This is a photo of some spare ribs I cooked during one of my competition practice cooks. Here is pretty much how I barbecued them.
1.) Trim the spare ribs St. Louis style. If you are not sure how to perform this step, click here to take a look at how Chef David Payne does it.
2.) Apply a generous coating of your favorite rub to the back and front of the ribs. I like to use Plowboy's Yardbird or 3Eyz BBQ Rub, or Williams Rib Tickler rub. Sometimes I make my own rub by just applying brown sugar, salt, pepper, granulated garlic, chili powder and cayenne pepper.
3.) Let the ribs sit for about 30 minutes. You want the rub to begin to liquefy on the outside of the ribs. I usually trim and rub the ribs and let them sit while I am starting the fire in my smoker.
4.) Bring your smoker to 275 degrees F and use indirect heat. I like to use a little white oak or hickory for smoke. Cherry wood is good too. But, don't over do it. When I am cooking ribs on my drum or keg smokers, I use 1 or 2 golf ball sized chunks of wood.
5.) Put the ribs on the smoker and let them cook for 2.5 hours. Make sure you maintain as constant a temperature in your smoker as possible.
6.) Every half hour, spritz the ribs with a little water mixed 50/50 with apple juice.
7.) After 2.5 hours, put a little squeeze Parkay in a sheet of foil large enough to wrap the ribs in. Add about a handful of brown sugar and a little honey to the Parkay. Place the ribs in the foil on top of the Parkay/sugar mixture meat side down. Put the same combination of ingredients on the top of the ribs. Wrap them tightly in the foil and then wrap another sheet of foil around them just to make sure they are well sealed.
8.) Put the wrapped ribs back in the smoker meat side down. Let them cook for another 1.5 hours.
9.) After 1.5 hours, unwrap the ribs and check the tenderness. If you can twist a couple of bones easily, they are done. If you can't twist a bone, wrap them back up and continue to cook them for another 15 minutes. Check them every 15 or 20 minutes until they pass the bone twist test.
10.) When the ribs are done, remove them from the foil and apply a coat of your favorite barbecue sauce. Blues Hog sauce is a good choice too. I like to use a silicon brush to apply the sauce.
11.) Put the ribs back in the smoker for about 10 minutes. You just need them in the smoker long enough for the sauce to "set."
12.) Remove from the smoker and enjoy!