If you haven't tried smoked pork spare ribs, you haven't been living. There, I said it. Sure the ribs in the oven are great. Grilled ribs have their place in my heart too. But smoke? Come. On. I just can't get enough of that smokey flavor. I'd argue that a trip to the smoker would make anything taste better and ribs are no exception. And smoke gets bonus points in my book because it's entirely carb free.
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Do you brine pork ribs?
Great question! And like every question ever asked on the internet, there are advocates for both sides. Some people swear by a brine before smoking, while others think it's a complete waste of time. I tend to reserve brining for substantial cuts of meat with a lot of muscle mass. Like a smoked whole chicken, for example.
While brining pork ribs is not an essential step in their preparation, it could certainly add a different flavor element and help keep them nice and juicy during the smoking process. Most brines are just water and salt, but you could get creative with the brining liquid to add a surprising zest to your ribs. Whatever floats your boat.
If you're going to brine your ribs, you can use large zipper-lock bags to contain the fluid or large kitchen containers. Simply prepare your brine, which could be as simple as a 1:1 ratio of water to salt, and completely submerge the ribs.
Let the ribs brine for a few hours or overnight, then rinse and pat dry prior to seasoning. Or skip it altogether. ?
How do you season pork ribs?
The possibilities are endless, but I almost always use a homemade dry rub to start. You can leave it at that or add a nice sauce to the mix.
Combine paprika, salt, pepper, onion powder, chili powder, and ground mustard seed, then coat the ribs entirely. You let that sit for a few hours or overnight to lock in the flavors. Then you're ready to cook your smoked pork spare ribs. It does seem like quite the lengthy process, but it's so worth it! More of a cooking project than a quick dinner to throw together.
How long do you smoke pork spare ribs?
So you've brined for a day, you've sealed your meat in the dry rub for a day, now how long do you smoke pork spare ribs? How much longer do you have to wait to eat this succulent smoked pork?
Four hours. Only four more hours to go and you'll be in pork spare rib heaven.
While smoking, I like to baste the ribs with a garlic chili sauce to give it a little extra kick. I'll brush a thick layer of the sauce on right when I put it on the smoker rack, then once an hour until the ribs are finished.
Looking for other Low Carb Smoker Recipes?
I love my smoker, so be sure to check back for more. In the meantime, try one of these recipes:
- Smoked pork tenderloin recipe
- Smoked low carb jalapeno poppers
- Keto chicken wings smoked with dry rub
Smoked Pork Spare Ribs & Chili Garlic Sauce Recipe
- 6 pounds pork spare ribs
- Hickory wood chips/pellets
The Dry Rub
- Combine all ingredients for the dry rub and thoroughly coat the pork spare ribs with the mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or a minimum of 30 minutes).
- Prepare smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit with hickory wood chips.
- In a mixing bowl, combine coconut aminos, chili garlic sauce, and yellow mustard.
- Lay pork spare ribs on the smoker rack. Paint a layer of the prepared chili garlic sauce onto the ribs, reserve the remainder of the sauce for basting.
- Smoke for 4 hours, basting the meat with chili garlic sauce once every hour.
Hi, I'm Tasha–nutritionist, recipe developer, and multi-published cookbook author.