Let’s get real here, in the realm of traditional 4th of July foods; nothing comes to mind faster than Barbecue (BBQ)! You can BBQ chicken or sausage or slow-smoked beef brisket or even a hearty rack of beef ribs. But for me, it has to be baby back ribs. I love pork!
Not a “Grill Master?” No worries, me either. But that doesn’t stop me from making these fall off the bone ribs. My secret? I use my oven! Using the oven means you can have ribs any time of year, even in the middle of winter!
But wait, you say. It’s summer, and it’s hot! I don’t want to heat up the house by having the oven on all day! Got you covered. Put your ribs on the grill. Using the indirect heat method with the cover down makes your grill work like an over.
Ready Set Go – All The Steps For Your Best Baby Back Ribs
Step 1 – Make A Good Dry Rub
A “dry rub” consists of the herbs and spices you are using to flavor your ribs. You can easily buy BBQ Rubs like Famous Daves RibRub Seasoning available at your local store. But a good rub easy to make, and the best thing is you can choose the spices and customize the rub to your liking. I’ve included my rub in the recipe below, but feel free to change it up.
Step 2 – Tenderize and Season The Ribs
By their nature, the ribs are not the most tender cut of meat on any animal. You need to show them a little love and patience. To ensure you end up with a well-seasoned rack of baby back ribs that will fall off the bone when done, you need to do a few things before they go on the heat.
1. Remove the silver membrane from the back of the ribs. The membrane can get tough during cooking. This can be tricky, but you should be able to work your knife under the membrane and then peel it off the ribs. Use a kitchen towel or paper towel if you need a better grip. If you have a good butcher, they can do this for you.
2. To help the rub stick to the ribs and tenderize the meat, even more, slather a thin layer of mustard on both sides of the ribs before applying the rub. Mustard will add more flavor, and the vinegar in the mustard is a natural tenderizer.
3. Sprinkle your rub all over both sides of the rack of ribs and pat it down into the mustard. I know it’s called a rub, but really rubbing the spices can get pretty messy.
4. Wrap the ribs tightly in aluminum foil. Make sure the foil seams are well sealed. You don’t want any juices leaking out when you cook.
Step 3 – Give Give The Rub Time To Season The Meat
Once you have the ribs all seasoned and wrapped, let the ribs rest. I usually season the ribs the day before cooking and place them in the refrigerator overnight. You don’t have to do this as you will be cooking them for around 4 hours. But I find the extra time the rub sits on the ribs adds even more flavor.
Step 4 – Cook The Ribs Low and Slow
Have your oven or grill pre-heated to 275⁰. Place the ribs wrapped in foil on a large baking sheet in the oven and relax. The ribs will need 3 – 4 hours to cook, depending on how big your rack is.
Using a grill is a little more work, and you will be using indirect heat. This means using only one set of burners and placing the baking sheet with ribs on the side away from the heat on a gas grill. On a charcoal grill, move all the coals to one side and place the ribs on the side away from the heat. Use a thermometer for your grill and watch the temperature to ensure the low-temperature setting stays consistent. Cooking time is the same on the grill as in the oven.
Step 5 – Make The Ribs Shine
Now your ribs are cooked through and just about ready to eat, but I do have one last step. Take the baby back ribs out of the oven or off the grill. Raise the temperature on your grill to a lovely medium-high heat. Spread your favorite BBQ sauce all over one side of the rack of ribs and gently lay them directly on the grill.
You can make your own BBQ sauce; many people do. But I live close to Kinder’s Meats & Deli, and they have the best sauces (they also have the best meats). I can’t beat their flavors!
The ribs are on the grill to caramelize that lovely BBQ sauce and seal in even more flavor. You can do this in your oven under the broil setting if you don’t have or aren’t using a grill. Give the ribs a few minutes on side one while you baste side two with the BBQ sauce. Next, flip the rack over and caramelize the other side.
You are now ready to plate and eat your Baby Back Ribs!
Fall off the bone tender baby back ribs. So easy anyone can make these delicious morsels.
- 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 tbsp Ancho Chili Powder
- 2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 2 tsp Black Pepper
- 2 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1/4 cup mustard (I used dijon style)
- 3 lb Rack of Baby Back Ribs
- Preheat your oven to 275 degrees or set up your grill for indirect cooking.
- Combine the dry spices (items 1 - 8) and mix your rub together. Make sure there are no lumps of brown sugar left in the mix.
- Lay your rack of ribs on a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil and spread 1 - 2 tablespoons of mustard on the first side, then sprinkle with the spice rub. Pat the rub in, then turn the ribs over.
- Repeat adding the mustard and spice rub on the alternate side.
- Cover the rack of ribs completely with aluminum foil, making sure to seal all seams and edges firmly, and place on a baking sheet.
- The ribs can be placed directly in the oven or on the grill at this point, or you can refrigerate them for up to 24 hours before cooking.
- Allow the ribs to cook for 3 - 4 hours until tender.
- Remove the ribs from the heat, and take off the foil. Baste the ribs with BBQ sauce on one side.
- If you use your oven to caramelize the ribs, turn the oven to its "broil" feature and place the ribs on the baking sheet directly under the broiling element, watching closely for 3 - 5 minutes—then repeat on the other side.
- When using the grill to caramelize the ribs, bring the grill to high heat and place the basted side of the ribs directly down on the grill. Baste the other side of the ribs while side one is caramelizing, and then flip the rack over to finish them off.
- Remove the ribs from the heat and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 504Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 1072mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 35g