Competition Style St. Louis Spareribs

Competition Style St. Louis Spareribs Recipe

Chef Tom walks you through our process for trimming, seasoning, smoking and saucing competition style ribs. This is our recipe for every KCBS competition we cook (when we have time), and has done well for us landing us in the top 10 on more than one occasion.

Competition Style St. Louis Spareribs



Trim the ribs into an evenly shaped rectangle. Remove the end bones, especially where the bone has been cut in half and has a sharp edge protruding. On the bone side of the rack, remove any excess meat or fat to make a flat even surface. Then remove the parchment layer from the backside of the ribs by taking a paper towel and rubbing at the corner until the parchment layer starts to peel up. Grab hold of the membrane with the paper towel and pull to separate from the rack. Look for any areas of excess fat that can be trimmed down to expose the meat on either side of the ribs.

Preheat your Yoder Smokers YS640 to 275°F.

Apply a small amount of yellow mustard to the bone side of the ribs. Rub the mustard around to cover all surfaces. Combine one part R Butts R Smokin’ Ozark Heat BBQ Rub to one part R Butts R Smokin’ Butt Kick’n Chicken BBQ Rub. Mix well. Apply a moderate amount of the rub to the surface of the ribs. Rest a few minutes to allow the rub to attach to the meat. Flip the rack over and repeat the process on the meat side of the ribs. Rest 5-10 minutes until the rub has darkened in color and begins to appear moist.

Place the ribs in the smoker, rib side down, and cook until the ribs have a dark red, rich mahogany color. This will likely take two and a half to three and a half hours, but the color is what will dictate when you’re ready to wrap the ribs.

Remove the ribs from the cooker. Lay out two sheets of foil that are large enough to wrap a rack of ribs. Put a handful of brown sugar and some honey in the center of the foil. Place a rack of ribs meat side down on the brown sugar and honey. Season the bone side of the rack with more of the R Butts R Smokin’ rub mixture. Then add another handful of brown sugar and more honey to the ribs. Carefully double wrap the rack tightly, leaving no room for steam to form in the foil.

This recipe was prepared on a Yoder Smokers YS640 Pellet Grill.

Return the ribs to the cooker, meat side down this time. Continue cooking another 1-2 hours. After an hour begin to check for doneness. First check by simply picking up the foil wrapped ribs. If the rack is rigid, doesn’t bend, it’s not done yet. If there is a good amount of flexibility, open the package to examine the ribs. The meat should be shrunken from the ends of the bones, exposing the bone ends. If you look at the end of the bone and twist the meat, the meat should move freely from the bone. If the meat is attached and moving with the bone, return to the foil and continue cooking.

Just before removing your ribs from the cooker, combine equal parts Plowboys BBQ En Fuego, Firebug Grilling Sauce Mild BBQ Sauce and Texas Pepper Jelly Apple Habanero Texas Rib Candy in a sauce pan. Warm the sauce. Do not boil.

Immediately after removing the ribs from the smoker, open the foil package and brush on a thin layer of the sauce. Flip over and do the same on the meat side. Tent the foil around the ribs and rest 10 minutes.

Remove the ribs from the foil package and place on a cutting board, meat side down. Carefully slice between the bones. Take care to slice the ribs as straight and even as possible. Flip the ribs over and touch up any blemishes by lightly brushing a little more sauce on. Transfer to your prepared box for turn in.

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