Old-Fashioned Barbecue Spare Ribs

Make extra sauce— it will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. These classic ribs are best served with casual sides like French fries and coleslaw.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 3 hours 15 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 8


  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, cored, seeded, and minced
  • 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1⁄2 cup dark brown sugar, or to taste
  • 2 cups chili sauce
  • 1 tsp. orange juice concentrate
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 lbs. spare ribs


  • Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, and peppers and sauté over medium heat for five minutes.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients (except the ribs), cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Put half of the sauce in a jar for future use.
  • Prepare the grill for indirect heat.
  • Add some water-soaked mesquite, hickory, or other wood chips for a smoky flavor.
  • Grill the ribs on low heat for 2 hours.
  • Brush with sauce. Then grill an additional 10 to 15 minutes per side, over direct medium-high heat. Ribs should be caramelized but not burned.