Kansas City-Style Spareribs with Barbecue Sauce

  • Serves

    serves 4-6


By SAVEUR Editors

Published on June 13, 2014

At Smokestack in Kansas City, spare-ribs, a particularly flavorful cut, are served with a sweet and spicy sauce. This recipe first appeared in our June/July 2011 BBQ issue along with Brooke Kroeger's story Ribs And Ritual.


For the Rub

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 12 cup paprika
  • 3 tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 2 racks St. Louis-cut pork spareribs (about 3 lb. each; see Barbecue 101)

For the Sauce

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 12 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 14 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 12 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 12 tsp. celery seeds
  • 1 12 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 12 tsp. ground cumin
  • 14 tsp. fresh lemon juice


Step 1

Make the rub: Mix sugar, paprika, pepper, salt, chili, garlic, and onion powders, and cayenne in a bowl. Rub onto ribs. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

Step 2

Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a bowl, whisk together ketchup, vinegar, sugar, salt, celery, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, and lemon juice; set aside.

Step 3

Prepare your grill using the kettle grill, bullet smoker, or gas grill method, (see links for instructions) using oak wood chunks or chips (see Fuel and Flavor). Place ribs, meat side up, on grill grate. Maintaining a temperature of 225°-250° (if using a kettle grill or bullet smoker, replenish fire with unlit coals, as needed, to maintain temperature; see instructions), cook, turning once and basting with sauce the last 45 minutes of cooking, until the tip of a small knife slips easily in and out of the meat, 2–4 hours. Serve with remaining sauce.

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