 250 degrees. I use a charcoal base to provide my heat source and then I throw in a couple pieces of hickory wood to give me that light, blue smoke I’m shooting for.
I’m not going to wrap these spare ribs, but I am going to spritz the spare ribs with apple juice to keep them moist during the cooking process. After the ribs have smoked for about 1.5 hours – and they’ve started to develop a pretty, mahogany color – I spritz them with straight apple juice, and then I spritz them again every 45 minutes to 1 hour after that. The total cook time on these ribs is about 4.5 hours. When they’ve gotten almost done, I pull them off and apply a thin glaze of sauce. For these ribs I used Butcher’s BBQ Sweet Sauce.
I put the sauced Kansas city ribs back on the smoker and allow the sauce to set for another 15 minutes. After this glaze time your Kansas City Ribs should be perfectly tender and ready to eat.
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