Smoked Cured Bacon on a Stick Recipe

I called this recipe Smoked Cured Bacon on a Stick because cured ribs taste exactly like bacon. Overall for the first try the ribs were pretty good. The flavor was more like ham, and it is definitely worth doing again. The meat was red, and I noticed the meat does not pull back from the bone as much as uncured ribs. I’m not sure if that was due to that particular piece of meat, or if it had something to do with the curing process. The rub is rather strong in flavors, so next time I will smoke/cook them without the rub, or at least one rack without any seasoning. By not using a rub, I will taste the cured meat better. I prefer St. Louis style spareribs, because they are already trimmed the way I like them. You can use untrimmed spare ribs if you like. First remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. If needed, cut the ribs to fit your racks. I find that for spareribs, I need to cut the end three ribs from the smallest side. Then I place all the smaller pieces on one rack. The Rub is optional. I got this recipe from Weber’s Big Book of Grilling. This is my favorite rub for pork ribs, but it is also a great rub for beef. For the cured spare rib recipe, I left out the salt. If you want a great rub for non-cured ribs or just for general use, add the salt.



1 Tbsp per pound of Morton’s Tender Quick or Basic Dry Cure

1 – 2 Tsp per pound of dark brown sugar, or sweetener of your choice (I used 1.5 tsp. per pound)

St. Louis style spareribs; or baby backs

Kansas City Style Rub:

2 Tbsp paprika

2 Tbsp light brown sugar (I use dark brown)

1 Tbsp chilli powder (use your favourite, if your chilli powder is hot you may want to use 2 teaspoons)

1 Tbsp kosher salt

1 Tbsp cracked black pepper

2 Tsp granulated garlic

2 Tsp granulated onions (or powdered)

1 Tsp ground cumin


For the Cure:

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. You can add more seasoning to your cure, but since I was going to use a rub, I wanted to keep this basic and just increase the sweetness.

For the Rub:

In a small bowl combine the ingredients. Apply the rub into both sides of the meat and press in. You can smoke/ cook at this time, or wrap tightly in plastic wrap, place in a bowl, refrigerate for 2 to 8 hours.

*Note: I did not use salt in this rub for the cured ribs.

Apply about ⅔ of the cure to the meaty side of the ribs, and the remaining cure on the bone side. Place in sealable plastic bags. If the ribs are cut, they will fit in the gallon size bags. If uncut, you will need to use the 2 gallon size bag, and you may be able to fit two racks per the 2 gallon size.

Place in refrigerator meaty side down, bone side up. For spareribs cure 7 - 12 hours, for baby backs cure for about 4 – 6 hours.

During the curing time, you should notice some liquid forming. Halfway through the curing period, pick the bag up and rock it back and forth to redistribute the cure. Place it back in the refrigerator meaty side down, and continue to cure.

As for the curing time, spareribs vary in thickness, so use the higher times for thicker spareribs. Or you can use the higher times for a more bacon flavour. But the longer you cure the saltier it will be. I suggest starting with the lower times, and after you make your first batch you can adjust from there. The spareribs I had were pretty thin, so 7 hours was about right.

When the curing time is over, remove from bag and thoroughly rinse off the cure, and pat dry with paper towels.

OPTIONAL: Rinse out any cure that is in the bag, and place ribs back into the bag. Return to refrigerator and allow to rest for 12 – 24 hours. This allows the curing process to continue, and gives the cure time to evenly distribute throughout the meat.


Use your favourite way of smoking/cooking ribs. I just bring the meat to room temperature, smoke/cook at 210ºF (98.9ºC) using 1:20 – 1:40 hours of Pecan smoke. I rarely spritz.


Pecan Wood Bisquettes

With a sweet and mild flavor, making it the milder cousin to Hickory, Pecan Bisquettes pair well with poultry, beef, pork, lamb, game, and water fowl.

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