The author and cook, Heather

Pork Spareribs

Whole Hog BBQ

When I saw that this recipe for ribs basically combined things we'd already made from this book, I decided we had to make it. Much like the chicken we made last week (, you start by brining the ribs. We were able to fit two racks in my pot, but finding a vessel to hold the brine AND the ribs is certainly not an easy task.

Once you remove them from the brine, you cover them with the Rub Potion Number Swine ( Then, also like the chicken, you cook them on the smoker (or a well-controlled grill) at a low heat for a long time. Then these are wrapped to finish cooking, and finally they are sauced with the Sweet Barbecue Sauce ( and then cooked a bit longer, to caramelize it a bit, before you eat.

The timing suggested was pretty spot on for our ribs, even though we used baby back instead of spareribs. They were pretty meat-y for baby back ribs, though. Our usual favorite is the St Louis cut, but these were available and on sale, so why not? You could definitely use this method on any of the three cuts, you'll just have to test them more often if they're smaller.

You can find his recipe here:


[00:00]: foreign
[00:05]: hello and welcome to cooking the books
[00:07]: with Heather
[00:08]: it is the night before we want to eat
[00:11]: because we have to brine
[00:14]: what we're making tomorrow for the
[00:17]: channel
[00:18]: so we have to make brine we've done this
[00:20]: recently for a chicken dish but today
[00:22]: we're making pork spare ribs from Sam
[00:26]: Jones's book Whole Hog Barbecue
[00:31]: um now we're supposed to have
[00:34]: spare ribs we ended up getting baby
[00:37]: backs because that's what they had at
[00:38]: the store and they were on sale and it
[00:40]: was it'll be fine they're a little less
[00:42]: meaty but we got two racks instead of
[00:45]: one so
[00:49]: I think it'll be okay
[00:51]: um anyway
[00:52]: in My Pan I have a gallon of water and
[00:56]: now
[00:57]: the only things we're adding to this is
[01:00]: salt
[01:02]: are the things we are adding yes that's
[01:05]: it it's late
[01:10]: so kosher salt
[01:13]: which I will need to buy some more of
[01:14]: pretty soon it feels like
[01:20]: close enough
[01:23]: and
[01:25]: sugar just regular granulated sugar
[01:31]: more sugar than Salt in fact
[01:35]: I don't remember what the ratios were
[01:38]: when we made chicken
[01:41]: but
[01:43]: might be exactly the same
[01:45]: I don't know
[01:47]: anyway
[01:48]: I'm gonna bring this to a boil
[01:50]: um and stir it
[01:52]: basically it just has to be
[01:55]: dissolved the sugar and the salt need to
[01:57]: dissolve and that's it and I'll be back
[02:08]: so this came almost to a boil but it's
[02:11]: fully dissolved and that's all you
[02:13]: really care about and now I'm gonna add
[02:15]: ice I'm not measuring the ice right now
[02:19]: I should but I think this is this is
[02:23]: about all we should need and we're
[02:25]: probably going to end up with with too
[02:27]: much I mean if anything I have too
[02:29]: little but we're probably going to end
[02:31]: up with more
[02:33]: brine then we can fit
[02:36]: in
[02:38]: here with our ribs so that just is what
[02:43]: it is
[02:47]: so I'm just gonna pour the rest of this
[02:49]: bag in here
[02:58]: [Music]
[03:02]: we go
[03:04]: and
[03:07]: wait for it to mostly melt
[03:10]: I'm gonna let this
[03:13]: pretty cool I'm gonna get my ribs ready
[03:16]: and then I'm probably going to take some
[03:18]: of this out and we're going to hope that
[03:20]: they all fit in there and we're going to
[03:21]: keep our fingers crossed now often a
[03:25]: recipe will tell you to take off the
[03:27]: Silver skin or trim it or whatever
[03:29]: especially with spare ribs or the St
[03:31]: Louis cut but we're not going to do any
[03:34]: of that because the recipe doesn't tell
[03:35]: us to do any of that I am going to take
[03:38]: some of this out because I know not all
[03:41]: of it will fit with the meat and we're
[03:45]: gonna
[03:47]: hope we can fit them all in there
[03:50]: and because we're putting this in brine
[03:52]: I'm not going to worry about
[03:54]: um drying them off or anything like that
[03:58]: I'm just taking them out of this bag
[04:01]: and
[04:03]: into
[04:09]: the brine
[04:13]: which is here
[04:17]: not bad
[04:19]: might work
[04:22]: we're hoping
[04:27]: throw that in there
[04:30]: [Music]
[04:45]: [Applause]
[04:53]: and here is the moment of truth
[05:03]: okay all right
