Kansas City’s barbecue sauce is tomato-based, thick, sweet and smoky. These Kansas City-style spareribs are a perfect example of that style of barbecue.
After reviewing the book Slow Fire…The Beginner’s Guide to Barbecue by Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe, I decided to give his barbecue championship ribs recipe a try.
- 2 slabs St. Louis-cut ribs (about 2-1/2 pounds each)
- Ray's Supersweet Rib Rub (recipe below)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup Tiger Sauce or other pepper sauce that is not too vinegary
- Thick and Rich Barbecue Sauce (recipe below)
- 1/2 cup Sugar in the Raw
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried grated orange peel
- 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle (or cayenne pepper)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (leave the seeds in if you like it hot)
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/3 cup yellow mustard
- 1/4 cup apple juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon Louisiana hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Prepare your cooker to cook indirectly at 235-degrees F using medium pecan wood for smoke flavor.
- Peel the membrane off the back of the ribs and trim any excess fat. Season the ribs liberally on both sides with the rub. Place the ribs in the smoker, meat side up and cook for two hours. Flip the ribs and cook for 45 minutes.
- Lay out two double-thick sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Lay one slab on each piece of foil, meat side up. Top each slab with half of the brown sugar. Drizzle each slab with half of the honey, butter and Tiger Sauce. Close up the rib packages, pressing out as much air as possible. Do not seal the packages tightly; they need to breath a little.
- Return to the cooker for 30 minutes. Open the packages and check for doneness by pushing a toothpick into the meat. It should go in and out very easily. If you want the ribs more tender, just wrap them back up and cook a little longer. When they're as you like them, transfer to a sheet pan. Remove the foil and return the ribs to the cooker, meat side down. Brush the bone side liberally with barbecue sauce and cook for 10 minutes. Flip the ribs and brush the meat side liberally with barbecue sauce. Cook for 20 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and tent loosely with foil. Let rest for 5 minutes. Slice each rib individually and transfer to a platter to serve.
- Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor with a metal blade. Process for 5 seconds, until the lumps are gone. The rub may be stored in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 6 months.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add the celery seed and mix well. Cook for 1 minute. Add the ketchup, vinegar, honey, mustard, apple juice, soy sauce, Worcestershire, hot sauce, tomato paste, liquid smoke (if using), salt and pepper. Mix well and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, mixing often, until thickened. Remove from heat and serve, or cool and store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Enjoy your ribs and always remember…admire the fire!
If you’d like to learn more about Ray Lampe’s book, my review is here.
What Ya Be Fixin’ Wit Dem Barbecued Ribs?
Put that slab ‘o ribs down! You’re not done yet! Where’s the sides? Your barbecue ribs sure taste better with a side dish or two. Here’s some good ideas:
Bacon & Shrimp
What’d Ya think?
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