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ribs on a plate

Smoked Pork Ribs With African Spice Rub

Tender, succulent smoked pork ribs w/ an exotic & earthy African spice rub mix including fennel seeds, fenugreek, & dried piri piri pepper flakes.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Marinating: 30 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: African, BBQ
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 699kcal
Author: Marwin Brown


  • 1 rack spareribs

Dry rub

  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup apple cider placed in a spray bottle for spraying


  • Wash the ribs and blot dry. Remove the papery membrane skin on the back of the ribs. Pull it off in a sheet with your fingers, using a napkin for better grip.

Make the rub

  • Lightly toast the mustard, fennel, and fenugreek seeds in a skillet on medium heat. Quickly remove once you smell the aroma. Place seeds in a spice grinder and coarsely grind.
  • Place the ground spice seeds in a mixing bowl with the remaining dry seasonings and mix well breaking up any lumps with the sugar with your fingers.
  • Rub the mixture into the ribs on both sides.
  • Set up your smoker following the manufacturer's instructions and preheat to 225 to 250 degrees. Add your preferred wood.
  • Cook the ribs until very tender and the meat has shrunk back slightly from the ends of the bones, 4 to 5 hours. Replenish the charcoal and wood as necessary to maintain temperature. Spray the ribs with cider occasionally about every hour after those first two hours of cooking.
  • During the last 30 minutes or so apply a final coat of the rub.
  • Serve the ribs



If you don't have a spice grinder use a mortar & pestle. As a last resort put the seeds in a ziplock back and delicately pound the seeds with a hammer.


Calories: 699kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 182mg | Sodium: 1940mg | Potassium: 753mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2660IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 4.1mg
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