3-2-1 Smoked St. Louis-Style Spareribs

There are hundreds of variations on the 3-2-1 approach to smoking St. Louis-style spareribs. The end result is a tender, moist, flavorful rib. Spareribs are our favorite. They are meatier, bigger, and tastier than back ribs. And, when trimmed St. Louis-style, you get an extra bonus: rib tips.

Here are the ribs, trimmed and rubbed, ready to go onto the smoker (I used my Weber Smokey Mountain Charcoal Smoker), followed by the final product. Yummy tasty ribs.

3-2-1 Smoked St. Louis-Style SpareribsIf you prefer baby back ribs, check out my technique for making 2-2-1 smoked baby back ribs. Need a great homemade sauce? Here are just a few of the ones I’ve made and love: smokehouse, southwestern, atomic, Sriracha and sweet-n-spicy.

Also try my smoked Asian ribs.

You can also make delicious St Louis-style ribs on a gas grill or Char-Broil Big Easy!

3-2-1 Smoked St. Louis-Style Spareribs

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 25 minutes
Servings 4
Author From various sources


  • 1 rack pork spareribs
  • BBQ rub I used Grub Rub
  • 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar divided
  • 2-3 tablespoons honey divided
  • 3 tablespoons apple juice
  • BBQ sauce I used our Sweet-n-spicy homemade sauce


  • Set up your smoker for cooking at 225 F. Add your wood of choice (I used cherry).
  • Trim the ribs St. Louis-style. There is an excellent tutorial on how to do this on the Virtual Weber Bullet.
  • Add rub to the ribs, rubbing into both sides of the slab.
  • Place ribs on smoker and smoke for 3 hours.
  • Remove ribs and place onto a large piece of aluminum foil.
  • Sprinkle top of ribs with half of the brown sugar and honey.
  • Flip and sprinkle bottom side with the remaining brown sugar and honey.
  • Pour apple juice over ribs and seal the foil.
  • Return ribs (in foil) to the smoker and cook another 2 hours.
  • Remove ribs from foil and place them on the smoker.
  • Baste with your favorite BBQ sauce and smoke up to another hour until meat starts to fall off of the bones, basting with more sauce as desired.
  • Let rest 10 minutes before serving.