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3-2-1 St. Louis Spare Ribs Recipe

Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
6.5 hrs
2 racks of ribs will feed 2-4 adults depending on appetites
In this Recipe

This recipe makes barbecue ribs that are as easy as 1-2-3! For this recipe, we use the more affordable spare ribs, instead of baby back ribs. Spare ribs are meatier and have more fat than backs, so they do especially well with smoked flavor. We love using our Big Green Egg to make this recipe, because it makes temperature control a snap and perfectly smoked the ribs. You can also use this recipe with baby back ribs and a plain smoker or grill with wood chips at home. Enjoy and let us know what you think of this classic rib recipe!


  • 2 rack St. Louis Style Spare Ribs (baby back rips also work)
  • 1 cup Water
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Pork BBQ Seasoning
  • Wood Chips (for smoking)


  1. Set up your smoker or grill to cook at 225°F on indirect heat with smoke, and a drip pan filled with water underneath the grilling surface. We used cherry wood chips for our ribs, but you can also try other woods if desired.

  2. Cut your racks of ribs in half, if desired. We like to cut them in half to make them a bit easier to work with on the grill.

  3. Liberally season and rub the ribs with your BBQ seasoning on all sides of the ribs.

  4. Put ribs on grill and cook for 3 hours over 225°F of indirect heat.

  5. After 3 hours, remove the ribs from the grill and place the ribs into aluminum foil. Add a small amount (about 1/4 cup) of water (or other liquid) into the foil with the ribs and close up the foil, making a packet. Each rack (or half rack) should be in its own packet.

  6. Continue cooking the ribs in the packets at 225°F for another 2 hours.

  7. After 2 hours, remove the ribs from the aluminum foil, place them directly on the grilling surface and brush them with BBQ sauce. Continue cooking for one hour, brushing them again with BBQ sauce after 30 minutes.

  8. After 1 hour, the ribs should be at least 190°F internal temperature and ready to serve. Remove from grill, brush again with BBQ sauce before serving, if desired, and enjoy!

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