Post image for Summer Braise ~ BBQ & Beyond {Carolina Vinegar Spare Ribs}

Summer Braise ~ BBQ & Beyond {Carolina Vinegar Spare Ribs}

by Tickled Red on June 6, 2012 · 5 comments

Summer has officially begun! Well, not quite officially but it sure does feel like it. Memorial weekend came and lit the torch for BBQ season to begin. With enthusiasm, covers came off backyard grills, pig cookers lovingly came out of storage and large cast iron pots started bubbling again. You could almost feel the rumbling murmur of Meat! roll across the states.

That is the beauty of BBQ its ability to unite the masses, while keeping its flavorful roots firmly grounded in each states culinary history. This is why we are going to celebrate the summer days of BBQ with my friend Meredith. To say that I adore this woman would be an understatement. She talented beyond words and utterly lovable but that’s not why I asked her to join in our BBQ fun. I asked her because she hails from a fiercely BBQ lovin’ state, Texas.

During the next three months Meredith and I will share our love of summer BBQ with y’all. Starting with pampered meat, moving on to tasty side dishes and then downright heavenly desserts. Along the way, we are hoping to pass along a little something of our states unique take on a national treasure.

When it comes to BBQ in North Carolina, pork rules! Be it tender smoked pulled pork that has been roasting for hours on end over a fire or semi quick succulent ribs, tangy vinegar sauce is a must. For us Eastern North Carolinians not having that simple vinegar-spiked bbq sauce is tantamount to us serving crescent rolls rather than hush puppies with our fish. Not gonna happen guys.

More for moisture than flavor, you need to have a cautious hand when applying vinegar sauce to your ribs. Overdoing it will result in a sour taste in your mouth. For us it is all about the pig rather than thick sauces. We like our sauce light and refined. However, that’s not to say that you can’t add a little bit of rub to your ribs just before the sauce. I have always found that a hint of sweet heat adds just the right touch to a nice rack of spare ribs.

You still end up with full-flavored juicy pork taking the main stage, the meat shining through rather than the sauce, literally!

Moist spicy succulent ribs just begging to be devoured, as the tender meat nearly falls off the bone. Hello summer bbq!

Be sure to pop over and see the tantalizing Smoked Texas Brisket that Meredith has cooked up over at In Sock Monkey Slippers.

Don’t forget to share your favorite bbq recipes with us! You can link in a recipe below or if you don’t have a blog simply tell us all about your favorite summer bbq. We would love to know what flavors you use when throwing down on the grill. Happy grilling guys and let the Summer Braise begin!

Love & Hugs,

Shari-Tickled Red


Carolina Vinegar BBQ SauceMakes approx. 1 cup


1/2 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/2 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1/2 tablespoon Tabasco sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Toss all of the ingredients into a mason jar with a snug fitting lid and shake well.

Once mixed,  refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight, allowing the flavors to meld. Shaking occasionally to mix.

When mixed, leave it in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to mingle and shake if ever you’re passing.

Because it’s a vinegar based sauce it will keep in the refrigerator safely for a month or two.

Carolina Vinegar Spare RibsServes approx. 6-8

2 teaspoons Carolina BBQ Rub

1 cup Vinegar BBQ Sauce

4 pounds pork spare ribs (approx.)

Rinse the spare ribs under cool running water and pat the spare ribs dry with paper towels.

Remove the skirt from the spare ribs using a sharp knife. The skirt appears as a thin strip running along the membrane on the back of the ribs. Insert the knife under the skirt and slice it from the ribs to make the section even.

Remove the membrane from the back of the spare ribs. The membrane appears as a dull film. Lift a corner of the membrane with the knife grabbing onto it with a paper towel. Pull the membrane up and away from the ribs carefully.

Trim the excess fat and connective tissue from the ribs. The excess fat burns easily on the grill which can cause flare-ups.

If need be trim the ribs to fit your grill. Cut off ribs from the thinner end, between two rib bones.

Once the ribs are prepped, rub one teaspoon of bbq rub on each side of the ribs. Cover with plastic wrap and place back in the refrigerator to let the flavors meld for thirty minutes.

Remove the spare ribs and lightly coat each side with vinegar sauce. Place back in the refrigerator to marinate for at least thirty minutes.

Prep the grill to 370 degrees. {We used a gas grill~ Your gas grill must be large enough and contain at least two burners, since these ribs will be cooked indirectly. This means the heat will not be below the rack of ribs, but off to the side of the grill. Here are some great tips on grill placement for your spare ribs when using a gas grill.}

Brush the ribs with barbecue sauce once they are placed on the grill, again midway through and once more during the last 30 minutes of grilling time. This prevents flare-ups and burns. Lifting the grill to marinate the ribs with the sauce too often also allows the heat to escape, which prolongs the cooking time.
Grill the ribs for approx. one hour to an hour and a half, checking with a meat thermometer to make sure that your ribs have an internal temp of 170 degrees before serving. Be sure when you are checking the temperature that you don’t touch the bone.
Remove spare ribs from the grill and let rest covered in foil for 10-15 minutes.
Slice, serve, savor and enjoy!



Aimee @ Simple Bites June 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Mm, I am down with homemade BBQ sauce. Love this little series you three have cooked up!

Stephanie June 7, 2012 at 10:49 am

I haven’t had breakfast yet and I already want ribs for lunch! Thanks so much!

Sommer@ASpicyPerspective June 8, 2012 at 8:08 am

Hey girl, I’m here in NC and people DO love their pork and vinegar. I tend to end up mixing all the styles when I make sauce. …Not very Carolinian of me!

Those are some good looking ribs!

Nancy @ CouponClippingCook June 9, 2012 at 12:13 am

These ribs look sooooo good. I love vinegar based BBQ sauce. I’m totally craving these ribs now.

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