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Competition Style Spare Ribs

Competition Style Spare Ribs

By Traeger Kitchen

Take a page from the pros and try to one-up your last backyard rib fest. Every time you fire up the Traeger it's an enjoyable challenge to try and win the blue ribbon from friends and family.

Prep Time

30 Min

Cook Time

4 Hr
30 Min




This recipe serves:


Units of Measurement:
2 Rack St. Louis-style ribs
To Taste Traeger Pork & Poultry Rub
1 Cup dark brown sugar
1/4 Cup honey, preferably clover
8 Tablespoon (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 Cup Traeger BBQ sauce
1/2 Cup Traeger Apricot BBQ Sauce


  • 1

    When ready to cook, set the Traeger temperature to 180°F and preheat with the lid closed for 15 minutes.

    180 ˚F / 82 ˚C

    Super Smoke

  • 2

    Trim the end bones off of each rack of ribs, then trim any excess fat down to 1/4 inch thick. Remove the membrane from the back side of the ribs. Season the ribs generously on both sides with Traeger Pork & Poultry Rub.

  • 3

    Place the racks directly on the grill grates, meat-side up. Close the lid and smoke for 2 hours.

    180 ˚F / 82 ˚C


    Super Smoke

  • 4

    Remove the ribs from the grill. Increase the temperature to 225°F and preheat with the lid closed for 5-10 minutes.

    225 ˚F / 107 ˚C


    Super Smoke

  • 5

    Set two large sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil on a flat surface. Add 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon honey, and 2 tablespoons butter to each sheet of foil. Place the ribs, meat-side down, on top of the brown sugar mixture. Sprinkle the bone side of each rack with another 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon honey, and 2 tablespoons butter. Tightly wrap the foil around the ribs.

  • 6

    Return the wrapped ribs to the grill, meat-side down. Close the lid and cook for 2 hours. Carefully open one of the foil packets and insert a toothpick into the meat between the two centermost ribs. Note whether the ribs are tender (the toothpick meets a bit of resistance, but goes in fairly smoothly) or still a bit tough.

    225 ˚F / 107 ˚C


    Super Smoke

  • 7

    Remove the ribs from the grill and carefully unwrap, pouring any accumulated juices from the foil packets into a heatproof bowl.

  • 8

    In a small bowl, stir together the Traeger BBQ Sauce and Traeger Apricot BBQ Sauce.

  • 9

    Return the ribs to the grill. Brush the BBQ sauce mixture liberally on both sides of the ribs. Close the lid and cook until the sauce is set and the ribs are tender, 20-60 minutes depending on whether the ribs were already tender after the foil cooking step. Remove the ribs from the grill and let rest for 15 minutes.

    225 ˚F / 107 ˚C


    Super Smoke

  • 10

    Skim the fat off the surface of the liquid collected from the foil packets and discard.

  • 11

    Slice the racks between the bones into individual ribs. Using a basting brush, generously coat the cut ribs with the sticky sweet glaze for a shiny finish. Enjoy!

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