Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ Amazing St. Louis Spare Ribs

February 9th, 201226 Comments



4.0 from 2 reviews
Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ Amazing St. Louis Spare Ribs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
BBQ spareribs are not difficult to make if you know some basic rib cooking techniques. The key is to foil your ribs so they stay tender and moist. I find that ribs cooked without foiling tend to be dryer. If you follow my steps below and allow the crust to set before you foil, you will get consistently excellent results.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
  • 2 slabs St. Louis Spare Ribs (2¼ to 2¾ lbs each) – ask your butcher to trim a regular Spare Rib into a St. Louis rib for you. A St. Louis rib is a regular Spare Rib with the rib tip and skirt flap removed
  • ½ cup SYD All Purpose Rub
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup orange blossom honey
  • ½ cup Apple Juice
  • ½ cup of your favorite BBQ Sauce
  1. Remove membrane from bone side of ribs. Place ribs on aluminum foil pan and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides evenly with the SYD Rib Rub; about 2 tbsp of rub for each side. Let rest in refrigerator for 1 hour for rub to “sweat” into meat. Place ribs meat side up into 275 – 300 degree smoker with some hickory wood chips.
  2. After two hours and when crust has formed, remove from smoker and place meat side up on a sheet of aluminum foil. Sprinkle an even thin layer of brown sugar on meat. Drizzle honey next. Flip over so bone side is up. Repeat the brown sugar and honey step. Put 2 tbsp of apple juice at the bottom of the foil before folding the ribs up into a airtight pouch. Return to smoker and cook for another 1 ½ hours.
  3. After 3 ½ hours total cook time, unwrap the foil and check the ribs for doneness. Use a toothpick and poke the meat between the bones. If the toothpick slides in easily, the ribs are done. You can also tell it’s done when the meat pulls away about ½ inch from the ends of the bones. If not yet done, close the foil, return to smoker, and check back in 10 minutes. Repeat until ribs are done. Be patient while they tenderize. When done, remove from foil and paint on a thin layer of your favorite BBQ sauce. Return to smoker for 10 minutes for sauce to set.

26 comments... read them below or add one

  1. dhoffm99 says:

    Great looking ribs! Noticed that in your recipe for Baby Back Ribs with Agave Glaze, you spritz the ribs after 90 minutes until the bark sets and then foil. Here for your recipe for spare ribs, you skip the spritzing – any reason for the difference?

  2. flavorguy says:

    Harry – After reading your recipe for St Louis style ribs, and after having great results with your Baby Back recipe, I was wondering the same thing as dhoffm99…. why don’t you spritz?

    • Harry Soo says:

      You can spritz when you cook BBQ. Sometimes I don’t and sometimes I do.
      You gotta do what feels right by looking at the meat. If it’s drying out too fast, I spray.
      If not, I don’t. Cook by feel, sight, and experience and you’ll get a great result!

  3. flavorguy says:

    That sounds like reasonable advice… thanks!

  4. Jackson1 says:

    Thanks for the recipe, I followed this yesterday with 2 slabs of St Louis ribs, they turned out excellent. I received wonderful compliments. The total cooking time was only 4 hours, not 6 as I have spent in the past, yet the ribs turned out as tender and flavorful as ever.

  5. Walt says:

    Hi Harry,

    Thanks for all of the advice. What is your opinion on metal rib racks? Will the ribs cook much differently in a vertical orientation? I need to maximize space for a larger gathering and am considering a few racks.

  6. Brian says:

    how do you fit those on the WSM 18.5?


    • Mark McNeal says:

      Harry, I was wondering if you cook ribs the same at home (backyard) as you do in competition. I’m a KCBS judge, so I’m used to judging ribs that are so sweet, sauced, and overpowering with rub that 6 bites is about all I can stand (6 rib entries per table). That’s understandable, since each cook wants a single bite to stand out amid the other entries. And I’ve talked to many KCBS cooks who say they would never cook ribs at home the same way they do for competition. So, I was wondering if you cook differently for competition than you do in your backyard. And if so, which recipe is this – backyard or competition?

    • Harry Soo says:

      Hey Mark, no I don’t eat my comp ribs at home. I like them grilled and chewy, served with Pico De Gallo and squeeze of lime.

  7. David says:

    Just curious why the cooking process for these is different than for the pico de gallo st louis rib receipe on the site – that one has no foiling

  8. Dave says:

    Looks great. I use a Weber Smokey Mountain – as you recommended on Amazon. I assume you don’t use any water in the water pan at all during the smoke?

  9. shawn says:

    What rack do you recommend to cook ribs on with the 18" WSM?

    • Harry Soo says:

  10. josh says:

    Thanks for sharing this! Can this method and recipe be used for baby back ribs as well or is it specific to spare ribs?

    • Harry Soo says:

      sure. it will work.
      You can also try this recipe for baby backs.

  11. Shane Rawlins says:

    Harry do you smoke these dry with an empty pan or with water in it?
    I will be doing mine on a wsm 22 as well. Thank you for sharing.

    • Harry Soo says:

      My water pan is dry and wrapped in foil. I add water via a spray bottle to set the crust and to set the smoke ring. Good luck!

  12. Mark Poriss says:

    Omg, Harry! Followed the recipe using my 14.5 and mmm good!
    It was my first smoke using the WSM!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  13. Enrico says:

    Hello, unless I’m wrong it seems you smoke hot and fast, especially pork ribs. Is that just a preference or because you wrap? Thanks in advance!

    • Harry Soo says:

      I like 275F for ribs. There are many ways to cook ribs
      Competition Ribs –
      Coaching Ribs –
      Livermore Ribs –
      Harry Grill Ribs –
      Jenga Ribs –
      Rib Crown –
      Part 2 Life Skills –
      Keanu Redo –
      Flambe Ribs –
      Beef Shortribs Texas –
      Beef Shortribs Butter Cola –

  14. Thank you Henry! I bought some of your rub and am going to try St. Louis ribs soon! When you say 275 – 300… is that at the grill as measure by a prob or at the built in Weber lid thermometer? Thank you 🙏🏻

  15. Gary says:

    I have tried this recipe twice and both times the bark on the meat side up has been too hard. It seems to happen during the 1 1/2 hours in the aluminum foil. I put a thin layer of brown sugar and drizzle honey on both sides. I then add 4 tablespoons of apple juice to the bottom of the foil, with meat side down, before I wrap in air tight. After the 1 1/2 hours on my RecTec smoker, at 270 degrees,, the bark on the meat side down is too hard. Any suggestions on how to avoid such hard bark?

    • Harry Soo says:

      If it’s hard like glass, it could be too much honey as it can harden. Try skip the honey. Wrap when crust sets and don’t use time. The pellet cookers typically crust faster due to the fan. You can send pics to [email protected] and I’ll help you debug

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