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Sweet & Spicy Hawaiian Style Spare Ribs

June 16, 2020
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If you’re looking for a new rib recipe to try out, these Hawaiian Style Spare Ribs are the sweet and spicy are what you need. Full of bold flavors and spices that is a great alternative to traditional barbecue rib recipes.

Hawaiian Style Spare Ribs? I’m listening!

If you’re reading this recipe I’m assuming you love ribs as much as I do but need a new recipe that's got some different flavors. At the store the other day I picked up a fresh pineapple and was inspired to make something tropical. I put together a Hawaiian Potato Salad using fresh pineapple grilled spam and roasted Togarashi dry rubbed potatoes. I had a rack of St. Louis style spare ribs in the fridge and decided that would go great with the potato salad. As I was thinking of a sauce to go with the ribs I remembered a spicy Asian bbq sauce I used to make and figured adding some fresh pineapple juice would play Nicely with the Asian flavors.

Spare Ribs or Baby Backs?? 

I’ve always been torn on which team I end up on, spare ribs or baby back ribs. Both are incredibly tasty and you’re not gonna have a bad meal either way. Spare ribs are bigger and meatier and in my opinion require a little more skill to perfect. baby back ribs are a little more tender and more forgiving to cook. St. Louis spare ribs are a happy medium that gives you the best of both worlds. St. Louis spare ribs have the rib tips trimmed off so the rack is squared off having a more uniform shape. The ribs tend to cook evenly and are easier to get the tenderness where you want it.

Hawaiian BBQ Sauce

This is just a quick sauce that I like to use on anything from chicken breasts to Coconut Shrimp. It’s sweet and spicy so it works fantastic on pork, especially ribs. The combination of your favorite bbq sauce with Sweet Thai chili, soy and sriracha is the perfect balance of flavors and the pineapple juice brings it all together.

Hawaiian BBQ Sauce Recipe:

How to cook Hawaiian style spare Ribs.

I used my Camp Chef Woodwind 36 Pellet Smoker for this recipe because it gives me an even consistent cook every time. Since I didn’t have all day to cook these ribs so using the 3-2-1 method wasn’t an option, I needed to cook a little hotter and faster than I normally would. I set the smoker at 275 right out of the gate and smoked the ribs for 2 hours before giving them a light spray of 4/1 mixture of pineapple juice and apple cider vinegar.

I smoked the ribs for another hour and then wrapped the ribs in 2 layers of aluminum foil. Before wrapping I lightly brushed a layer of the Hawaiian BBQ sauce on the ribs and raised the temperature of the smoker to 325 degrees F. After 45 minutes I folded back the edges of the foil creating a tray for the ribs so I could sauce the ribs. I brushed another layer of sauce on the spare ribs and dusted them with a light coat of the dry rub then let the ribs cook for another 15-20 minutes until the sauce had caramelized. 

More Meaty Inspiration

Hawaiian style spare ribs

Hawaiian Style Spare Ribs

Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, BBQ
Keyword: Baby Back Ribs, Hawaiian, Spare Ribs
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 619kcal


Hawaiian BBQ Sauce

Mop Spray


  • whisk together all ingredients to make the hawaiian bbq sauce
  • Preheat Smoker to 275 degrees F.
  • Prepare the ribs by removing the membrane from the back side of the ribs. then spread mustard, soy sauce and sriracha on the back of the ribs then coat with a layer of the bbq dry rub. Repeat process on the other side then let rest while smoker comes up to temperature.
  • Place the ribs on the smoker and cook for 2 hours. Once rub has adhered to the ribs you can start to spray the ribs to keep them moist. Continue to cook the ribs for another hour.
  • Remove the ribs from the smoker and raise temperature to 325 degrees F. Layout 2 large sheets of foil then place the ribs in the center. brush the ribs with a light coat of the hawaiian bbq sauce then wrap the ribs and return to the smoker.
  • Continue cooking for 45 minutes then unwrap the foil and fold in the sides to create a tray. Brush on another layer of the bbq sauce and dust lightly with dry rub. Continue cooking for 15-20 minutes until sauce has caramelized.


1/4 rack of ribs


Calories: 619kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 67g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 227mg | Sodium: 1813mg | Potassium: 896mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 159IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 4mg

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