Kansas City Spareribs

High Cotton Food Styling & Photography
  • Yield: 8 servings


Kansas City Sweet Rub:
3/4cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2cup paprika
2 1/2tablespoons coarse salt
2 1/2tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1tablespoon onion powder
1/2teaspoon cayenne pepper
3large racks spareribs (about 9 pounds), membranes removed
Kansas City Sweet and Hot Barbecue Sauce:
2cups ketchup
1/2cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1tablespoon paprika
2 to 3teaspoons hot sauce
1/2cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2cup cider vinegar
1-- garlic clove, mashed
1/4cup prepared chili sauce
1teaspoon coarse salt
4cups oak or hickory chips, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes and drained


  1. To prepare rub, combine all ingredients in a small bowl until well mixed. 
  2. To prepare ribs, sprinkle 2/3 cup rub evenly over ribs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Store leftover run in an airtight container at room temperature. 
  3. Unwrap ribs and sprinkle all over with half the remaining rub. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  4. To prepare sauce, combine all ingredients in a medium heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir and cook until sugar and butter melt and sauce is well blended. Simmer, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, about 20 minutes. Use warm or cold. This will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 2 weeks. Makes about 3 1/2 cups.
  5. Set up the grill for indirect grilling. Oil the grate.
  6. Add wood chips to the fire. Arrange ribs on grill away from heat, close lid and cook about 2 hours, maintaining a temperature in grill of around 275F. Add more wood chips every 30 minutes. After 2 hours, sprinkle ribs with remaining rub. Continue cooking about 1 hour longer.
  7. Start brushing with sauce every 5 to 10 minutes. Slather it on thickly; you’ll need about 1 1/2 cups. Cook another 30 minutes. Lift one rack of ribs with tongs. If it droops, the ribs should be done.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Fred Thompson's Barbecue Nation: 350 Hot-Off-the-Grill, Tried-and-True Recipes from America's Backyard (Taunton Press, 2007).

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Calories 1280
  • Fat 86g
  • Cholesterol 308mg
  • Sodium 3729mg
  • Carbohydrate 58g
  • Fiber 4g
  • Protein 58g