Aaron Franklin’s Masterclass: Pork Ribs

  • Recipe Type


  • Skill Level


  • Grill Time

    3+ hours

  • Method


  • Servings

    Serves 6

After doing the first review for Aaron Franklin’s Pork Butt (check it out here), we dreamed about pork butt for days - it was SO good! So I was very excited to review another of Aaron Franklin’s episodes  of Masterclass, this time, pork ribs.

The level of difficulty of pork ribs probably falls in between pork butts (easiest) and brisket (harder). Aaron’s recipe uses spare ribs, which are bigger and cheaper than baby back ribs because of the higher fat content. The spare ribs,  which are the ribs from the bottom part of the rib-cage, were cooked for six hours also low and slow smoked over FOGO and Texas Post Oak wood chunks.

Video Recipe

Charcoal Pro-Tip: For today's smoking session I am using FOGO Super Premium, the large chunks will give me a nice long burn on six hour cook at 270 degrees. Light with FOGOstarters. To stick as close as possible to Aarons recipe I am using Texas Post Oak wood chunks for smoke. 


  1. Ribs need very little trimming, mainly cut of the sternum which is tough to eat and full of cartilage.
  2. For the rub, use 2 parts of coarse pepper and one part of coarse salt. Add a little paprika for color, about 1/4 cup is enough for one rack of ribs. After applying some mustard as a base lightly coat the rack with the rub.
  3. Cook the ribs for the first three hours, spritz them with Apple Cider vinegar every hour. Then combine equal parts of apple cider vinegar and BBQ sauce and work on to the ribs an even coat with your hands. Let the sauce set by returning the ribs to the smoker for about 10 min and then wrap them in foil and return them for another 3 hours to finish rendering the fat. Once done, let them rest for 40 min before you enjoy them!

How did it come out?

Be careful when you unwrap the foil so that the juices don’t spill out. As soon as we open the foil, it looks amazing! The spare ribs had the same Texas style bark as the pork butt, made of salt and pepper, but this time, with a little bit of BBQ sauce!

You can see the bones popping up here which is a good sign and the meat is already falling apart. One test you could do is to check if the bones slides out if you twist it. The bone came out pretty clean. 

I’m not such a big rib eater, but I think I may have overcooked it a little bit. The ribs in the middle were super tender, that as soon as I cut it, it fell apart. Some people might say that you don’t want the meat too loose on the bone, because it makes it harder to eat. You can also see that the ribs on the edge feel a little bit dry and one side got a little bit overcooked, even though the inside certainly looks moist!

The Taste Test!

The flavor is similar to the Pork Butt - virtually it has the same rub, mustard as a base, salt, pepper and paprika. Every hour I sprayed with apple cider vinegar. After three hours it got wrapped in aluminum foil to slow down excessive bark and help the ribs steam in its own juices and help the fat render down.

I am not so used to spicy, peppery ribs. I feel I may be more used to sweeter ribs (that you find in restaurants), so I could have added a little bit more of BBQ sauce. I think the taste was very similar to last week’s pork butt, but I definitely liked it better on the pork butt!

If you’re into ribs, you should definitely give Aaron Franklin’s masterclass a try! I’m not such a rib guy, so I’d rather stick to the pork butt!


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