These Easy BBQ Baby Back Ribs are foolproof and fall-off-the-bone tender. Ribs are dry rubbed, wrapped in foil and baked in the oven before being slathered with a homemade bbq sauce and grilled. A guaranteed hit at your cookout or party! Serves 8 people 1/4 of a slab each.
Let’s talk about these ribs.
These ribs are incredible and if cooking ribs makes you nervous, let this recipe be the one to change your mind. Baby back pork ribs are rubbed with a simple homemade rub, wrapped in foil and baked in the oven until perfectly tender. Right before serving, brush with a homemade smoky sweet barbecue sauce and finish on the grill.
Basically, this recipe is a foolproof way of making the most delicious, fall-off-the-bone, finger-licking ribs with an unbelievable sweet and smoky sauce.
>insert heart eye emojis< I’m super excited for you to try these!
To start, you will need 6 pounds baby back pork ribs and a rib rub.
First remove the ribs from any packaging and pat them dry with paper towels. Then If your ribs have the silvery membrane or skin on the underneath side, use a sharp knife to lift a portion of it away from the meat and bones. Next use paper towel to grip the silver skin and pull it back away from the ribs, and discard.
Luckily the ribs I’m using for this post had the membrane taken off already. With that said, don’t be surprised if you notice that it has already been done for you too.
To make the rib rub combine:
- kosher salt
- dry mustard
- cayenne pepper
- freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons kosher salt, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 tablespoon dry mustard, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
Next, sprinkle 2/3 of the rub over top, meaty side of the ribs and massage it into the meat.
Turn the ribs over and season with the remaining rub mixture, massaging it into the second side as well.
Preheat your oven to 300°. If working with long slabs, cutting them into half slabs makes them easier to manage.
Then wrap each half slab in 2 layers of aluminum foil, crimping at the top and folding up the ends. Place the wrapped ribs onto a foil-lined, rimmed, metal baking sheet and bake for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
I check the ribs doneness by inserting a cake tester, metal skewer or fork into the top of the foil until you enter meat (try again if you hit bone ). If it glides through the meat, they are done. If not, return back to the oven for another 30 minutes. Check and repeat if necessary.
To make this epically delicious sauce, you will need:
- dark brown sugar
- apple cider vinegar
- tomato sauce
- un-sulphured molasses
- tomato paste
- hot sauce
- liquid smoke
- onion powder
- Worcestershire sauce
- prepared yellow mustard
- chili powder
- all reserved juices (not the fat) from the ribs
Before unwrapping the ribs, slip on some oven mitts and carefully pick up one of the wrapped ribs. Next, over a medium bowl, make a small tear in the foil to drain the cooking liquids. Repeat with the remaining foil wrapped ribs. Lastly, pour the cooking liquids into a fat separator and let it sit for a few so the fat has a chance to rise to the top.
Then, once the cooking liquid has been drained, saved and is currently on your counter separating, unwrap the ribs and place them on a clean rimmed metal baking sheet. These ribs already smell amazing!
Next, to a medium pot, measure and add in 1 cup ketchup, 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, 1/2 cup un-sulphured molasses, 1/4 cup tomato paste, 2 tablespoons hot sauce, 2 tablespoons liquid smoke, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire, 2 teaspoons yellow mustard and 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder. Whisk to combine.
What is Liquid Smoke?
Liquid smoke is a dark brownish liquid that is generally made by condensing the smoke from wood. In a pinch it’s great for obtaining the smokey flavorful with out actually smoking the meat or vegetables. There are additives in liquid smoke, so please read labels.
Now is when you can pull the stopper out and pour only the juices into the pot (leaving the fat behind).
Next bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer (stirring often) for 15 minutes.
Once the sauce is thick and glorious, go ahead and brush some of it onto the top meaty side of the ribs.
Preheat your grill to 400-425°.
Place the ribs (saucy side down) onto your preheated grill. Then brush the underneath side with sauce and continue to grill with the lid open. Repeating the brushing, turning and most importantly, grilling. About 10 minutes total. Therefore, in doing this repeatedly, it will create a sticky and caramelized crust on the ribs.
Do you see that deliciousness? Have I reached my quota with that word yet? 🙈
These ribs are sweet, smoky with a smidgen of heat (however not spicy) and so dang good! I really love the hint of molasses and smokiness of the sauce.
What Do You Serve With Bbq Baby Back Ribs?
- baked beans
- crispy potato wedges
- potato salad
- cole slaw
- corn on the cob
- mac and cheese
- pasta salad
Any leftover sauce can be served warm for those who love them extra saucy.
Can This Recipe Be Doubled?
Yes! However, when doubling the recipe to serve more people, you only need to double the meat and rub mixture. The sauce makes plenty so there’s no need to double the bbq sauce.
Easy Oven Baked Baby Back Ribs
- 6 pounds baby back pork ribs
FOR THE RIB RUB:
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
FOR THE BBQ SAUCE:
- 1 cup ketchup, homemade or store bought
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 tablespoon hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, homemade or store bought
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- 1½ teaspoon chili powder
MAKE THE RUB:
- In a small bowl, measure and combine the salt, ground mustard, paprika, cayenne and black pepper.
MAKE THE RIBS:
- Remove the ribs and pat dry with paper towels. If your ribs have the silvery membrane or skin on the underneath side, use a sharp knife to lift a portion of it away from the meat and bones.Then use paper towel to grip the silver skin and pull it back away from the ribs, and then discard.
- If working with full slabs, you may want to cut them into half slabs, making them easier to manage.
- Sprinkle 2/3 of the rub over top, meaty side of the ribs and massage it into the meat. Turn the ribs over and season with the remaining rub mixture, massaging it into the second side as well.
- Preheat your oven to 300°.
- Wrap each half slab in 2 layers of aluminum foil, crimping at the top and folding up the ends. Place the wrapped ribs onto a foil-lined, rimmed, metal baking sheet.
- Bake on the middle rack of your preheated oven for 2½ hours. Check by inserting a metal skewer or fork into the top of the foil until you enter the thickest part of the rib meat (try again if you hit bone). If it glides through, the ribs are done. If not, return back to the oven for another 30 minutes. Check and repeat if necessary.
- Once baked, make the sauce. (jump down to find the instructions for making the sauce).
- Brush a portion of the homemade sauce on the meaty side of the ribs.
- Preheat your grill to 400-425°. Place the ribs (saucy side down) onto your preheated grill. Brush the underneath side with sauce and continue to grill with the lid open. Repeat brushing and turning the ribs until the sauce and ribs have caramelized. Repeat as desired.
MAKE THE SAUCE:
- After the ribs have baked, slip on some oven mitts and carefully pick up one of the wrapped ribs. Over a bowl, make a small tear in the foil to drain the rib liquids. Repeat with the remaining foil wrapped ribs until all liquids have been drained into the bowl.
- Once the cooking liquid has been drained (and saved!), you can unwrap the ribs and place them on a clean rimmed metal baking sheet.
- Pour the cooking liquids into a gravy separator (linked below) and pour only the cooking liquids in to a medium saucepan, leaving the fat behind and discard.
- Next measure and add in the ketchup, sugar, vinegar, tomato sauce, molasses, tomato paste, hot sauce, liquid smoke, onion powder, Worcestershire, yellow mustard and chili powder.
- Bring to a boil, reduce to medium-low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often. (now you can jump back up for grilling instructions).
Can This Recipe Be Doubled?Yes! However, when doubling the recipe to serve more people, you only need to double the meat and rub mixture. The sauce makes plenty so there's no need to double the bbq sauce.
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