[05:10]: it's going to be very full
[05:14]: okay I'm gonna have to take a little bit
[05:15]: more out it looks like
[05:18]: but other than that I think I think
[05:20]: we're good
[05:22]: that's crazy okay
[05:24]: so cool cool I'm gonna just dump the
[05:27]: rest that uh
[05:29]: Brine and get a little bit more out of
[05:30]: here just so I don't
[05:33]: slosh raw pork juice all over my kitchen
[05:38]: um and then I'm gonna make room for it
[05:39]: in the refrigerator because this has to
[05:41]: brine for at least four hours
[05:43]: or overnight so we're gonna go with
[05:46]: overnight for sure we're going to start
[05:48]: cooking probably about
[05:51]: 15-ish hours from now so that should be
[05:55]: plenty
[05:56]: uh so yeah
[05:58]: we will see you when we're about ready
[06:00]: to cook
[06:01]: these ribs
[06:03]: today we want to eat our ribs ours are
[06:07]: baby back it's supposed to be spare ribs
[06:08]: whatever it's fine so we have them
[06:11]: uh
[06:13]: in the Brine and it's time to take them
[06:15]: out
[06:21]: so I'm going to do my very best
[06:24]: not to drip everywhere
[06:26]: as I remove these from the vat of brine
[06:36]: I have some paper towels here to kind of
[06:40]: dry them off a little bit
[06:47]: there we go
[06:48]: now let me take care of this
[06:52]: so I've got a little bit of extra paper
[06:53]: towels just gonna
[06:56]: dry these off we are not coating these
[06:58]: with mustard which is a thing that you
[07:00]: often do to help the um
[07:04]: the rub stick
[07:06]: but I do want to dry them off a little
[07:08]: bit even though he doesn't really
[07:09]: say to do that that's a thing I don't
[07:12]: want them just super wet so
[07:15]: there we go
[07:17]: trash
[07:19]: so I have measured out
[07:22]: the amount of brine that he says to use
[07:26]: so that I can put my yucky hands in this
[07:28]: bowl and all of this will just be
[07:31]: discarded when we're done if I don't use
[07:34]: it all so
[07:36]: I'm just going to put our rub so this is
[07:39]: the rub Potion Number swine which we
[07:43]: have made previously I'll link that up
[07:45]: here it has salt in it it has sugar in
[07:48]: it and tons of spices so we're going to
[07:52]: coat both sides
[07:56]: with a good amount
[07:59]: I'm just going to start with the bone
[08:01]: side because that's what I currently
[08:03]: have up here
[08:10]: all right I'm going to turn them over
[08:15]: some more
[08:20]: all right I want to get a little bit
[08:22]: more on the
[08:25]: other side just because I have some more
[08:32]: there we go
[08:35]: we are all done with our rub so
[08:39]: we can cook these on a pit and he says
[08:42]: directly over the coals but uh it should
[08:45]: be at 250 degrees
[08:47]: um
[08:48]: we have our smoker uh we have a pellet
[08:51]: smoker which we have used previously on
[08:53]: this channel
[08:55]: um so that's what we have going and it's
[08:57]: it's set to 250 and it'll just keep that
[08:60]: temperature for us which is very
[09:01]: convenient
[09:03]: but I'm going to wash my hands and clean
[09:05]: up a bit and we will see you out of the
[09:07]: smoker all right it is super hot out
[09:09]: today it's like July it's awful
[09:13]: um but we we're out here with our smoker
[09:15]: and luckily we can just leave it alone
[09:16]: so once we're done here
[09:21]: um our smoker is at 250 degrees like I
[09:24]: said
[09:26]: and
[09:28]: we're going to start these bone side
[09:30]: down
[09:32]: so
[09:36]: I can get them
[09:39]: go
[09:47]: and get these situated
[09:50]: good enough
[09:57]: all right there we go
[10:02]: so
[10:03]: we're gonna cook these bone side down
[10:06]: for an hour and then we're going to turn
[10:08]: them over and he says cook them for
[10:10]: another hour my grill guy my smoker over
[10:13]: here says that he thinks he'll only be
[10:15]: about an hour and a half because they
[10:17]: are slightly smaller a little bit more
[10:20]: trimmed I think than the usual spare
[10:21]: ribs
[10:23]: whatever I would go an hour and an hour
[10:25]: but we'll do what he says and we're
[10:27]: gonna try uh the bend test so what you
[10:31]: do is basically just like I did when I
[10:33]: put them in here you put the tongs in
[10:35]: the middle and you lift it up and you
[10:37]: see how much it bends at that point
[10:39]: see how done it is we'll show you that
[10:41]: when we're ready for it but uh now we're
[10:46]: done
[10:46]: an hour we'll flip it over I don't know
