Recipe: Paleo Smoked Spare Ribs

Paleo Smoked Pork Spare Ribs

My wife does a phenomenal job preparing AIP diet / Keto meals for us most days of the week, but Sundays are all mine. We call it “Smoked Meat Sunday”. I LOVE SUNDAYS. In fact, I might be a little obsessed with smoking meat. Today is Sunday, and I’m making Paleo Smoked Spare Ribs.

There’s some irony in me writing recipes to share with you because I don’t follow recipes very well… It drives my wife CRAZY. She is so good at finding recipes, following them EXACTLY as they are written, and producing phenomenal results. Me, not so much. A great example of this is one of the first meals I made for our family and some friends.

The Meatball Incident

We bought our Traeger grill just after we moved into our house last year, and one of the first meals I made were meatballs. I searched online for a recipe, and then KINDA followed it. I added all the ingredients to my meat and sausage mixture, then formed the balls. I threw them on the Traeger at 225 for a few hours, then cranked the grill up to 375 at the end to really crisp up the outside.

We invited our friends over for the delicious feast, and I watched as they took the first bite.

MMM these are good, they both said as they took a large sip of water.

Encouraged, I took my first bite, and then my heart sank. In fact, it might be the worst bite of food I’ve ever taken. The texture was almost perfect, a slight crunch on the outside, with tender meat on the inside. As my tongue relayed the flavors to me I instantly realized the mistake I had made. This recipe called for just a few tablespoons of salt, but I had used a whole cup. A whole cup of salt in 2 pounds of meat.

What was I thinking?

Do As I Say, Not as I Do

Since the meatball incident, my cooks have been progressively better. I can assure you that if I share a recipe with you, it turned out good. Follow my ingredients and steps, and you’ll have a delicious meal… Don’t do what I did 🙂

Paleo Smoked Spare Ribs Recipe

I really like these smoked spare ribs. They have a bold smoky flavor brought on by an unlikely combination of coffee and paprika in the rub. The texture of the crispy bacon on top followed by the moist rib meat creates a party in your mouth with every bite.

We really love baby back ribs most of the time, but we are using spare ribs this time because of the extra surface area they provide to hold the bacon weave. You can skip the bacon weave if you want, but I’m not sure why you would do that.

These Paleo Smoked Spare ribs take time, 7 hours in total, so make sure you plan ahead.


  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons finely ground coffee
  • 2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons of Garlic Infused Olive Oil
  • 1 Rack of Spare Ribs
  • 1 Pound of Uncured Sugar-Free Bacon

Step 1: Turn on your smoker and take the necessary steps to get it up to 225 degrees. This is easy on a Traeger, but if you’re using a charcoal based smoker this can take more time. Plan accordingly.

Step 2: Remove your spare ribs from the refrigerator and rinse under cool water then pat dry. Put the ribs meat side down and remove the silver skin membrane that runs the length of the ribs called the peritoneum. 

Step 3: Combine your Paprika, coffee, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. It should be noted that I’m a little crazy about coffee, so I ground some whole bean coffee just prior to adding to the rub. This isn’t necessary. Seriously, there are zero benefits to grinding your own in this scenario.

Step 4: Rub your ribs with Garlic infused Olive oil. 

Step 5: With your ribs meat side down, generously apply your rub, then flip to meat side up and apply rub to the meat side.

Step 6: Place your Spare Ribs meat side up on the grate of your smoker. Let the ribs cook, untouched, for 90 minutes

Step 7: After 90 minutes flip your spare ribs to meat side down, and cook for an additional 90 minutes.

Spare ribs with a bark developing
Pre Bacon Weave, they should look like this

Step 8: Prepare your bacon weave!

Step 9: Once your Spare ribs have cooked for 90 minutes meat side down, flip, and place your bacon weave on top. Close your grill and let the spare ribs with the bacon weave on top cook for at least 2 more hours.

Bacon weave on top of Paleo Smoked Spare Ribs
Bacon makes everything better

Step 10: The ribs are done when the meat has pulled away from the end of each rib bone by about 1/2 of an inch.


These Paleo Smoked Spare Ribs are some of the most flavorful ribs we’ve ever made and taste delicious just as they are. The addition of bacon means you don’t even need a sauce to create a mini party in your mouth. These Paleo Smoked Spare Ribs are also Keto friendly, and sure to please a crowd.

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