Bourbon Sauced St. Louis Spareribs

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes plus 40 minute stand time
  • Cook Time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Serves: 4 to 8


  • 4 racks Smithfield® St. Louis Style Pork Spareribs (membrane removed if desired)
  • 1 handful hickory or apple wood chips for smoking, soaked in water and drained (optional)
  • Dry Rub
  • ½ cup turbinado sugar
  • 5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried mustard
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • Bourbon BBQ Sauce
  • 1 (12-oz.) bottle ketchup
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup Kentucky bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon liquid hickory smoke
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried mustard
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. About one hour before smoking, make the dry rub. Combine all ingredients in small bowl; mix well. Rub a light amount of oil on both sides of ribs and sprinkle a light coating of rub on both sides; let stand 5 to 10 minutes at room temperature. Once the first layer of rub turns wet from the meat, generously coat both sides of ribs with additional rub. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes until slightly thickened, stirring frequently. Cool to room temperature; cover and refrigerate.
  3. Heat charcoal or gas grill for indirect cooking at 230°F. to 250°F. Add drained wood chips, if using. Place the ribs, meaty side down, over a drip pan and cook for 2 hours. Add about 12 coals to a charcoal grill every 45 minutes or so to maintain the heat.
  4. Remove ribs from grill. Double-wrap each rack in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Return wrapped ribs to the grill and cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours more over indirect heat, until very tender. Add more coals as needed to maintain temperature for a charcoal grill.
  5. Remove ribs from grill and unwrap. Place ribs over direct heat on grill and brush with bourbon BBQ sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce is set. Turn ribs and repeat with more sauce.
  6. Serve ribs with any remaining sauce.