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Spare ribs same as baby back ribs?

Cooking spare ribs for the first time today. Have them on indirect at 275 dome. Do the recipes for baby back ribs apply to spare ribs? I have never cooked ribs before in any way. What temp do I pull them? Thanks for all of the help. Don't know what I would do without this forum.


  • CowdogsCowdogs Posts: 469
    Recipes are the same.   All things being equal, baby backs will be done sooner than spares.  However like any meat cooked on the egg, they need to cook until they are done.  When is that?  There are many opinions on this, and I have settled on using the bend test determine when my ribs are done.  Search "bend test" here for more info.
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 5,048
    I think you can follow pretty much the same method with spares as you can with baby-backs.  It is a little difficult to get an accurate temp measurement with ribs (even with a thermapen), so I think people usually use visual indicators.  When the meat starts to pull back from the bones that is one indicator, and there is also "the bend test".  If you grab with tongs the meat should fold in half. 

    These are baby-backs, but should also apply to spares:

    Last time I cooked spares I did just one rack cut in half bone side down for about 5-6 hours at 275, then I applied sauce for the last 20-30 minutes and they turned out quite nice. 

    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg wing. 
    2014 Wing King's Apprentice
  • Dyal_SCDyal_SC Posts: 1,892
    The ends of the ribs will poke out when they are ready. They will also slightly feel like they are going to break apart when you bend the rack. If you are at a 275 dome temp, I personally would shoot for 2.5 hours unfoiled, 1 hour foiled, and then the last 30 min to an hour unfoiled. Some people don't use foil, but I personally like the results better.
    2014 Co-Wing King
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 5,353
    All good info above-and another "done" test, particularly if you have to cut the rack to fit is the toothpick test-insert into the thickest part of the meat and no resistance in our out means done.
  • For me, untrimmed, whole spares take at least an hour longer than baby backs.  If you have St. Louis style trimmed spares like this:


    They only take a little longer than baby backs, maybe 30 minutes or so.
  • Thanks for the advice. Ribs turned out well. Can't attach a picture with my iPad but hopefully I am getting my computer back this afternoon.They went for 3 1/2 hours but could have gone a little longer. We couldn't wait. My husband loved them.
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