Good Monday people! This week we made Orange Ginger Smoked Spareribs with hickory wood for the smoke. It’s getting to feel like spring over here in the Hinterlands and with spring it’s getting time for the warm weather foods. I love spareribs, and I am always looking to find new ways to make them.
Over the last few weeks I have been on an Asian bend as far as marinade and spice flavors. This orange ginger flavor is really good. Cooking spareribs is a relatively easy thing to do, whether your smoking, grilling or making them in the oven the only thing is allowing the time for them to cook slow.
Prep time is important, so you need to plan ahead so that you have the ingredients in place. I like to marinade the ribs over night so they take up the maximum spicy flavors. Then smoke them low and slow so that the flavor jumps out on the first bite. I use a 3-2-1 smoking method (3 hours in smoke, 2 hours in foil, 1 hour open and in smoke). So plan on between 5 and 6 hours to get this don. Don’t start these at 4 and plan to eat them at 6…….. it just won’t happen. I also made my own BBQ sauce for this and figured out that it needed to be started about 2 hours earlier than I figured, so that it would be done in time for the 2 hours in foil part of cooking the ribs, more on this in a few minutes. I did 2 things differently for these ribs than I have done in the past. For the in foil part of this cook, I used a disposable shallow aluminum pan and foil to cover, AND I slathered these in the Orange Ginger BBQ Sauce so they would absorb the different spices in there. This is the first time I have used a “pan” to hold the ribs. I usually wrap them in foil and put them back on the smoker. I liked this method and will do it again because it was quick and the smoker was not uncovered very long.
Let’s get started.
Put together your shopping list making sure you have everything on hand that you’ll need for both the marinade and the BBQ sauce. This ingredient list is for one rack of ribs, if you are cooking more ribs adjust the quantities so that you’ll have enough.
Orange Ginger Smoked Spare Ribs for Man Food Mondays
For the Smoker
- 4 lbs or one rack of spare ribs
- Hickory wood for the smoke
- Lump charcoal
- 2 navel oranges (These are the ones that are almost as big as a softball.)
- 2 Tbsps. of orange zest (from the oranges above)
- ½ cup of orange juice with some pulp (from the oranges above)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsps. Soy sauce
- 2 Ttbsps. Sriracha hot sauce
- 2 Tbsps. of fresh grated ginger root
Orange Ginger BBQ Sauce
- 1 cup Ketchup
- ¼ cup orange marmalade ( I used sugar fre.e)
- 1 navel orange (softball sized ones)
- 1 Tbsp. orange zest (from the above orange)
- ¼ to 1/3 cup of orange juice (from the above orange)
- 2 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
- ¼ tsp. seasoned salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp. onion powder
- ¼ tsp. paprika
- ¼ tsp. chili powder (mild, medium, or hot)
- ¼ tsp. celery salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/8 tsp. sage
- 1/8 tsp. cumin
- ¼ tsp. cayenne
- 1/8 tsp. allspice
- 1/8 tsp. cloves
- Mix all together and set aside.
- Next we will need to trim the ribs and pull that membrane off the underside of the rib sections. Here is a you tube video of how to do it. Once you have the ribs ready, place in a 1 gallon zip lock bag, one bag per rack of ribs. Stir the marinade and pour it into the bag, if you have multiple bags distribute the marinade as evenly as you can. Remove as much air as you can from the bags and place in the refrigerator over night. You can marinade for a shorter time, but I would not do less that 2 hours in the refrigerator (always marinade in the refrigerator).
- About 1 hour before your going to start your cook remove the ribs from the bags and lay out on a baking sheet and discard the marinade.
- Next your going to coat these with a dry rub I used my Memphis dry rub mixture that can be found here. I did change one ingredient, I used a Splenda based brown sugar mixture to cut back on the sugar content (I have to stay healthy 🙂 ).
- Dust one side and allow to “soak in” then flip and dust the other side.
- Return to the refrigerator uncovered while you setup the smoker.
- Once the smoker is up to temperature, 250°, place the ribs on and manage the temp and smoke for the first 3 hours. Do not let your temp drop below 230°, if you can during this time. To bring it back up, will cause a temperature spike and too much of this will cause your ribs to dry out.
- While your ribs are cooking put together your BBQ sauce. The ingredient list is above OR you can substitute using your favorite store bought BBQ sauce and add the oranges and the ginger.
- Put it all in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 1 hour and uncovered for 1 hour until thickened. You'll need to stir the sauce frequently to keep it from burning. I have a gas grill with a side burner, so while the ribs were cooking I was watching over the sauce and the rib temperature at the same time, having a glass of ice tea and listening to the Allman brothers.....it's a tough life out here.
- The next 2 hours of your cook will be in foil, go ahead and put one or two hands-full of lump charcoal on the grill right before you uncover it. This will allow the new coals to catch while you are putting the ribs in foil/ the pan and to help keep your smoke temperature up.
- I took the BBQ sauce that I just made and put about ½ of it over the ribs then covered the pan with foil and returned it to the smoker.
- After 2 hours, I removed the foil and put a few lumps of hickory wood in the coals and finished the smoke.
- Now if you cannot wait for the final 1 hour of this cook you can take them off and chow down, they are done at this point, especially if your temperature ran a little higher than 250°.
We had baked sweet potatoes, so when they were done I took the ribs up and let them set for about 15 minutes before we ate. I have to tell you, it was all I could do to NOT eat the BBQ sauce right out of the pan while it was cooking. Maybe I need to do a series on making BBQ sauce….what do you think?
Until next week take care and come back often.