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posted May 02, 2019

Crispy Sticky Smoked Spareribs

This post is sponsored by Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. All opinions are my own.

These crispy, sticky spareribs are sweet and perfectly messy with a great smoky flavor. I created this recipe to kick off grilling season early and give you a heads up about the Tyson Fresh Meats line-up of pork ribs perfect for summer smoking and grilling. Make sure to check out to find Tyson® ribs near you. While you’re on the site, make sure to enter to win one of my all-time favorite grills, the Camp Chef® Woodwind SG with the Sidekick attachment. Ribs AND a new smoker?! Best way to start the summer!

Crispy, sticky, smoked spareribs on a baking sheet.

Smoked Pork Spareribs

Smoking spareribs results in tender, delicious ribs. Spareribs are notoriously well-marbled with plenty of intramuscular fat, making them perfect for low and slow grilling and smoking.

For this recipe, I decided to keep the old school low and slow BBQ technique and kick it up a notch with exciting flavors. After a long smoke, these spareribs are dunked in a sweet and fruity cherry glaze. You get that classic BBQ smoked sparerib flavor highlighted by those bright, sweet notes of the tart cherry juice and the brown sugar glaze.

My favorite thing about this recipe is the color on these pork spareribs. You get that classic pink smoke ring, a nice dark bark, and a bright red mahogany color from the glaze. They look like molten lava!

pack of Tyson pork spareribs and sweet rub on cutting board.

What are Spareribs?

Spareribs are the meaty, thick ribs cut near the belly and breastbone of the pig that include 11 to 13 long bones. These ribs are delicious and fatty, often making them more tender than baby back ribs.

Spareribs are perfect grilled or smoked nice and slow. Because they are so long and have so much meat on them, they are incredibly popular in Texas BBQ restaurants. It’s one of the most common restaurant ribs, often served smothered in a sweet and delicious BBQ sauce.

smoky spare ribs on grill.

How to Smoke Spareribs

Getting the perfect smoke ring on your spareribs is only 5 steps away. Simply follow these how-to instructions to get that pretty pink smoke ring on your ribs.

  1. Season liberally with a good dry rub. My sweet rub provides the perfect sweet coating to complement that deep, smoky flavor.
  2. Smoke at a low temperature using your favorite hardwood. Since this recipe uses a sticky cherry glaze, cherry hardwood was the obvious choice. Apple or hickory are also great options for smoking spareribs.
  3. Wrap in foil. Wrapping your spareribs in foil help them retain moisture, and it infuses the ribs with tons of flavor.
  4. Glaze ribs in a sticky, sweet sauce. The stickier the better!
  5. Char for caramelized flavor and crispy edges.

crispy sticky spare ribs on baking sheet.

How Long to Smoke Spareribs

Low and slow is the best way to go when making smoked spareribs. Once you get your grill up and smoking (I love using my Camp Chef SmokePro 36 SGX), I recommend smoking for 4 hours and then braising them in butter and brown sugar for an additional hour to add moisture and flavor. Finally, finish cooking them over a high heat grill for a few minutes to get that perfect char and to caramelize the BBQ sauce.

Smoked Spareribs Recipe

Watch the video below and I’ll show you step-by-step how I make these smoked spare ribs at home. You can find more of my smoking and grilling recipe videos on YouTubeInstagram, or our Facebook Page. Follow along and let’s make awesome food together!

crispy sticky spare ribs on baking sheet

Crispy Sticky Smoked Spare Ribs

Susie Bulloch (
These crispy sticky smoked spareribs are sweet and perfectly messy with a great smoky flavor. Slow smoked, glazed, and charred on the grill for texture.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time : 10 mins
Cook Time : 5 hrs 30 mins
Total Time : 5 hrs 40 mins
Servings : 4
Calories : 1147kcal



Foiling Liquid

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (cubed)
  • 1/2 cup tart cherry juice



  • Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F. I recommend using cherry wood for this recipe.
  • Trim the spareribs by removing the membrane; trimming any fat off the top, and any of the thin ribs at the end of the rack.
  • Season ribs on both sides with sweet rub or your favorite BBQ seasoning.
  • Place on the smoker, close the lid, and smoke for 4 hours.
  • Lay out a large piece of aluminum foil on a cutting board. Sprinkle brown sugar, cubed butter, and the tart cherry juice on top of the foil. Lay the ribs down on top of the brown sugar mixture, bone side up. Tightly close the foil around the ribs.
  • Place the ribs back on the smoker for 1 hour, or until the internal temperature reads 200 degrees F.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the ingredients for the glaze. Remove the ribs from the foil and place on a cutting board, and pour any residual cooking liquid from the foil into the pan with the glaze ingredients.
  • Bring glaze to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes. In the meantime, slice your spare ribs.
  • Dunk each individual rib into the pan with the glaze and place it on a baking sheet.
  • Either preheat your oven to broil or increase the temperature of your grill or smoker to 450 degrees F.
  • Broil or grill the ribs for 2-3 minutes per side until the glaze is caramelized and the edges of the ribs are crispy.
  • Serve with plenty of wet wipes and enjoy your good, messy ribs!


Calories: 1147kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 77g | Saturated Fat: 32g | Cholesterol: 243mg | Sodium: 414mg | Potassium: 901mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 62g | Vitamin A: 1195IU | Vitamin C: 2.2mg | Calcium: 276mg | Iron: 9.5mg
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