Barbecued Pork Spareribs


Preparation info

  • Makes

    4 to 6

    Main-Course Servings
    • Difficulty


Appears in



By James Peterson

Published 2007

  • About

Regular spareribs are tougher and require longer cooking than baby back ribs, which, as the name implies, are smaller. But regular spareribs have more flavor and are worth the extra time spent brushing and spraying.


  • 2 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 cups wood chips, soaked in cold water for 3 hours and drained, or 2 cups sawdust
  • 4 racks of spareribs, about 1½ pounds each, inside membrane trimmed off
  • Barbecue Sauce


    Build a hot charcoal fire with the coals to one side in a grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to high.

    In a saucepan, bring the vinegar to a simmer, add the sugar, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Put this mixture into a clean spray bottle (or brush on).

    Spread the coals slightly, but still keep them to one side of the grill. If using a gas grill, turn off half of the burners.

    Sprinkle the coals with a small handful of the wood chips.

    If using a gas grill, make a small sawdust-filled packet out of aluminum foil, and place the packet on one of the burners. Brown the spareribs over the coals on both sides and move them to the cool side of the grill. Spray the ribs with the vinegar mixture and cover the grill.

    Continue cooking in this way, spraying the ribs every 5 to 10 minutes and brushing them with the sauce every 10 minutes. Turn the ribs every hour or so and add more hot coals, chips, or a new sawdust packet as the originals become spent. Cook for about 3 hours, or until one of the ribs pulls away easily.

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