Simple and delicious, this recipe really lets the pork and smoke flavours shine. Feel free to use whole racks of pork spareribs and skip the St. Louis trim. 






Skill level

Average: 5 (6 votes)

After many years of cooking sweet, flavour-bomb competition-style ribs, this has become one of Chris’s favourite recipes. 


  • 1 rack of pork spare ribs trimmed St. Louis style (about 1.6 kg)
  • 1 tbsp (14 g) kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp (6 g) black pepper, freshly ground 
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • Cayenne hot sauce

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


With a paper towel, peel the membrane from the back of the ribs. Sprinkle the back side with half of the kosher salt and then repeat with half of the pepper. Flip the ribs meat side up and sprinkle with the remaining kosher salt and then the remaining pepper. 

Prepare your smoker for a 140°C 4 hour cook. Place the ribs in the smoker meat side up. Keep a steady 140°C fire going for 3 hours. There is really no reason to peek, but if you must, keep it to a minimum. Put 2 cups (475 ml) of water and the vinegar into your spray bottle. During the fourth hour of cooking, mist the ribs occasionally and check for doneness. When the ribs just start to break apart when lifted from the centre with tongs, the ribs are done. Remove the ribs from the smoker and let them sit on your cutting board for 15 minutes. Flip the ribs meat side down and slice between the bones. The ribs should have a little tug when taking a bite, tender but with a firm texture.

Storage tip: Wrap room temperature ribs tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 30 days.


Recipe from Pitmaster - Recipes, Techniques & Barbecue Wisdom by Andy Husbands and Chris Hart. Photography by Ken Goodman. RRP $29.99 (Murdoch Books)