Barbecued Baby Back Ribs

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If you’re looking for a girl to pull up a chair at the poker table, help you work on your car, or go camping in the dirt with, you won’t find her in me. I’m not into many things that guys are into. I wear pink, my nails are always polished, and yes, there are many more pillows than necessary on my bed. But, I also don’t like clothes shopping very much (food shopping is the exception), I enjoy going to and watching baseball games (go Sox!), and I, like my husband Mark, love a saucy, messy plate of barbecued meat.

You see this deliciousness? This is what happens when Mark and I go to the store for milk and bread. We inevitably forget what we were there for and end up leaving with a rack of ribs, a bag of brown sugar, and a head full of ideas. Then, we spend the early evening outside, drinking wine, playing cards and grilling those bad boys for dinner!

So, yea, for a moment after I sink my teeth into the manly hunk of meat before me, I do feel like one of the boys. I feel like I can drive a stick-shift truck and smoke a cigar (even though I’d be pretty scared to do either), and go muddin’. But then, Mark, also covered in barbecue sauce, reaches across the table and dabs big globs of red off my forehead and cheeks.

Well, maybe I got a little overly excited. But hey, a girl can wear pink and indulge in a rack of ribs, too!

I know you’ll absolutely love this recipe – We sure did! The sweet and sticky barbecue sauce was our own creation, and it had just the right amount of kick to compliment the ribs. We had a little help from Real Simple magazine on the oven and grill timing, though. (Here’s a link to their great tips for how to cook various types of ribs). The ribs were slow-baked, quickly grilled and came out so juicy and tender, very meaty, and not too fatty, which is usually the case with lean baby back cuts – The meatier, the better! To top it off, they’re pretty inexpensive, too.

I really hope you try this recipe, even just as a cooking time guideline, the next time you have a barbecue, or if you’re just in the mood for some finger-lickin’ good food! I guarantee you’ll keep going back to this technique, and these ribs, again and again!

Barbecued Baby Back Ribs

Servings 2 to 4 (half to 1 pound servings per person)

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. pork baby back ribs

for the rub:

  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. each: paprika, chili powder, cayenne powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, freshly ground pepper

for the BBQ sauce:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup onion minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  • Combine the sugar and spices for the rub in a large bowl. Remove ribs from packaging and pat dry with paper towels. Cut ribs into two sections, if desired. With your hands, pat spices all over ribs, coating generously and evenly. Add to the bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, up to 2 days.
  • When ready to cook, preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
  • Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Section off a piece of foil large enough for each half of the ribs, and cover ribs tightly. Precook for 2 to 2 ½ hours, until the meat easily pulls away from the bone.
  • Meanwhile, combine all BBQ sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan set to medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Remove ribs from oven and discard aluminum foil; place on a platter. Heat grill to high heat. Once hot, place ribs on grill, brush with barbecue sauce, and cook 5 minutes; turn over, brush again, cook 5 more minutes. Transfer ribs to a cutting board and cut up to serve. Place on a serving plate and brush with barbecue sauce.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

• Select baby back ribs that are 2 pounds or less for the most tender, juicy meat.
• Plan on 1-pound servings for two people, or half-pound servings for four people.
• If serving before a meal, cut up ahead of time, arrange on a large plate and serve with barbecue sauce and lots of napkins!

Join the Conversation

  1. As usual, you have impressed me. I have been begging Ryan to make ribs with me soon! I will show him these pictures and he will be convinced, obviously.

    Have a great day!

    – Lauren, Lauren’s Little Kitchen

  2. Haha! There’s no better way to convince a man to cook than with pictures of meat… If you make them, let me know how they turn out!

  3. oh goodness, these look so tasty. can’t wait to try them.

  4. Oh. My. GOSH. These are MOUTHWATERING! Conveniently, we’re making ribs tonight. They’re already slow cooking the oven (thanks to hubs), but it’s never too late to try out your BBQ sauce recipe!

  5. Thank you, Emma! I think you’ll love them!

    Stephanie – If I could have this BBQ sauce every day, I would. You should give it a try! Enjoy your ribs tonight!

  6. I love ribs… the stickier the better. Yours look mouth watering good.

  7. Oh my those look good!

  8. Yum, those looks perfect for a summer BBQ. Thanks for sharing. I’ll be trying them out soon.

  9. I recently had a ton of BBQ on a work trip to Memphis. I thought I’d be good for a while but one look at these pictures convinced me I was wrong. I want more BBQ! :)

  10. Thanks, ladies! I’ve never been to Tennessee or had Memphis BBQ (unforunately), but I hope these ribs can hold a candle to what you had, “Lawyer”!

