I sho do luvz me some baby back ribs! I make them often – my daughter being the motivation to do so. Ribs have been her favorite food since she was 7 months old. That’s when she got her first teeth. Instead of cutting a first tooth, she got five all at once. It was New Year’s Eve and we went to a rib joint for dinner. Irritable with the teething (her, not me), I gave her a rib bone to gnaw on. From that point forward – she’s coo coo for BBQ!
A simple dry rub of brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion power, dry mustard, salt and pepper makes the base flavor of these ribs outstanding. I am not a fan of grilling ribs from a raw state. However, I have found that if you cook them slow and low in the oven first, it is a fool-proof way of getting a “fall-off- the-bone” result every time.
Want to switch it up from these simple flavors? Heat it up with by adding cayenne. Powdered chipotle gives it a nice smokiness with a kick. Southwestern is easy – add chili powder and cumin. Leaning towards an Asian flare – ground ginger is your solution for that. Almost anything goes – if you like it, then use it.
In my humble opinion, rubs make the ribs – the sauce is an added sumtin, sumtin…
Basic Rub for Two Full Racks of Baby Back Ribs
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp. Paprika
1 tbsp. Garlic powder
1 tbsp. Onion Powder
1 tbsp. Dry mustard
The first step to make great pork ribs is to prepare the rack. Rinse off in cold water and remove the membrane from the back if you want. If you don’t, it ain’t no big thang. Pat the ribs dry w/ a paper towel.
Lay out two sheets of heavy duty, extra-wide aluminum foil. Place a rack on each.
Sprinkle both sides with the rub mix and rub in. Wrap each rack tightly w/ the foil, place in fridge and refrigerate 6 hours to overnight.
When you are ready to cook, take the ribs out of the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Put rib packets on a cookie sheet and place on middle rack of the oven. Cook 2 ½ – 3 hours.
Remove from oven. At this point, let them rest for at least 30 minutes.
When you are ready, pre-heat your grill bringing it up to a medium temp. Unwrap the rib packets and at this point, cut the racks in half for easier handling. Place the ribs, bone side down, cover and grill until a nice golden char is on the bone side. Flip and grill the same way meat side down. Brush the bone side with the sauce of your choice. You will flip once more when you notice the meat shrinking up from the bone and there is a nice char on the meat w/o being burnt. Brush the meat side w/ sauce, cover for just a bit more and remove from grill.
I usually serve with:
Two Minute Coleslaw
1 bag of coleslaw mix
Crumbled Feta Cheese
Coleslaw dressing i.e. Rudolph’s®, Jimmie’s® or Marzetti’s®
Mix all ingredients and serve.
I hope you find that it is really simple to make ribs and not intimidating at all. It’s perfect for a lazy day when you ain’t got nuttin’ to do but sip on a cold beverage and anticipate a great meal.