Low & Slow Spareribs

Spareribs from the BBQ. Who doesn't love them? I certainly do! And I love to spend a free Sunday preparing them! Lighting the BBQ and slowly cooking the spareribs at a low temperature. It doesn't get any better than that! And say it for yourself, when you make something from scratch it only tastes better, right?

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Marinating: 8 hours
Total Time: 13 hours 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baby back ribs, bbq ribs, low & slow ribs, low & slow spareribs, spareribs
Servings: 3 people
Calories: 1145kcal


  • 1.5 kg Spareribs (Baby Back Ribs)
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce

For the dry rub:

  • 1 tablespoon Sea Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1.5 teaspoons Mustard Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder

For the Mop Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 200 milliliters Apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce

Overige Benodigdheden:

  • BBQ with Lid
  • Basting Brush
  • Smoking Wood
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Aluminum Drip Pan(s)


  • For this spareribs recipe, I use what they call Baby Back Ribs in America. Officially, these are not the 'real' spare ribs, but the meat of Baby Back Ribs is by itself more tender and thus cooked faster.
  • The preparation method we will use in this recipe is a derivative of the 3-2-1 method popular in America for preparing spare ribs. This method stands for 3 hours of smoking, 2 hours of steaming and 1 hour of grilling. However, because spareribs in the Netherlands are somewhat more tender by themselves, 1 hour of steaming is long enough. So you could speak of the 3-1-1 method in this case.

The night before:

  • Preparing the spareribs begins the night before by removing the white membrane on the hollow side of the spareribs. You do this by using the back of a knife to pick a small piece loose from one of the ribs. When you have gotten a piece loose, you can firmly grasp it with kitchen paper and gently pull off the rest of the membrane.
  • Are you doing this for the first time? To be sure, watch the video below, which clearly shows how to remove the membrane.
  • When you have removed the membrane, it is time to rub the spare ribs with a so-called dry-rub. A rub is really nothing more than a mix of different herbs and spices to flavor the spare ribs. There are countless rubs available, all with their own combination of spices. For this recipe, however, we will make our own rub. To do this, mix together in a bowl the sea salt, brown sugar, paprika powder, black pepper, mustard powder and garlic powder. Then rub the spare ribs on both sides with the mixture. Now it's time to wrap the spare ribs in cling film and let the flavors infuse overnight in the refrigerator.

BBQ Day:

  • Today is the day of cooking and, not least, eating. The preparation time for the spare ribs is about 5 hours. Therefore, start preparing the BBQ for indirect cooking about 6 hours before dinner time. Indirect cooking means that you do not put the meat directly above the coals, but above an aluminum drip tray filled with water or, for example, apple juice. Around the drip tray then go the coals. When cooking the spare ribs, go for a constant temperature of about 110 degrees Celsius.
  • When the temperature of the BBQ is continuously around 110 degrees Celsius, it is recommended to fill the drip tray with a layer of water or apple juice. First of all, this ensures that the temperature in the BBQ is more stable and it also adds some flavor. In addition, it is time to add the smoking wood. This can be done in many ways and depends on the kind you use.
  • Now place the spare ribs, hollow side down, on the grill. Close the BBQ with the lid and check the temperature again. The latter is useful to do regularly anyway, especially if you do not have much experience with indirect cooking. It would be a pity if the temperature suddenly rises or falls.
  • When the spare ribs have been on the BBQ for 45 minutes, it is time to prepare the Mop Sauce. With this sauce we are going to brush the spare ribs several times to add moisture and flavor. For the Mop Sauce, melt in a pan the 2 tablespoons of butter and add 200 ml of apple juice and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Stir everything well and let cool a little.
  • When the spare ribs have been on the BBQ for an hour, it is time to brush the top and sides with the Mop Sauce for the first time. Repeat this every half hour.
  • After 3 hours the spare ribs can be removed from the BBQ. We will wrap each rib in aluminum foil to steam for an hour. Put the ribs on a large piece of aluminum foil and spread the Mop Sauce on them. Then wrap the ribs so that one of the short sides is still open. Through this opening, pour about 1.5 tablespoons of apple juice into each package and seal these sides as well. It may be helpful to wrap the packages with another layer of aluminum foil at this point.
  • When you have wrapped the ribs they can go back on the BBQ. They will now steam in the aluminum foil for an hour. Still regularly check if the temperature is around 110 degrees Celsius.
  • After one hour of steaming, it is time to remove the ribs from the BBQ again and unwrap them. Do this carefully, as they are now very hot and the steaming has made them soft.
  • Once you have unwrapped the spareribs, put them back on the BBQ for another hour to allow the outside to firm up. After half an hour, spread the spare ribs with your favorite BBQ sauce and let the spare ribs cook gently for another half hour.
  • Are the spare ribs done? Then they may be taken off the BBQ. It is important to let them rest under aluminum foil for another 10 minutes. This allows the juices in the meat to redistribute and you will have a juicier result.


Calories: 1145kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 57g | Fat: 83g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Monounsaturated Fat: 30g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 280mg | Sodium: 3599mg | Potassium: 1166mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 1791IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 5mg

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