  11. It’s time like this I get depressed that I don’t have a grill. And I so agree with you – important to stay manicured but even better to enjoy a nice plate of messy ribs! First time to your blog and I’m a fan! xxSAS

  12. Sarah, Once we had the room for one, a grill was the best investment I ever made! I think you can achieve a similar taste by doing them slowly in the oven for a little longer and not grilling them, but they’ll be more tender with a little grill time. Thanks for stopping by!

  13. Anonymous says:

    From a non-meat eater, ha ha, mouthwatering! Makes me want to take a hiatus. It’s your writing too, Gi. You’ve really got a distinctive style – very pleasant to read along..xoxoxo Your biggest fan, Mum.

  14. Oh, YUM! These look absolutely delicious!

  15. I am imagining the drippings of the baby back ribs and I am so drooling over it. Delicious.

  16. Oh my, these look so good. My husband would love these.

  17. Yum, those looks perfect for a summer BBQ. Thanks for sharing. I’ll be trying them out soon.

  18. I love ribs… the stickier the better. Yours look mouth watering good.

  19. They look terrible. I’m going to have to bring them waaaaaay over here to dispose of their evil rancidness…

    NOM NOM NOM!

    Seriously, they belong in my belly.

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  21. Oh my, these look so good. My husband would love these.

  22. I am imagining the drippings of the baby back ribs and I am so drooling over it. Delicious.

  23. Oh, YUM! These look absolutely delicious!

  24. From a non-meat eater, ha ha, mouthwatering! Makes me want to take a hiatus. It’s your writing too, Gi. You’ve really got a distinctive style – very pleasant to read along..xoxoxo Your biggest fan, Mum.

  25. Thanks, ladies! I’ve never been to Tennessee or had Memphis BBQ (unforunately), but I hope these ribs can hold a candle to what you had, “Lawyer”!

  26. Sarah, Once we had the room for one, a grill was the best investment I ever made! I think you can achieve a similar taste by doing them slowly in the oven for a little longer and not grilling them, but they’ll be more tender with a little grill time. Thanks for stopping by!

  27. I recently had a ton of BBQ on a work trip to Memphis. I thought I’d be good for a while but one look at these pictures convinced me I was wrong. I want more BBQ! :)

  28. It’s time like this I get depressed that I don’t have a grill. And I so agree with you – important to stay manicured but even better to enjoy a nice plate of messy ribs! First time to your blog and I’m a fan! xxSAS

  29. Thank you, Emma! I think you’ll love them!

    Stephanie – If I could have this BBQ sauce every day, I would. You should give it a try! Enjoy your ribs tonight!

  30. Oh. My. GOSH. These are MOUTHWATERING! Conveniently, we’re making ribs tonight. They’re already slow cooking the oven (thanks to hubs), but it’s never too late to try out your BBQ sauce recipe!

  31. oh goodness, these look so tasty. can’t wait to try them.

  32. Haha! There’s no better way to convince a man to cook than with pictures of meat… If you make them, let me know how they turn out!

  33. As usual, you have impressed me. I have been begging Ryan to make ribs with me soon! I will show him these pictures and he will be convinced, obviously.

    Have a great day!

    – Lauren, Lauren’s Little Kitchen

  34. Those are some seriously mouthwatering-looking ribs!

  35. I want to stuff my face with those pronto!

  36. My husband and I made these last weekend and they were so delicious that we used the rub and sauce for some chicken this weekend. It was just as fabulous and I too could probably eat the sauce everyday of the week :) Thank you, thank you for posting!!

  37. These look amazing! I love wet bbq ribs.

    I would love to make this but I don’t have an outdoor grill. Any suggestions on how to bake this instead?

  38. Hi Chung-Ah – Just follow the pre-cook instructions for baking at 275 degrees for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, then increase the heat to 450 degrees and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes. That should give you a similar result.

  39. Tried these ribs last night….they were spectacular….the perfect blend of sweet plus heat. The best ribs I’ve ever had!! Thank you!!

  40. so happy to find this recipe..im so making these today!

  41. Excellent – everyone loved them!! Relatively simple to make as long as you leave enough time for them to cook.

  42. I made these yesterday for 4th of July and the rub was delicious. Spicier than I expected but went really well with the ribs and gave it some great flavor. I used a store bought sauce for the grill. Best tribs I’ve ever fixed. My husband was quite pleased!

  43. Aw, this was a very nice post. In concept I would like to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… however what can I say… I procrastinate alot and by no means appear to get one thing done.

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