Dry Rub Spare Ribs

These ribs are juicy, tender, and have a delicious dry-rub crust that may be a nice surprise if you are accustomed to having ribs with a sauce. Spare ribs have been around the barbecue scene for generations and also affordable compared to other meats. I like to cut the ribs into serving-size pieces before roasting, which gives just a little more surface area for the delicious rub to stick to.

Ingredients for 3 servings

  • 3 lbs. pork spare ribs
  • 1/4 cup course salt
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. dried onion
  • 1 tsp. cayenne powder
  • 1/2 tsp. celery seeds
  1. Cut ribs into sections with two ribs each and parboil in a large pot for 4 minutes
  2. Remove ribs from boiling water and let cool to the touch
  3. Mix all remaining ingredients and spread liberally on all sides of the rib sections
  4. Place in a roasting pan or baking sheet at 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  5. Turn on broiler and broil for 3-5 minutes or until the crust darkens.


Parboiling means to partially cook for a short amount of time in boiling water. This does two things for the ribs; it helps make them more tender by cooking them with moisture and renders some excess fat away. You can smoke these ribs as well; make sure to keep the temperature and time the same as listed above. You want the rub to darken at the end of the cooking process to give a delicious crust, but you must be careful and not go over 5 minutes or so to avoid burning. The crust is what makes these ribs stand apart from the more traditional sauced version. I would love to hear from you if you try this recipe, and don’t forget to share and subscribe! Enjoy!

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