We love spareribs, and we don’t care how you prepare them. But we love spareribs with a bit of bite. Deliciously tender, with a bit of a bite. That’s why we used the rotisserie to grill these pork ribs.
These spare ribs are very different from the standard fall-off-the-bone variety. They are also ready a lot faster. The end result is a grilled surface and delicious, tender smoked meat. We smoked them at about 160 degrees Celsius (320F) and had the spare ribs on the table in an hour and a half. With these times, you can serve spare ribs during the week.
We’ve got these beautiful Iberico belly ribs. These are really huge and obviously, have a large amount of intramuscular fat. That fat has a lot of flavours because Iberico pigs are fattened with mainly acorns.
You would think that this enormous piece of meat would never fit on the Joe. Judging by my face, I also had my doubts. But it fits perfectly on the rotisserie.
Before we can season the spare ribs, we have to remove the membrane that is on the ribs. There’s a trick for that. First, insert a dull dinner knife between the bone and the membrane. Then you pull the blade, and the membrane, up until you can get your finger underneath.
Then you can pull the membrane off. If it doesn’t go off in one go, you can make it easier on yourself by pulling off the last bits with a piece of paper towel.
We’re not going to ruin these Iberico ribs with a classic sweet bbq flavour. Don’t get us wrong. We love traditional American barbecue, but you don’t use Iberico for that. And because we grill the ribs at a fairly high temperature, we don’t want to use sugar. That would only burn and become bitter.
We season these spare ribs with salt and pepper, fresh garlic and a handful of fresh chopped Italian herbs. We leave the spare ribs overnight in a ziplock bag so that the flavours can soak in and we can start without prepping the next day.
Nowadays, you can place a rotisserie on any kind of barbecue. For the Kamado Joe, you have the Joetisserie. This is a rotisserie that fits precisely between the kettle and the lid. This way, you don’t draw false air, and your kamado works like a kamado should.
We stack the charcoal on one side of the kettle and light it in 2 places. We already place the ring of the Joetisserie and wait until the firestarters have burned out. Then we put a piece of double aluminium foil at the bottom of the kettle and a little against the bottom edge of the pile of charcoal. There is quite a bit of fat coming from these Iberico ribs, and that would immediately catch fire and start smoking.
We close the lid and open the bottom air slide and the top vent all the way and let the temperature rise to about 140 degrees (284F). Then we close the bottom slide to 2 fingers and the top vent on one and a half bars. Then we wait until the temperature remains stable at about 160 degrees (320F). Then we place a block of smoking wood. In this case, apple because it goes well with spareribs. Any kind of fruitwood is good.
Because the wood causes the temperature to rise again, you have to squeeze the airflow slightly. We then arrange the minor fine-tuning with the top vent. Always make sure that the kamado at the top remains open for at least a finger’s width. If you close the kamado too much at the top, the flow of fresh oxygen will be too low and too much smoke will stay in the lid, which is not good. So if you have to close the top vent too much to reach the right temperature, first make sure that the bottom vent closes more.
When the kamado is perfectly stable, we will thread the ribs onto the Joetisserie. We skewer them alternately through the meat after every 3 or 4 ribs. Then we fix it with the clamps.
We place the skewer in the Joetisserie and close the lid. Now it’s just a matter of waiting. Open a beer and do something else.
After an hour and a half, we check for the first time. That’s not entirely true, but we should have. We can’t help but check in now and then. You have been able to enjoy the wonderful smell that comes from the barbecue all this time, and you are, of course, curious what they look like. As you can see, the meat pulled away from the ribs. That’s a good sign and basically the signal that they’re ready.
All you have to do now is check how tender the meat is. Stop the rotisserie for a moment and poke a toothpick or the probe of your thermometer through the meat. If it goes in and out easily, the ribs are ready. You decide how easy, easy is, of course.
These rotisserie spareribs are fantastic. The only problem is that you can only grill one at a time. But they are ready quickly enough, so you can grill the next one while you eat the first set.
- spare ribs
- olive oil
- Sea salt
- Ground black pepper
- Fresh Italian herbs
- 1 garlic clove
- Finely chop a handful of Italian herbs. Do the same with the garlic clove. Mix the herbs and the garlic.
- Remove the membrane from the spareribs and brush with a bit of olive oil.
- Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the meat and then rub both sides with the Italian herbs and garlic. Let it soak for 4 hours or overnight.
- Prepare the barbecue to indirectly grill the ribs with the charcoal, not directly under the rotisserie. Provide a kettle temperature of approximately 160°C (320F).
- Thread the spare ribs onto the skewer and ensure that the meat hangs in the middle of the rotisserie and the grill. Place a block of smoke wood and close the lid.
- After an hour and a half, check the tenderness of the meat by sticking a toothpick or the probe of your thermometer into the meat.
- When the spareribs are to your liking, let them rest for 10 minutes. Then you can cut them into pieces.