Celebrity Chefs Recipes: Spare Ribs by Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats

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 (Vic Chin / KQED)

Meaty pork spare ribs with a simple yet delicious rib rub. 

Growing up in Kansas City, we ate a lot of BBQ. My mother can testify to the statement that ribs were always my favorite. There’s definitely something to rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty for the sake of delicious meaty goodness.

At 4505 Burgers & BBQ, we cook pork spare ribs--longer than a St. Louis cut and much meatier than a baby back rib.  Spare ribs, the most traditional rib cut, are a great choice because each rib is super meaty and contains a great variety of textures and flavors. Our pork spare ribs come from American Homestead Pork in Iowa.  American Homestead sources heritage hogs from local family farms and raises them on an all-vegetarian diet, no gestation crates and other inhumane practices.

In our recipe, we remove the extra flap of meat attached to the underside of the rib. We either toss it in spice rub, cook it alongside the ribs, chop it and add it to baked beans or scrambled eggs, or we serve it over rice with some scallions and a bit of sriracha.

You can prepare and cook the ribs ahead of time so you aren’t stressing during your party. Just give them a little char on your grill to reheat them through and caramelize the bark before serving them. Enjoy!


Classic 4505 BBQ Pork Spare Ribs

Serves 6 to 8


3 racks pork spare ribs

½ cup Heinz yellow mustard

1 cup Rib Rub, recipe follows

¼ cup of your favorite BBQ sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 220℉. Line 3 baking sheets with foil; set aside.
  2. Using a sharp knife, trim off any meat extending beyond the ribs and remove the extra flap of meat from the underside of the rack. Using a paper towel, remove the sinew or silver skin. 
  3. Brush each rack liberally with yellow mustard, turning to coat both sides. Sprinkle about ⅓ cup of the rib rub over the mustard-coated surface of each rack. Arrange the racks on the foil-lined baking sheets. 
  4. Cook for 2 hours. Remove from the oven and brush with the BBQ sauce. Return the racks to the oven, checking and brushing with more BBQ sauce every 30 minutes, until the meat begins to fall from the bone.
  5. Transfer to a cutting board and cut between the bones to separate each rib. 
  6. Arrange the ribs on a large platter. Serve with extra BBQ sauce on the side. 

Rib Rub

Makes approximately 1 cup


8 tbsp. sea salt

3 ½ tbsp. brown sugar

3 tbsp. coarsely ground black pepper

4 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

In a small bowl, combine the salt, sugar, pepper, ginger, and pepper flakes. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.