How Do I Barbecue Spareribs?

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  • Written By: Lee Johnson
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2019
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Chefs should barbecue spareribs by removing the membrane from the hollow side of the ribs, adding seasoning or a marinade, and putting the ribs on the barbecue for between 10 and 15 minutes. Different methods of cooking can be used, such as blanching the spareribs and then putting them on the barbecue for two minutes in order to brown the outsides. Seasoning rubs and marinade can also vary greatly, depending on the chef and the guest’s preferences. Most marinades for spareribs are tomato-based, with spices mixed in to add flavor. Continually applying the marinade to the barbecue spareribs while they are cooking ensures maximum flavor.

The first task when making barbecue spareribs is to prepare the meat. Chefs sometimes get spareribs joined together in a rack, and these often have a membrane covering one side which isn’t pleasant to eat. The membrane is removed by gripping the corner of it and pulling it away from the concave side of the ribs. Any pieces of fat which aren’t fully attached to the main rack of ribs can be removed. Additionally, the meat should be washed in a water and vinegar solution to remove small bits of bone or meat that are loose.


After the ribs are cleaned up, the chef can start to focus on flavor for his or her barbecue spareribs. This can be achieved by either adding a dry rub, a marinade, or both. Most chefs opt to create a marinade with all of the required seasoning in it. Marinades for barbecue spareribs usually have tomato as a base flavor, supplied by tins of chopped tomatoes. Spices and flavorings such as cumin, Chinese five-spice, and soy sauce can then be added by the chef to increase the flavor of the marinade.

When the barbecue has reached a sufficient heat, the barbecue spareribs can be added. Some chefs prefer to put the ribs in the marinade before adding them to the barbecue. Generally, it is suitable to apply the sauce to the ribs while they are on the barbecue. As the meat cooks and the sauce hardens onto the meat, more sauce should be added so that there is always a liberal amount covering the ribs. Turning the ribs during cooking is important. They will usually be finished after 10 to 15 minutes on the barbecue.

Alternative cooking methods are possible when making barbecue spareribs. One example is to blanch the ribs in flavored boiling water before adding the sauce to them and barbecuing. A mixture of water, onions, garlic, cloves, chili, and pepper can be used to blanch the ribs. The ribs should be simmered for 45 minutes in this mixture. Chefs then apply the cooking sauce and put the barbecue spareribs on the barbecue for two minutes to brown them before serving.


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