[10:49]: if we'll show you that I have some
[10:50]: errands to run so
[10:52]: if you do it'll be
[10:54]: with my uh my smoker guy here and uh
[10:59]: we'll see you at in an hour maybe
[11:01]: definitely in about two hours so
[11:04]: see you then it's been an hour since uh
[11:06]: Heather put these on she's not yet back
[11:09]: from running her errands so I'm going to
[11:11]: flip these over
[11:13]: we'll see how they're doing
[11:14]: all right
[11:15]: I don't know if you can see that got
[11:17]: some visible
[11:20]: lines that are sort of formed
[11:22]: and they're not ready yet but they're
[11:25]: getting new so I'm gonna go ahead and
[11:27]: flip this
[11:31]: not quite there
[11:33]: I was pretty sure that these are going
[11:35]: to cook a little faster than
[11:38]: uh the hour that he the two hours that
[11:41]: he says uh but of course he had it he
[11:44]: says over directly over the charcoals
[11:47]: which
[11:48]: we're using uh
[11:51]: pellet smoker so it's not quite like
[11:53]: that there's heat shields in the way and
[11:55]: the smoke comes around it's just warm
[11:57]: with smoke
[11:59]: so it's not quite the same and I didn't
[12:00]: want to use the Weber in this case
[12:03]: because uh
[12:06]: that could be really hard to have at
[12:08]: just 250 if you're trying to do directly
[12:10]: over to close
[12:11]: I don't know I managed to do that unless
[12:14]: it's in the I think they mentioned they
[12:16]: used the large pig cooker so that's a
[12:18]: little easier because it's uh very large
[12:20]: volume you have a small number of coals
[12:23]: at the bottom and it's not gonna
[12:25]: you can control the heat anyway so I've
[12:29]: turned those over I'm gonna set a timer
[12:30]: I'm going to check them again in about
[12:32]: 30 minutes
[12:34]: I suspect they'll be ready rather than
[12:36]: the whole hour uh for me to do a foil
[12:39]: and we'll see
[12:40]: uh if they are and if they are and when
[12:44]: other returns she can do
[12:48]: uh the next part because I want her to
[12:51]: show you how to press these all right
[12:53]: see you in a moment it's been two hours
[12:58]: and we're supposed to
[12:60]: do the bend test
[13:02]: so
[13:04]: it's supposed to hold them like this
[13:07]: if they Bend enough that the top starts
[13:10]: to crack
[13:11]: it's ready
[13:13]: to wrap what do you think
[13:16]: okay so we're gonna
[13:19]: call this Good
[13:21]: we're gonna wrap these in foil
[13:24]: so we're gonna come over here
[13:26]: I have this um
[13:30]: [Music]
[13:31]: excuse the dog heavy duty aluminum foil
[13:34]: that seems about long enough for me
[13:38]: I'm gonna put this down to keep it from
[13:39]: blowing away
[13:44]: try to get it moved over there without
[13:45]: dropping it
[13:51]: there we go
[13:53]: so what we're gonna do is he doesn't say
[13:56]: to do this but we always wrap this meat
[13:59]: side down bone side up
[14:02]: so we're just going to make a little
[14:06]: pocket
[14:08]: a little pouch here
[14:14]: and then
[14:15]: put it back on the group
[14:22]: and do it one more time
[14:27]: close it up
[14:29]: he says cook it for about another hour
[14:31]: and then test it and see if it's tender
[14:33]: enough
[14:34]: bendy enough
[14:37]: um and if not keep cooking it
[14:39]: so
[14:41]: we'll see you when we think it's done
[14:42]: all right dogs barking again we're about
[14:45]: to test these ribs to see if they're
[14:48]: done enough for us
[14:53]: very hot
[14:56]: and you can see if you will zoom in over
[14:59]: here
[15:04]: the uh meat has started pulling off of
[15:07]: the bones and I bet oh yeah that would
[15:10]: start to come out I think they're
[15:12]: probably pretty done for us
[15:17]: obsessed to basically do the
[15:21]: oh yeah they're done
[15:23]: all right
[15:25]: they're very very tender it's time to
[15:28]: put some sauce on
[15:29]: okay we're just gonna put some of this
[15:33]: uh sweet barbecue sauce that we've made
[15:36]: previously and I'll link it above like
[15:38]: always you know
[15:40]: put this all on this and I'm gonna put
[15:45]: it
[15:45]: this side down first and and then get
[15:49]: the other side after I put it on the
[15:51]: grill
[15:52]: on the smoker he says only about 10 more
[15:55]: minutes but you want to wait until
[15:58]: it gets this sauce sort of caramelizes
[16:00]: and gets a little bit Brown I don't know
[16:03]: if it'll do that
[16:04]: uh at 250 but we'll see
[16:08]: [Music]
[16:11]: so there we go that looks pretty good to
