Saturday, June 8, 2019

Korean BBQ Spare Ribs

When it comes to pork ribs, I always lean toward spare ribs. They are much bigger and meatier than baby backs and hold the moisture much better after a multi-hour, low and slow cook. You need low and slow if you want that incredibly tender, "fall-off-the bone" result.

Speaking of the low and slow formula, "low" is the harder part of the equation. You want to cook the ribs at a temperature range of 225º to 250º and no more. If you have a smoker or gas grill, that is easy to achieve. If you have a charcoal grill, the job becomes a little harder. You'll need to use briquettes, as lump charcoal burns too hot for low and slow. You'll also need a grill thermometer and some serious vent management. If all that seems too much, I'll point out that your oven works perfectly for maintaining that temperature range. Just put the ribs on a baking sheet with a wire rack and pop them in the oven.


For the Ribs and Rub
3 racks pork spare ribs
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup black pepper

For the Korean BBQ Sauce
1/2 cup gochujang
1-1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

For Garnish
1 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup sliced scallions


  1. Four hours before you start cooking, mix rub ingredients in a small bowl. Spread rub over both sides of ribs, then wrap ribs in plastic and refrigerate.
  2. In a large bowl, combine sauce ingredients and whisk until brown sugar is dissolved.
  3. Prepare your grill for an indirect, low and slow cook at 225º to 250º (Indirect means that the ribs are not cooked directly over the heat source. If you are using a charcoal grill, the coals would be on one side and the ribs on the other. Placing the ribs in a rack improves the result.)
  4. Cook for 3-1/2 hours, turning and basting the ribs with the sauce every hour.
  5. When done cooking, cut the ribs and sprinkle with peanuts and scallions. Then serve.

Pairing: If you are a wine drinker...Zinfandel.
But if I were making these ribs on a hot summer day like today, 
I'd much rather drink an ice-cold Korean QB Pilsner from a well-chilled mug!

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

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