Oven Baked BBQ Ribs
Yield: 6 servings
Melt-in-your mouth ribs with crispy edges are a breeze to prepare with this easy recipe. No need to tend the grill for hours and perfect any time of year!
Ingredients
  • 4 pounds pork ribs (I use baby back ribs)
  • 1 teaspoon hickory smoked salt* (may substitute 1½ to 2 teaspoons hickory liquid smoke) and freshly ground pepper
  • ¾ cup (150g) light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 to 1½ cups of your favorite barbecue sauce (I use homemade or Sweet Baby Ray’s), plus for more serving, if desired
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F, and line a rimmed baking sheet with two layers of foil or one piece of heavy duty foil.
  2. Peel off the tough membrane that covers the bony side of the ribs. (I use the tip of a sharp knife to get it started and get my finger underneath. John reaches for needle nose pliers. Either way, once you get a grip on the edge, the membrane will peel right off. The cooked ribs will be more tender if the membrane is removed. Depending on where you buy your ribs, this may have been done for you.)
  3. Season the ribs on both sides with the smoked salt and pepper.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Apply the rub to all sides of the ribs. Don’t worry if it doesn’t all stick.
  5. Lay ribs on the prepared baking sheet, meaty side down. Lay two layers of foil (or one piece of heavy duty foil) on top of the ribs and roll and crimp the edges tightly. (I make sure the edges are sealed but I do leave a little space for air to circulate in the packet.)
  6. Transfer to the oven and bake for 2 – 2½ hours or until the meat starts to shrink away from the ends of the bone and is tender. (If the ribs are especially large and meaty, I’ve let them go an extra 20-30 minutes.) Remove from oven and heat broiler.
  7. Carefully open the foil (there will be hot steam) and remove the ribs to a cutting board. (You may drain off and discard the liquid and grease that have cooked out of the ribs.) Cut the ribs into serving sized portions of 2 or 3 ribs and arrange on a lightly greased or sprayed broiler pan, bony side up. (A baking/cooling rack set over a rimmed baking sheet works well, too.) Brush on half of the sauce.
  8. Broil for 1-2 minutes, watching very closely, or until the sauce is cooked on and bubbly.
  9. Remove from the oven, turn the ribs over, brush with the remaining sauce and broil the other side as you did the first.
  10. Alternately, instead of broiling you can grill the ribs in order to caramelize the sauce.
Notes & Tips

*I’ve used the smoked salt and liquid smoke with good results. My favorite is Spice Island’s Old Hickory Smoked Salt, which is available at many large grocery stores. In a pinch, you could go without and use regular salt instead. In that case, you could try using a half tablespoon each smoked and regular paprika in the rub to add some smoky flavor.

I’ve used this recipe for a larger quantity of ribs and have simply increased the spices proportionately.

A relative who makes this recipe regularly said she sometimes adds some ground espresso to the spice rub. I’ve been meaning to try (but haven’t yet), thinking a small amount would likely add an extra layer of interest to the ribs.

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