[16:14]: me
[16:20]: [Music]
[16:28]: [Music]
[16:37]: on this episode of cooking the books
[16:39]: with Heather you watch me make pork
[16:41]: spare ribs from Sam Jones's Whole Hog
[16:43]: barbecue cookbook so we used we didn't
[16:46]: quite use the spare ribs we used baby
[16:49]: back ribs but they were a pretty meaty
[16:51]: baby back rib so I think it took
[16:53]: approximately the same amount of time
[16:56]: and he does describe in here what to
[16:59]: look for to see when they're done and
[17:02]: ours was pretty much spot on with his
[17:04]: suggestions here we didn't really have
[17:07]: to cook it much longer or less I think
[17:10]: it was kind of perfect the way we did it
[17:12]: uh they are brined and dealing with a
[17:16]: wet brine like that kind of is annoying
[17:21]: but it works and they were nicely
[17:24]: seasoned and
[17:27]: pretty moist and delicious
[17:30]: um and
[17:31]: we had some guests over and one of them
[17:34]: even asked like were these brined and
[17:36]: like yes they were so I don't know if
[17:38]: that was a good thing or a bad thing but
[17:41]: they were very tender
[17:43]: um
[17:45]: but not
[17:47]: so tender as to be too tender so with a
[17:51]: rib usually you want tender but you also
[17:54]: want there to be sort of the need to
[17:56]: bite it which is sometimes if you if you
[17:59]: cook it too long it gets a little bit
[18:01]: too tender too easy to uh slip the bones
[18:06]: out and eat which may be what you want
[18:08]: it's up to you but in competition
[18:11]: they're looking for both tender and a
[18:14]: bite to be able to bite it
[18:18]: um we don't compete but we you know
[18:20]: watch some of those competition things
[18:22]: on on
[18:24]: TV and have been through a couple of
[18:27]: local ones anyway
[18:30]: so this was a really simple recipe other
[18:33]: than that we used the sweet barbecue
[18:36]: sauce that we had previously made for
[18:39]: the bean sauce for the black not black
[18:41]: beans for the um baked beans and we used
[18:45]: rub Potion Number swine which we had
[18:49]: previously made so that was all done for
[18:52]: us it's something that you know you can
[18:54]: keep in your cupboard in your
[18:56]: refrigerator and it will last you many
[18:59]: uses
[19:01]: um
[19:02]: but you know
[19:04]: the brining kinda
[19:06]: is annoying like like I've said
[19:08]: previously we often will dry brine
[19:10]: something now
[19:11]: I'll have to see how that works if you
[19:13]: can put sugar in a sugar and salt I
[19:17]: don't know I've only ever salted and
[19:21]: left things overnight for a dry brine
[19:24]: um
[19:26]: but there was plenty of brine for
[19:28]: two racks as long as your pot will fit
[19:32]: two racks or I'm sure it could be more
[19:34]: if you had a huge pot
[19:36]: um
[19:37]: and it doesn't really matter as long as
[19:39]: they all fit and are covered with the
[19:41]: brine you're good you can use it for as
[19:43]: many as you want Even though this one
[19:45]: said
[19:46]: one rack we did two and it was fine
[19:50]: um and it was very tender it took about
[19:53]: the right time and uh yeah it was it's a
[19:56]: little different than
[19:58]: my grill guys usual method but uh it
[20:02]: turned out really nicely and we still
[20:06]: have a whole rack so
[20:08]: hour one rack fed four adults and two
[20:12]: kids uh we probably could have eaten a
[20:15]: little bit more but ended up not and so
[20:17]: we have a full rack left in the
[20:19]: refrigerator that we will reheat and
[20:21]: have uh
[20:24]: for dinner
[20:25]: without much work later this week
[20:28]: um which I do highly recommend
[20:31]: you can reheat these pretty well I do it
[20:34]: all the time because usually we get the
[20:36]: St Louis cut and that's a lot of meat
[20:38]: and if there are just four of us we can
[20:39]: never
[20:41]: uh finish a whole rack of a St Louis cut
[20:44]: rib
[20:46]: and what I do is just broil it with some
[20:49]: extra sauce and that will heat it enough
[20:51]: to be on both well I'll heat it on the
[20:56]: with the bone side up
[20:58]: and then turn it over and make sure
[21:00]: there's enough sauce on it and broil it
[21:03]: and that's fine if you don't want to do
[21:05]: that you can also just
[21:08]: bake it
[21:12]: for I don't know probably half an hour
[21:13]: and it'll be good but broiling is super
[21:16]: quick
[21:17]: anyway if you enjoyed watching me make
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