How to Cook Pork Spare Ribs on a Rotisserie Grill

raw pork ribs


Roasting meat on a stick held over an open flame is probably the most primitive cooking method we have. Cooking methods have evolved along with our vocabulary, since our cave-dwelling days, and now “spit roasting,” or "rotisserie grilling," is available to home cooks via modern gas, charcoal or electric grills with rotating skewers. Anything that can be speared can be cooked on a rotisserie, but meat is typically the go-to ingredient. Ribs are regular guests at backyard barbecues and pork spare ribs can be grilled in about 2 to 3 hours. A dry rub is recommended, but barbecue sauce is optional.

Preparing the Ribs

Select pork spare ribs that are grayish-pink and firm with a relatively small amount of surface fat and some marbling.

Insert a butter knife or the tip of a meat thermometer into the thin membrane along the back of the rack of ribs. Start in the center of the rack. Securely grip the rack with a dish towel or paper towel and peel off the membrane.

Mix seasoning herbs and spices in a mixing bowl. Break up any lumps with your fingers. Sprinkle the mixture over both sides of the ribs and press into the meat with your fingers.

Set the ribs aside to rest at room temperature for one hour before grilling. Wrap the ribs in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to maximize flavor. Remove from refrigerator one hour before cooking.

Weave the rotisserie skewer through the ribs starting between the first and second bones. Weave the skewer through every fifth bone and between the last two ribs. Secure the skewer with the spit forks. Set ribs aside.

Grilling the Ribs

Set up the rotisserie grill according to instructions. Set to indirect, medium heat at 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the drip pan in center of the grill, so that it is under the ribs. Place the skewer on the grill’s rotisserie attachments. Turn on the motor and open the air vents. Close the grill.

Cook the ribs for approximately 2 to 3 hours or until the meat begins to pull away from the end of the bones and is fork-tender. Insert a meat thermometer into the ribs. The internal temperature should be 145 F. Brush the ribs with barbecue sauce, if you like, and allow the ribs to cook for 2 or 3 additional minutes.

Remove the spit from grill and put on your grilling gloves. Remove the skewer from the ribs. Set the ribs aside and allow them to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately.