- Here’s how to make the best ever barbecued oven ribs. We are not exaggerating in the slightest. We make these all the time and they are always the hit of the party, meal, event, you name it. But first, check out that oven. Nice racks! That’s NINE racks of easy barbecued oven ribs in a regular home oven.
- The great thing about an oven is that it conveniently takes care of getting the slow, steady cooking of the rib meat done first. When it’s about time to serve them, you handily finish the oven-cooked ribs on the grill with a little sauce. Grill over medium heat and do not leave your post or the sauce will burn and turn black and bitter.
Great barbecued pork ribs are EASY. You only need a few things:
1. A simple dry rub
2. Natural smoke flavor
3. Low, steady heat
4. A simple finishing glaze or sauce (optional)
We’re here to tell you that a 250 to 325°F oven, your own quick dry rub seasoning, a sauce made from basic pantry staples, a small bottle of liquid smoke, and some heavy-duty aluminum foil will produce ribs you did not think you were capable of preparing.
All we’re telling you to do is replace the hardwood chunks or chips with liquid smoke (stay with us here) and swap the finicky backyard smoker or stove-top indoor smoker for the steady consistency of the regular kitchen oven. Read our page The Straight Scoop About Liquid Smoke for more info.
Even when you’re making the best oven ribs ever you can still get to use your tongs, your cleaver, and the goofball “Stay Back Men Cooking” apron when you finish the ribs with the barbecue glaze on the grill. We guarantee not only a Drop-Dead-Go-to-Hell glazed finish but the surest way to the best party you ever threw with the least hassle.
An oven full of foil-wrapped racks of ribs is a beautiful thing to behold. These ribs are delicious. You will not believe you made them in the oven.
Cheater Rib Cheat Sheet–Here is all you need to get this done.
Dry Rub—The three basic components of a dry rub are salt, pepper, and paprika—it’s really the smoke you want to taste. Make up your own mix or buy one all ready to go. We like to add a little brown sugar to a rub for ribs to add a little caramelized flavor to the meat.
- Get a good jar with a tight-fitting lid and some basic supermarket seasonings.
The Ribs—Baby back loin ribs are short, spares are long (St. Louis-style are spare ribs squared off with the brisket flap removed). Both are good and get what you like. We usually buy baby back ribs in a 3-pack at Costco or Sam’s Club.
Open the ribs, flip them over bone side up, and look for the silvery membrane covering the meat and bones. If it’s still on there (sometimes they take it off), take your finger or a spoon handle and, holding the ribs with a paper towel or needle-nose pliers, lift up the membrane and pull it off. It might take a few tries but you’ll quickly get the hang of it and your ribs will taste better without the chewy layer.
The Smoke—The all-natural smoke that will bring these ribs to life comes in a handy four-ounce bottle parked near the Worcestershire and barbecue sauces. Without a lengthy dissertation, know that liquid smoke is real smoke made from real wood captured in water and filtered. Yes, they sell it at Whole Foods. We’ve all been enjoying it since the 1960’s in bacon, cold cuts, sauces, hot dogs, pizza crusts, and anything that lists “natural smoke flavor” on the label. It’s not a weirdo product from New Jersey, not that there’s anything wrong with New Jersey. A tablespoon per pound of meat is a good rule of thumb. No, that is not too much. Trust us.
Sprinkle on the smoke. Go ahead and be generous. Wrap the ribs in foil and onto a big baking sheet to catch any drips if the foil breaks. Cook in the oven at 300F and check them in 2 hours. They will still be a little too firm, but twist them and feel the pull-back. Return to the oven and in 15-30 minutes the meat should be tender and want to pull apart while still attached to the bone.
Cheater Chef Tip: Ribs wrapped in foil that are cooked too long doesn’t mean the end of the world. The meat will fall too easily off the bone is all that will happen. So, if you’re paying for the bone you might as well be able to pick up the rib, otherwise, cook country style ribs or Boston butt (pork shoulder).
- 6 pounds (3 racks) pork loin (baby back) ribs, membrane removed
- 1/4 - 1/2 any dry rub seasoning you like
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 small bottle (about 4 ounces) liquid smoke (hickory preferably)
1. Heat the oven to 325° F.
2. Mix the dry rub with the brown sugar in a small bowl.
3. Place each baby back rack on a large (24-30-inch long) sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Brush each rack with a light coating of bottled smoke. Spread the sweet rub over both sides of each rack.
4. If time allows, wrap up the ribs in foil and refrigerate them for a few hours or overnight.
5. Place the sealed racks on a couple of baking sheets and put them in the oven.
6. While the ribs are cooking, make some barbecue sauce and set it aside.
7. After 2 hours in the oven, pull the ribs out and carefully unseal the foil. The escaping steam will be hot.
8. Cut into a rib or two and check the meat for doneness and tenderness of the meat. We like the ribs to feel cooked, but not too loose. If you prefer more tender meat that pulls away from the bone with less resistance, reseal the foil and put the ribs back in the oven for 15 to 30 minutes.
9. Unseal the foil, pour off the meat juice and discard it. At this point, wrap the ribs and refrigerate to grill later. Or, get them ready to grill.
10. Lay the ribs on a cutting board and separate them into one-to-three or four-rib sections.
11. Heat the grill.
12. Dip the ribs in sauce and grill, turning frequently until well caramelized, about 10 minutes. Do not let the sauce burn.
13. Serve with additional sauce on the side.